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Measure TWICE = words to live by...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tZer, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. I am in the midst of my second build and have been stalled/one step forward, two back on fret board slotting...

    I've been through three so far and learned:
    1) Use a fret calculator, get the measurements and scribe them onto the board. I tired the printable kind and just don't trust it... it's a gut feeling, but that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

    2) Measure each position FROM THE NUT - and avoid the dreaded 'error accumulation' situation

    3) MEASURE TWICE (hell, maybe three, even four times!)

    Last night I committed to finally getting this operation done. I squared one side of my FB, clamped down my metric rule, carefully went down my fret spacing print out marking each position with my Xacto.

    Feeling really good about things, I began cutting my slots. I decided to go from the high end of the board and work my way back to the nut. Sitting in my living room and taking my time, I spent a few hours carefully sliding the FB into position, laying in the fret saw and cutting away.

    I cut the last slot, took the board outside to shake off the dust - came can into to admire my work and then I saw it...

    THE VERY FIRST FRET POSITION SLOT (2nd to last one I cut) was MIS-MEASURED!!!! Call it a version of dyslexia, but instead of it being located at 48.45mm, it was at 38.45!!!!


    I didn't see it as I was cutting because I was so busy paying attention to getting it aligned in my jig.


    Now I off to purchase my fourth fretboard blank... The guys at The Wood Store are really starting to like me.
  2. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    oh no..... the printable templates dont sound so bad now do they? j/k. maybe you could just measure out your own template and tape it onto the board? i taped a ppaper template onto the FB and just cut right through it. came out pretty good.
  3. JC Basses

    JC Basses

    Mar 12, 2009
    Rocklin, CA
    I would suggest getting a fret slot template from StewMac. It really helped me save time with cutting fret slots. Then I went to a power saw to cut them and never looked back.
  4. The Stew Mac templates look more and more worth it every day. I don't have a table saw (yet), so for now, it's by hand.

    I need to pay closer attention anyway. This was just a little reminder.

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