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Lee Valley Carries Fret Saws Now.


j. pierce
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I get the Lee Valley email newsletters, and noticed that they now have a fretsaw in their catalog:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...618&p=61618

I don't imagine it's very different from the similar offerings from Stew Mac and LMI, but for Canadian PG'rs who live near a retail outlet it might be a savings on shipping, and if you're like me and order a fair amount of misc. things from LV, it might be easier to tack it onto an order from them rather than waiting to have enough needed stuff to warrant an order from SM or LMI.

I don't know, the price isn't really that different from Stew Mac or LMI (although I have no idea the prices from Grizzly or other sources), and it's not like finding a suitable fretsaw is difficult, but it's always cool to have options. Perhaps Lee Valley will begin carrying more luthiery tools, I don't know.

I don't really have anything to gain from this, just noticed it. I like Lee Valley, they've always done real well by me.

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I get the Lee Valley email newsletters, and noticed that they now have a fretsaw in their catalog:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...618&p=61618

I don't imagine it's very different from the similar offerings from Stew Mac and LMI, but for Canadian PG'rs who live near a retail outlet it might be a savings on shipping, and if you're like me and order a fair amount of misc. things from LV, it might be easier to tack it onto an order from them rather than waiting to have enough needed stuff to warrant an order from SM or LMI.

I don't know, the price isn't really that different from Stew Mac or LMI (although I have no idea the prices from Grizzly or other sources), and it's not like finding a suitable fretsaw is difficult, but it's always cool to have options. Perhaps Lee Valley will begin carrying more luthiery tools, I don't know.

I don't really have anything to gain from this, just noticed it. I like Lee Valley, they've always done real well by me.

Interesting but I wonder why they chose .021 rather than .023. I like the pull stroke setup this makes it a bit easier as I have given up on western saws. I found a few Japanese saws with the correct kerf to cut frets as well. This from lee valley the royba here is .022 http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...amp;cat=1,42884. However a two sided saw may not be for everyone.

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I was wondering about fret tang v. saw kerf sizes as well... If the fret tang is 0.023, for example, does the saw kerf need to match exactly? Or should you look for a saw that is slightly undersized (e.g: 0.022) in case the cutting action makes the slot slightly wider?

I my opinion the harder the wood the more exact your slot should be as you do not want to force a tang into a smaller slot as it will put a back bow in the neck. On some softer woods it should not be a problem. You can always add CA to an over-sized slot but you have to widen an undersized slot.

Fretwire can vary slightly even within the same batch or spool. Most kerfs are .023 or .024 as sold by LMI or SM in both saw blades and hand saws.

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The stewmac saw makes a perfect slot in pau ferro, the padauk is close in hardness if not more brittle. I __might__ adn I stress __might__ try it with a medium fret wire but probably not with jumbo.

I would be more inclined to use it on a maple fretboard as I have found it to compress more when pressing in frets.

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What difference does medium versus jumbo make if the tang is the same on each?

Anyway, .021 versus .023" is beyond human accuracy. The saw's vibration and your hand shaking will make that much of a difference. Heck, the change in humidity if you saw one day and measure the next will probably make that much difference.

What do you think is going to happen, you cut the slot with the .021, think it's too tight, put in saw and pull back once while lifting it out of the slot, and now darn, now your too wide at .024? :D We're not machines.

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What difference does medium versus jumbo make if the tang is the same on each?

Anyway, .021 versus .023" is beyond human accuracy. The saw's vibration and your hand shaking will make that much of a difference. Heck, the change in humidity if you saw one day and measure the next will probably make that much difference.

What do you think is going to happen, you cut the slot with the .021, think it's too tight, put in saw and pull back once while lifting it out of the slot, and now darn, now your too wide at .024? :D We're not machines.

I have seen minor tang size differences in smaller fret wires....

I get your point. The only thing I could say at this point in the discussion is buy it and try it, return it if it sucks.

Post your results.

I could have used it on my last 2 maple fretboards because the StewMac saw left lose fret slots.

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Its not the .021 vs .023 in one slot its the accumlated effect of 22 frets being forced in. Most people have a range of kerf sizes just in case. I have several fret saws and use my table saw for the initial slots. Sometimes they are loose some times thay are tight. So yes it does depend on the wood and how accurate you can saw.

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I agree with that.

My point is the actual width of the slots made by a .021 kerf hand saw and a .023 kerf hand saw will overlap, and one extra pull with the .021 using some slight side pressure and you're going to be wider than the .023. That's if everything else is the same.

I have the .023, but I'd rather have the .021 if it's as nice a saw. And a cheap set of feeler gauges. But I wouldn't buy a new saw just to go from .023 to .021. A few seconds with a piece of sand paper, a stone, or a diamond file will accomplish that and clean off any dirt/rust/resins at the same time.

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