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Sawing frets the lazy way

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Tej
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Has anyone used one of these blades for fret cutting, the most popular I’ve seen it on from Stew Mac who’s price is just laughable? If you know of a cheaper source for a quality blade please shout.

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Boo
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@tej That link doesn’t go to any particular product/tool. 

Do you mean a fret slot saw? Or a circular saw blade?

Fret slot saw - https://guitarmaking.co.uk/product/fret-slot-saw/  

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Russ
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Hey @tej

Not sure but I think these guys supply Stewmac and other guitar making companies with their fret slot saws. 

http://www.crownhandtools.ltd.uk/page10.html  

🎸🙂🎶🙏

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Russ
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@tej.

Oops. I forgot that Mark & Carol supply them in the shop. Get it from here. 👍🪚 

🙏🎶🙂🎸

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


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Tej
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That link doesn’t go to any particular product/tool. 

 

@boo circular saw https://shop.rall-online.net/epages/61511639.mobile/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61511639/Products/04080017&Locale=en_GB&ClassicView=1

Saw Mark using one in his one lesson

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Tej
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@russ they do look nice, this is the problem, I love the hand tools but am all to aware of the time I’d need to put in to perfect something I can do on the table saw in seconds. Time is something I don’t have a lot of sadly! I’ve ordered a pre slotted board for my first build but would rather make future ones myself. 

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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tv1
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Seriously, unless you're going to be making a *lot* of fretboards, I'd say that this is the best option;

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

 

Best?

Simple to use and set-up, no need for jigs on your tablesaw, or for getting a load of different scale templates.

 

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They certainly supply me, and therefore, GMUK


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darrenking
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Hi Tej,

It might be more complicated than you think to adapt a table saw for fret slotting. The fret slotting blades are usually much smaller diameter than the regular blades and therefore you will need to increase the rotational speed significantly to avoid kick back. The blade that I bought needs to spin at around 9000rpm to achieve the correct cutting speed. I have had all of the parts to build my own powered fret slotting saw for over a year now but I keep hitting on additional technical hitches, bearings designed to spin at 9000rpm for a start, and I guarantee that no standard saw would be so equipped . You would also need to source the fret scale templates to work with your modified saw.

Just how short of time are you? It doesn’t take much more than 15-20 minutes to cut a fretboard by hand and this far from the most time consuming part of the process. Now if you were talking about an automatic fret insertion, dressing and polishing machine I’d be VERY interested!

Cheers

Darren

 


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Bpower
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I am by no way an expert here and I am also trying to decide if I want to start cutting my first fret slots. I've looked into how to convert an old table saw into a fretting machine but after you get the blade, and the guides and, as darrenking said, all the other bits that would make it work properly, it would turn into a bigger project than I want to do for the amount of guitars I am probably going to build. The fret jig on the guitar making site looks, to me, to be the absolute best thing. Once it is set up it looks like there is really no skill required... move to the next hole and then move the saw back and forth. It doesn't look like it would take too long cut a fret board... and if anything starts to go wrong, there would be a better chance to stop and save it. It is on my "short list" of tools I want to buy. Probably not for the guitar I'm about to build, but probably for the one after that. For my "guitar #2" I will again get a pre-slotted board. 


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Tej
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Interesting thoughts, I’d not looked in detail at the additional bits and pieces that would need doing to the table saw etc which makes it instantly less appealing.

Just how short of time are you?

@darrenking I think I’d just presumed that as buying a fretboard pre made was recommended that it was far from a quick task and a pain in the rear to do. That jig looks great though, will keep it in mind for build two 🙂 

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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@tej

I would be very careful trying to adapt or build a high speed cutting machine it’s an accident waiting to happen. I think Mark said that his circular blade was a special order. Using the wrong type of blade can lead to overheating and shattering, also runout or wobble as it will be running beyond its design spec.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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darrenking
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which makes it instantly less appealing.

Eh, yeah! I’ve spent about £340 on parts, stock and custom made, so far and I still don’t have everything I need. If I ever finish my power fret slot cutting saw table it will need to be used several hundred times before it has paid for itself. Not sure I’ll live that long!! And this is why this project is now, officially, on my back burner!!

Cheers

Darren


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tv1
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I think I’d just presumed that as buying a fretboard pre made was recommended that it was far from a quick task and a pain in the rear to do.

I think the pre-slotted option is offered more to ensure accuracy than to save time.

I've seen people (try to) make their own slotted fretboards by measuring the distances with a ruler, marking slot positions with a pencil, and then freehand cutting the slots.

Not an approach guaranteed to succeed!  

TBH, if you didn't have a template/jig, then that was about the only way of doing it.  When the only slotting jig was StewMac's expensive one, then being able to buy a pre-slotted fretboard was an obvious benefit.  But with the arrival of Bagpress' option, the fret-your-own approach is a lot more affordable and accurate.

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Tej
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When the only slotting jig was StewMac's expensive one

@tv101 I’d not seen that one, insane money for what it is, the approach with bearings looks like it’s mean it wouldn’t wear from the friction but presumably you could replace the guides on the bagpress one. That said if you’ve a quality saw the friction is probably next to non existant. Either way there’s no justification for the price tag, bagpress wins hands down!

Now if you were talking about an automatic fret insertion, dressing and polishing machine I’d be VERY interested!

@darrenking I’ll let you know when I’ve made the Tejmaster FretSlapper Deluxe, happy to take advanced orders at an extortionate price to cover research and development 🤔

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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mattbeels
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@tv101

What sorcery is required to post such a clear and focused photo in the forum?!?

image

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tv1
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What sorcery is required to post such a clear and focused photo in the forum?!?

@mattbeels - very special powers.

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mattbeels
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@tv101

Gee… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thanks.

Pratice on scrap...


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tv1
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LOLz @mattbeels ... I thought you were joking with the Q!

 

To post that specific pic (which is from Marks shop), right click on the pic, select copy, switch back to the text box here, left click, paste.

Other methods are available.

To post one of you own pics, just drag it from your PC into the text box here.  It automatically uploads and embeds.  It might embed as a thumbnail size, but clicking the thumbnail expands it to full size.

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mattbeels
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Haha @tv101, I know how to copy/paste photos (you saw the pics of my workshop, right? 😆). It’s just that when we paste photos here they’re always fuzzy and need to be clicked on to get full resolution. That photo of the fretboard slotting jig you posted was as clear as a mountain stream, hence the Q... I’m always on my iphone btw. PC? Not me...

Pratice on scrap...


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