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Looking to get a fingerboard slotted, 32" scale

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mordechai, Feb 14, 2013.


  1. mordechai

    mordechai

    Dec 8, 2007
    Maine
    I was wondering if there is anyone here who can slot a fingerboard for me? I have a piece of jatoba/Brazilian cherry that I'd like to use. Please PM me and we can figure out payment.

    If this against the rules, my apologies.

    Mordechai
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, I can radius and slot your fingerboard; any scale length; any radius; on or off the neck. 32" scale is routine. The cost is typically $20 plus return shipping.

    You can reach me by PM.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  3. Mordechai (BTW, have you seen "the regular show"?),

    Slotting a board is not that hard mate. Just measure, take your time, use a straight edge to lean the saw against and off you go. There are fret calculators on Stewmac and other places. A fret saw is also a great investment. :)
     
  4. mordechai

    mordechai

    Dec 8, 2007
    Maine
    I have a fret saw and straight edge, what I lack is time! Repairing guitars and basses has become somewhat of a night job for me, in addition to my day job and being in a band, which is my volunteer work. My birthday present to myself this year is making some progress on a bass for myself. I'll have to start a build thread soon.

    Thanks Bruce, I sent you an email.

    Mordechai
     
  5. Hey Bruce (and everyone)

    No apologies for resurrecting an older thread. In my view, that is what you are supposed to here - search on similar topics.

    I am curious about something. I noticed that LMI does not list a 32" slotted board as a "common" scale as below.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 7.35.17 AM.

    Perhaps they will do it, but they only list 30", 34" and 35". I was told by a couple of well respected luthiers a number of years ago, that in order to arrive at a perfectly slotted medium scale 32" fingerboard, they could use a full scale 34" slotted board and simply lop it off at the first fret, making that the nut position. Maybe that is the reason they don't mention medium scale 32" as a standard size? It's such an easy conversion?

    Here is a full scale 34" MIJ Fender Jazz with a medium scale 32" and a short scale 30" superimposed over them. I did this myself from actual size photos of the basses and it looks like there is a slight compensation at the nut on the medium scale which continues up the fingerboard until the frets match up again. Of course you have to account for a certain amount of camera distortion here:

    BassComparison.

    In doing it this way - would the fret positions work out to be the identical fret positions as slotting a medium scale 32" board from scratch? Or would there be adjustments or compenstion which would need to be made to keep the frets in proper position for ultimate intonation? Curious about this. Have you ever made a medium scale board by lopping on the first fret on a full scale 34"?

    Thanks when you have a minute....
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  6. This is my understanding so i coukd be missing something but, if the frets were in the right places to start with on the 34” scale board then they're still in the right position if you cut off at the first fret.
    All you are doing is the equivalent of playing with a capo at the first fret so everything still lines up and works.

    The first fret on a 34” scale bass is 32.094” from the bridge. If you are using an exact 32” scale in your picture that could account for the difference you are seeing. I don’t know if that picture method is accurate to thousands or not.:D

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    BassHappy likes this.
  7. Hey thanks Matt.

    Got pooh-poohed on another thread for even suggesting that it's OK to lop it off at the first fret. Of course, assuming that the 34" full scale board is perfectly slotted. Like maybe you order a pre-slotted board from LMI in full scale and you cut the board off at the first fret. Sacrilege or Smart?

    Yes, I am afraid the picture method is not the most reliable way to do this.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    If you take a fingerboard that's slotted for 34" scale and saw it off at the 1st fret, the remaining fingerboard will be 32.092" scale length. Close to 32" scale, but not precisely. It will have only 23 slots, but they will be at the accurate locations for a 32.092" scale length.

    Some builders do that, using a cut-off 34" board, and just calling it 32" scale. There's nothing technically wrong with building a 32.092" scale bass, as long as you locate the bridge correctly for 32.092" scale length.

    The basses that you've gotten from Keith and I are slotted to actual 32.000" scale length. We cut the slots ourselves on my slotting machine. I've made up a 32.000" scale rule for it.

    For reference, if you cut off the first two frets from a 34" scale board, the remainder is 30.291" scale length. A little over 30 1/4".
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    BassHappy and Joshua like this.
  9. Yeah, I forgot about the other end. If you're set on 24 frets, that could be an issue also.
     
    BassHappy likes this.
  10. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    This is an old thread, Feb. 2013.
     
  11. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yeah, we know. But we're all still here. The math hasn't changed since then, and the question still comes up.
     
    dragon68, BassHappy and Dark Horse like this.
  12. Thanks Bruce!

    Exactly what I wanted to know.
     

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