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Cutting fanned fret slots

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dpmasunder, Aug 19, 2005.


  1. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Does anyone have any special system for cutting fanned fret slots? All I've seen is Doolin's trick. I'm trying to come up with something quick, accurate and repeatable. JP?
     
  2. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Hmm, I think I've just thought of something promising. It would have to be machined and is still a handsaw concept, basically a variation on a mitrebox. It would also require accurate templates cut specifically for it.
    Please, post any methods you have! I'll keep working on this, would anybody here be interested in such a jig/device?
     
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    JPs trick is to have it slotted by Sheldon Dingwall, if I'm not mistaken. That's the trick I would attempt. I dunno if Sheldon wants to become fanned-fret slotter to the world or not, but I don't relish the thought of trying to do it by hand.

    I believe Ralph Novak will do the slotting for you as well. He holds the patent and strictly speaking he is supposed to get a licensing fee no matter what, I think. I don't know if there is "fair use" law governing this patent or not. Licensing is $40 or $50 IIRC.
     
  4. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Licensing is $75 but you need it only if you're selling the bass in the US.

    Sheldon did slot my board. Fred Bolton from bee does it by hand.

    Peace,
    JP
     
  5. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    That's pretty much what I had in mind, only without the precision engineering. I have a laser cutting place I use regularly who give me good (ie honest) prices. I want to have them cut the acrylic templates with locating pin holes, and have a really solid box which moves along that.

    The licencing is for US sales only, this one is for my personal use (I'm in Australia). However, if like it I think I'll pay the fee anyway. Patenting isn't a cheap process and Ralph really only did it to stop some big company stealing it so little guys like us & him could use it.

    I wouldn't feel comfortable asking Sheldon Dingwall, I've never met him and I'm sure he has more than enough on his plate. Not only that, I make g&%tars :bag: B-b-b--but the have 8 strings! :bag:
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've never really thought about it that way before. That makes the $75 a lot easier to stomach. Have you thought about seeing if Ralph would slot the board? He does all kinds of instruments.
     
  7. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Hmm, that's a thought. I really expect to be making more of these, but maybe for the first one.
    I have this 'control freak' issue however which gets in the way of rational decisions :)

    Oh, I should introduce myself, my name is Dan Memory.
    I've just started my own guitar biz called 'Oni Guitars', after 8 years of building high end acoustics and repair work for someone else. Actually, I still do that too. I intend on focusing on niche guitars like 7, 8, and more strings, fretless etc.
    Nice to meet you all!
     
  8. Do you have a website of your stuff? I'd love to check it out.
     
  9. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    The Oni Guitars site is almost ready, but it won't have much content until the first instruments are ready.
    The acoustic stuff is here http://www.ochotecoguitars.com/ but again, it's a 'coming soon' :scowl:
     
  10. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    OK, here's my 8 design, and the pickups which I've had assembled and wound by Bare Knuckle Pickups in the UK.
    I designed them and had the flatwork laser cut here.
    Tim at Bare Knuckle is awesome to deal with btw, and they do make bass pickups.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. That's a cool looking unit. I can't wait to see one of these things built.
     
  12. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    If you are setting out long-term obviously you will want to get your own in-house system. Eventually. But I would imagine that Novak's setup is very accurate and for the prototype, I think you'd want ot spot on.

    Novak did Charlie Hunter's guitar, IIRC. That thing is pretty friggin awesome. I would not hesitate to have Novak do the slotting for me (if he does indeed do it for Joe Public).
     
  13. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    No worries Dan, feel free to contact me for anything. I may need your help someday.

    Nice design by the way. I like the pickups too. If you're going to angle a dual coil, that's the way to do it.
     
  14. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Hi Sheldon! Since you're offering, any tips? what's your method?
    I'm more than happy to help out with anything you need too.
     
  15. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    We have a couple of ways of doing it. For production we use a sliding compound miter saw with a custom cutter. The head floats over the already radiused fingerboard tracking the radius. The neck sits in a custom fixture with index holes for lining up under the blade.

    For custom work we program the CNC and use a .025" bit to cut starter slots to be chased by hand afterwords.

    I recommend testing your scale lengths - at least for the outside strings - and gauges before committing to cutting wood. Use a capo for a temporary nut position.

    Fretless basses are handy for this. Fretted works too, but you're limited to the resolution of the fretboard.

    You can hinge the fan around any fret you want. For what we do, the 7th fret works best. I've tried a 34" to 37" 5-string that was hinged at the 12th fret and it was pretty unplayable. YMMV
     

    Attached Files:

  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I love the shape ;)

    Nice to see someone going to build ERG!! Any picture of your work you could show us (cause the website is not complete yet)

    Peace,
    JP
     
  17. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to make the connection. Of course it would be you. :D
     
  18. dpmasunder

    dpmasunder

    Apr 30, 2005
    'Straylya
    Connection?
     
  19. Yes take a look at JP's basses, I think you'll see a happy similarity to your design. ;)
    Dirk