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Slotted fingerboards

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Dec 29, 2004.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Does Gallery or anybody make slotted 35" scale fingerboards. I want to build a "wide" 5 to keep for myself...........not to sell........... :hyper: .......My wife bought a Carvin wide 5 bridge for me for Christmas and I won a set of fender jazz deluxe pickups. I am starting to gather parts and was wondering about the fingerboard...............t
     
  2. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    There are a couple of sources for pre-slotted fretboards.

    Check Luthiers Mercantile Int'ls web site: http://www.lmii.com/ They will radius the board for $7, and then slot it for another $7. Last I checked they had a pretty decent selection of fingerboard blanks, too.
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    thanks it looks like with them it is Ebony or nothing for what I am looking for.t
     
  4. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I am in the same boat. Have never slotted my own board before. I'd like a 35"er in some wood besides the standard. Lemme know if you find anything.
     
  5. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I got the whole Stew-Mac miter saw and gauge setup last month and also made my own 35" scale fingerboard myself. You can fit up to a 3" wide piece in the miter box. Just wide enough for a wide fiver. I don't know what I'm going to do yet when I tackle a 6 string.
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    good job the allen bass section looks like they go all the way to 36" scale. I will have to contact them.............T
     
  7. Tom, you have (had) PM
     
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Not sure if Rob still is slotting for others. I bought a batch of indian rosewood boards from him and had most of them slotted. The slots were cleanly and accurately cut.
     
  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks Hambone very cool. :hyper: :D Not ready yet just starting to assemble the parts. Trying to decide on the tuners. Not sure if I can justify the cost of the untralites...t
     
  10. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    Slotting a board is really pretty easy to do yourself. I have been using a japanese pull saw that I got from a local woodcraft, but lmi now sells one as well. The is a program you can download called wfret that will allow you to print a template. I use that and a square to slot all of the boards I have done recently works great. You can save alot of money doing it that way as well. I recently picked up a piece of macassar ebony that was about 4" wide and think enough for three fretboards for about $35. compare that to the prices you'll pay for a single blank from lmi. It also allows you to use woods that are not always available from places like lmi, such as Wenge and Purpleheart. just my .02 :D
     
  11. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Does anyone have experience with SM's slotted template?
    I'm having trouble determining where I would affix the front edge of the board to the template. I'm using the 34-inch scale side. My board is 24 6/8 long. If i'm aiming for 21 frets, where does the front edge of the fretboard lie on the template?
    The diagram they show has the board all the way up on the 25th slot.
    [​IMG]

    Does the first wide slot on the template represent the nut or the first fret?

    This is probably simple, I know. But this part of the process has given me butterflies for a while now. BTW, I wish I could use wfret, but I'm on a Mac.

    Thanks.
     
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    What type of wood are you looking for? Luthiers Mercantile caries a few types of FB wood. They even used to carry phenolic, which is where I got my fingerboards slotted. They didn't do radiusing then however.

    You can also buy their fret slotting system, which is quite nice. After having them do the first few fretboards, I got this system and slotted my own.

    Manual Slotting System
     
  13. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Their system works the same as the LM system. The slot in the template is in the same location as the slot that gets cut, since the template is under the fretboard and locks where the saw blade is.

    Usually I leave a little wood past either where the nut or zero fret is, and then either rout for a nut, if I'm doing a Fender type board, or cut about 3/16 from the zero fret for the nut.

    If you are doing a Gibson style nut, then the zero slot is the end of your FB, and depending on how you designed your neck, gets cut off there.
     
  14. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Sorry, Having a hard time with this. The slots are offset from where the blade actually makes the cut. So this affects the positioning of the board. Does the first slot represent where the blade will make the cut for the nut or the first fret?
     
  15. For slotting one off boards (for unusal scale lengths, or just when i find a special peice of wood that i want to use) i go a much more primitive route. I have done about 20 boards this way and only had two go wrong on me.

    1. Plane one edge of the fretboard square and straight.
    2. Clamp it to the edge of your workbench with a peice of wood underneath it to raise it from the workbench, leave the edge you have just planed overhanging from one side.
    3. use a square and an exacto knife to mark the fret positions (carefully)
    4. Use a saw with the correct width to cut the slots, i usually start the cut with the saw against the square. I use stew-macs slotting saw with the depth stop

    The only special tools this requires is a good fretting saw, the key to getting it to work well is using a good heavy square, marking very carefully, checking all measurements twice and starting the saw cut slowly. I usually leave the board flat untill after slotting incase i have any slip ups, then when i radius it will be cleaned up.

    I aint saying this is the best way but it can produce perfect results if the time is taken to do it properly. Good for the builder on a budget.
     
  16. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Wow this is an old thread!