Here is a way to accurately, precisely cut fretboards and fingerboards for scales of any length you choose!
Used the template yesterday and it's a treat. I figure that with layout and slotting time, it saves me about an hour's time per board. – Larry Davis, Davis Guitar Works
- Choose one or two scales.
- Specify scale in metric and English systems
- Choose scales originating either at a Zero Fret or a Nut (the difference seems small, but we're all about accuracy).
- Specify any number of frets
- Diatonic or Chromatic fret pattern
- For Diatonic Patterns, see Blank-off Clips, which are a great aid in choosing which extra frets to cut on a case-by-case basis
- Designed for use with a variety of slotting systems
- Steward-MacDonald Fret Slotting Saw and Miter Box
- I recommend you get the depth stop attachment
- Accomodates fretboards up to 1" thick
- See this article on a precise set-up.
- Luthiers Merchantile International's Manual Slotting System
- Or, see this simple set-up for a video from David Fifield on using a fret template on a table saw.
Fret Template Kit:
- Precision custom-cut 1/8"x24" T6 structural aluminum bar slotted on one or both edges, with scale lengths of your choice.
- Available in widths of 1-1/2", 1-3/4", 2" and 2-1/2"
- Printed Certificate of Accuracy, detailing error (slot placement deviation in .0001"/ .01 mm, and pitch error in cents)
- For scales of less than 20", the template is used to make a simple monochord to test operational accuracy.
- Blank-off clips for use with Diatonic Scales. These ride in relieved pockets (so their surfaces are flush with the sides and edge of the template). For makers of diatonic instruments (especially mountain dulcimers), these reside at all the "extra fret" positions, to keep the guess-work out of using adding extra frets to diatonic scale pattern.
- Locator Pin.
- .0625"dia x 3/4"L ground precision steel pin for use in designing a table saw setup
- Luthiers Merchantile Fretting Jig Locating Pin, designed for Bear Meadow Templates (required for the LMI Manual Slotting System)