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multi scale fret slot jig for tablesaw? take a look...


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I would be interested to know how the template is laid out.

In doing a multi scale the template, say for a 25.5" scale on the low E and using an 25.5" template the notches need to be on the line drawn of the string and similarly for the high e. If the template is outside the line of the strings the scale length will be shorter on the final cut board unless each template is compensated for by how far outside the line on the strings it is installed.

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47 minutes ago, KeithHowell said:

I would be interested to know how the template is laid out.

In doing a multi scale the template, say for a 25.5" scale on the low E and using an 25.5" template the notches need to be on the line drawn of the string and similarly for the high e. If the template is outside the line of the strings the scale length will be shorter on the final cut board unless each template is compensated for by how far outside the line on the strings it is installed.

thanks for response.  well... as I understand, it COULD be that way... or not.  If you have a target scale length for high e and low e.   Would certainly make setting your intonation line easier but if you didn't care you could have a 25.6789 scale on the high e and 26.3223323 on the low e... you'd just have to divide up the difference across the span.  ie If you just laid out say 27.75 on this side and 23.75 on this side... and that spanned 4" and your string span was 2" actual... and you centered your fretboard - then your rise/run would mean your high e was 24.75 and your low e was 26.75 because your scale length would change at a rate of 1" per 1".  even then your adgb strings are going to have some wonky scale length between those two numbers... so does it really matter?  yes/no, maybe so.  just depends what your goal is.

the thing I like about this jig... is it is very simple.  just points.  assuming you drill the holes with no slop... it should be as accurate as the points.

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I'd be more concerned that the effort in hand marking and drilling each pair of holes accounting for the scale lengths being outside the edges of the fretboard, in order to define each angled fret slot is as much work as just hand slotting the board using a printed template as a guide. The potential errors introduced in the two converging rows of alignment holes might be difficult to reign in as well.

It's a neat solution, but it does seem to over-complicate the jig.

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4 minutes ago, curtisa said:

I'd be more concerned that the effort in hand marking and drilling each pair of holes accounting for the scale lengths being outside the edges of the fretboard, in order to define each angled fret slot is as much work as just hand slotting the board using a printed template as a guide. The potential errors introduced in the two converging rows of alignment holes might be difficult to reign in as well.

It's a neat solution, but it does seem to over-complicate the jig.

yeah, no... I wouldn't say drilling this by hand would be a good solution.  I was more thinking that as a set of holes you could cnc it pretty easy or get someone to cnc it for you.  anything done by hand is going to have "by hand" accuracy which really is dependent on the hands at that point!!  pretty sure my hands are not up to that task.

afa alignment of the holes... they are just parallel to each other.  again if the angle is a target well that's one thing... but if you figure you are going to get 'close' to angle x and however off that is on fret 1 it will be that amount of off all the way down.

 

ahh... the folly of my thinking... the distance between the two stud points is going to change.

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8 hours ago, mistermikev said:

I was more thinking that as a set of holes you could cnc it pretty easy or get someone to cnc it for you. 

But then you'd have to ask 'why not just CNC the multiscale slots in the fretboard directly and skip the middle step'?

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14 minutes ago, curtisa said:

But then you'd have to ask 'why not just CNC the multiscale slots in the fretboard directly and skip the middle step'?

well for me... I'm table saw rich and cnc poor... but I know a guy who could do one up for me.  further, there are not a lot of options for multiscale slotting templates that aren't uber-expensive so I would think if someone were to make these they'd be comparatively inexpensive and as such: popular among folks who don't have cnc... maybe.

in addition (and please comment on this) as I understand it, slotting a board on cnc is a lot of work... it requires delicate bits that break... and requires different programming for each radius, no?  It can certainly be done... but might not be "worth it" to some if you consider how fast one could achieve this on a table saw.  perhaps not... i dunno, pure speculation... you tell me.

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1 hour ago, mistermikev said:

in addition (and please comment on this) as I understand it, slotting a board on cnc is a lot of work... it requires delicate bits that break... and requires different programming for each radius, no?  It can certainly be done... but might not be "worth it" to some if you consider how fast one could achieve this on a table saw.  perhaps not... i dunno, pure speculation... you tell me.

The bits are fragile, yes, and there is a programming overhead that you need to account for, but it doesn't amount to much more work than CAD'ing up the initial fret slotting layout plus maybe 15-20 minutes of computer time, which you'd do for a template/jig anyway.

The last fretboard I did took a bit under an hour to slot on the mill. I could probably push things harder and get it down to 40-45mins, but for the fine bits I usually err on the side of caution. It's not like I'm in a race either.

There are numerous upsides to the long slotting time though - I can just hit the 'go' button and leave it to do its thing while I do other stuff, I can do slotting operations that are physically impossible with a traditional handsaw or circular saw blade (blind fret slots where the ends aren't cut all the way through the edges of the board, fretslots where the bottoms of the channel matches the curvature of the radius applied to the top), I can do subsequent operations on the fretboard at the same time as the fret slotting (radius the board to anything including compound radii, inlay the board, cut the nut shelf with a curved or flat bottom, trim the edges to shape), I don't need to have a new template made up if I need to slot a fretboard that I haven't done before, nor do I need to keep a physical library of templates in the workshop that might only get used once.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

The bits are fragile, yes, and there is a programming overhead that you need to account for, but it doesn't amount to much more work than CAD'ing up the initial fret slotting layout plus maybe 15-20 minutes of computer time, which you'd do for a template/jig anyway.

The last fretboard I did took a bit under an hour to slot on the mill. I could probably push things harder and get it down to 40-45mins, but for the fine bits I usually err on the side of caution. It's not like I'm in a race either.

There are numerous upsides to the long slotting time though - I can just hit the 'go' button and leave it to do its thing while I do other stuff, I can do slotting operations that are physically impossible with a traditional handsaw or circular saw blade (blind fret slots where the ends aren't cut all the way through the edges of the board, fretslots where the bottoms of the channel matches the curvature of the radius applied to the top), I can do subsequent operations on the fretboard at the same time as the fret slotting (radius the board to anything including compound radii, inlay the board, cut the nut shelf with a curved or flat bottom, trim the edges to shape), I don't need to have a new template made up if I need to slot a fretboard that I haven't done before, nor do I need to keep a physical library of templates in the workshop that might only get used once.

all good info to know and I appreciate the insight.  I 'spose for someone who's got the machine it wouldn't make all that much sense then. 

For me... I don't even have a slot blade at present and I understand with the saw stop none of the easily available one's will run in that saw, so nothing I'm gung ho for.  Before I got this saw I was thinking about how I might build a multiscale jig for manual slotting and then I got the saw and saw this and thought - "well that might be a solid idea". 

Really just wanted to share for reference later and for anyone who might be interested in similar. 

again - I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

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