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[Solved] Looking for a fret spacing ruler

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Topic starter

Why is everything ridiculously expensive when it come to guitar building? The only fret slot spacing ruler I can find is on Crimson's website but it's £47, that seems very over priced to me. Does anyone know where else sell these or if any of you guys have a spare one you could flog me?

7 Answers
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I have a nearly new Ibex fretscale ruler you could have for £10 plus postage:

https://www.touchstonetonewoods.co.uk/products/fret-rule-9878.html

But - it doesn't have any of the common fretscales on it which is why I have never used it:

Steel String: 25 11/32"

Steel String: 24 27/32"

Classical: 25 21/32"

Spanish Long: 26 1/8"

I've never used any of those scale lengths so its useless to me 🙂 email me if you want it...

however...

The fretboard is the most important part of the whole instrument - that is why I supply them ready made and I recommend that at least for your first build:

https://guitarmaking.co.uk/product/fretboard-electric-guitar/

I think this is the quickest, easiest, cheapest way to go...

Having said that - Our fretscale saw and templates are the best value for money out there as far as I know...the 'set' includes the saw, the jig and the 5 most common scale lengths, so it works out to be great value - but only if you intending to make more than one or two instruments:

https://guitarmaking.co.uk/product/fret-slot-jig-set/

 

 

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by mark bailey

Measure twice, cut once...

nortski Topic starter 08/12/2023 2:12 pm

@markbailey Hi Mark. I very much appreciate the kind offer but I have my heart set on a 25" scale (the design is actually finished) and I'm a stubborn s.o.b lol.
I think you're right though, I will buy a pre-slotted fretboard for my first build.

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I've got this jig ....25 or 25.5 " scale length thatI had before I bought one of Bagpress's excellent fretboard cutting kits.

It's yours if you want it... Pay as you feel plus postage 😉 

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nortski Topic starter 07/12/2023 8:19 pm

@james-chacewatergmail-com-2 Hi James, that incredibly generous. I'm actually looking for a non-notched ruler as I'm hand sawing my slots. Or can tis still be used for this method?

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£11.99 on Amazon

Screenshot 20231207 201219 Amazon Shopping
nortski Topic starter 07/12/2023 8:46 pm

@robin I'm looking for a non-notched ruler 🙂

Robin Robin 07/12/2023 10:22 pm

@nortski Sorry, I misunderstood what you were looking for. I've been buying preslotted fretboards, so I haven't cut fretslots myself yet. I was thinking about just measuring out with a standard ruler to cut them on my current build though.

nortski Topic starter 07/12/2023 10:26 pm

@robin no problem 🙂
I may have to do the same. It's been really expensive trying to get everything together for my first build: power tools, materials, hardware. I've got to start making compromises now.

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Posted by: @robin

I was thinking about just measuring out with a standard ruler to cut them on my current build though

To my mind, given that the accuracy of the fret positions are absolutely key to the sound and quality of the finished instrument, it seems a false economy to try to save on this aspect of the build. I don't know if you are making electric or acoustic instruments but if your budget is tight then use cheaper pick ups and/or tuners ie save the money on parts that can be easily upgraded when you have the cash to spare.

Good luck and Merry Christmas

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@darrenking

To my mind, given that the accuracy of the fret positions are absolutely key to the sound and quality of the finished instrument, it seems a false economy to try to save on this aspect of the build. I don't know if you are making electric or acoustic instruments 

It's an acoustic I'm building now, my first, its posted under Robin's build #004. I bought pre slotted fretboards for the three electrics that I've built and had intended to make my own this time round. Now that I'm getting closer to needing it I've changed my mind on that and will be ordering another fretboard from Mark. As you say accuracy is crucial and I don't have the jigs or right tools for the job.

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Just thought I'd pop this in here for anyine looking, this place you can sort your layout then print it as a pdf template. Friend uses it for multiscale

 

https://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/fretfind2d/

 

Other thing he uses is fretcalc android app

 

 

Personally I use a good old fret slotting jig lol

darrenking darrenking 22/12/2023 2:15 am

@nsj for any fret template that is printed be it on laser printer, plotter or anything else I would always want some kind of reference measurement to check that it has printed/remained at the correct size. Just ask them to print a hairline bordered rectangle at 500mm x 50mm. If you can’t pick up any discrepancy on these dimensions then the fret position markers can be relied upon. Just bear in mind that paper expands and contracts significantly with temp/humidity. Don’t buy a paper template during a wet winter and then use it during the hottest week of a dry summer without checking the dims.

NSJ 22/12/2023 2:38 am

I think your thinking way to much about this lol.

Guitars are crude in terms of accuracy hence why some crazy people make them with weird wavy microtonal frets.

It's free too, the idea is you print off the template, attach it to the fretboard then cut the slots. First job when making a neck usually. It's as accurate as using a fret spacing ruler or a jig and template.

Also if you check the link it gives you the acutal precise measurements so you can check if you're concerned.

Personally I only print something when I need it but, if it's stored in a warm dry house during winter it's not going to alter.

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