Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:39 pm


All times are UTC - 5 hours


Forum rules


Same rules apply to all forums at the Luthiers Forum.




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:37 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:23 am
Posts: 3
First name: Chris
Last Name: Griffin
City: Dacula
State: Georgia
Zip/Postal Code: 30019
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I am a NEWB builder. Meaning, I don't have a workshop, I have cheaper tools and I am building a soprano uke. I have used the fret calculators, but I am not sure if that spacing if from the center of the fret to the center of the fret, or if it is from the edge to the edge. I am assuming it is from the center, but want to be sure before I saw my beautiful rosewood. I know there is a fretboard in there somewhere :-). I am also having trouble marking and sawing the wood after using my digital caliper to measure. I tried a test piece of stock and although the measurements were very good in pencil, the finished sawing was not precise. On one occassion, I was .5 mm off. Any tips on marking the wood accurately from a gauge and then sawing it on the accurate mark? Or is it simply patience...

Thanks,
Chris the luthier wannabe [:Y:]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:10 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:43 am
Posts: 1326
Location: chicagoland, illinois
City: chicagoland
State: illinois
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
the measurements are center-to-center.
i use a long narrow strip of paper to make my measurements, reinforced with a long strip of clear scotch tape or similar. i always measure from the zero fret/nut position, rather than jumping up from each last measurement(it minimizes error). i use a quality ruler marked in mm....i use an exacto blade rather than a pen or pencil and mark the strip of paper with little cuts. then i take the paper and tape it to the board, and using the exacto blade again, press through the cuts in the paper, in to the board. press hard so you can see the marks when it is time to remove the paper.
probably people will chime in and say "mm scale is not accurate enough!"....it has worked fine for me. i have pretty good eyes and dexterity. go through again and double/triple check before you start sawing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:35 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:57 pm
Posts: 1982
Location: 8.33±0.35 kpc from Galactic center, 20 light-years above the equatorial in the Sol System
First name: duh
Last Name: Padma
City: Professional Sawdust Maker
Focus: Build
So you need help with fret spacing...
well your in luck cuz for only $13.95 you can order a fret spacer from Lance here on OLF. Just Pm Lance.
Hell get yo spaced out. laughing6-hehe

_________________
.

Audiences and dispensations on Thursdays ~ by appointment only.



.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:10 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:12 pm
Posts: 2872
First name: Bryan
Last Name: Bear
City: St. Louis
State: Mo
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Do yourself a favor and get the wfret program from MIMF.com. It allows you to type in your scale length and it will print a template of the fret distances. Double check the printed template measurements against the numbers provided to verify that your printer is printing accurately (you may need to adjust the scaling a bit). Some worry about the template not being 100% accurate due to printer variation but as long as the variation is constant (and you position your saddle based on the nut/zero fret position to 12th fret measurement [plus any compensation]) it won't matter. You may end up with a very, very slightly different scale than number you plugged in but all the slots will be relative to each other.

Cut out the template and tape it down to your blank. Make sure one edge of the blank is straight, this will be your reference edge. The template will be too long to print in one strip so you will have to join a second strip with the higher frets. If the first strip goes to the (let's say) 10th fret, the next strip will start on the 10th fret. Cut the corner of the second strip across the 10th fret line so that the line is only half way across the line. When you tape the second strip down, you will line up the half line so you know they are in the same plane.

Now you have your blank with all the fret locations tapped down. You are ready to cut your slots:

Miter box and fret saw:
Stick an exacto knife blade in the line for the first fret you want to cut (try to hit the same spot on each line (I do it right next to the printed fret number). Slide the board with knife up to the fret saw in the miter box until the blade registers against the exacto blade. Secure the blank in place by whatever means you choose and make the cut. Right about now you may be saying "hey the actual cut will be a bit to the right of the line where I stuck the knife in!" Well yes it will be -- a bit -- but if you use this method on each fret it will always be off by the same tiny amount and all the slots will be in the proper location relative to each other.

No Miter box:
Stab the line with exacto knife like above and slide a square up to the blade (remember to use your straight reference edge each time you move the square). Clamp the square and blank down to the bench and use the square as a guide to saw against.

_________________
Bryan Bear PMoMC

Take care of your feet, and your feet will take care of you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:08 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:23 am
Posts: 3
First name: Chris
Last Name: Griffin
City: Dacula
State: Georgia
Zip/Postal Code: 30019
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you all for your replies! I did not think of the idea of a paper template on top of the fretboard, but that would be so much better than making these pencil marks on the wood, checking, erasing, making new marks, rinse repeat. And, I did not think of a stop block or an exacto blade to position the saw. This project is truly a case of "I don't know what I don't know", so thank you for sharing!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:28 am 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:23 am
Posts: 3
First name: Chris
Last Name: Griffin
City: Dacula
State: Georgia
Zip/Postal Code: 30019
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Unbelievable!!! WFRET is AMAZING!!! What was taking me hours now takes minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being a balsa wood aircraft modeler until now, I have lots of scraps, which I am going to glue to the paper to make stop blocks for the fret saw, so I don't cut myself with an exacto blade (which I will certainly do). I want to make bloodwood :-)

Chris - Not as dumb as I was a moment ago thanks to you guys!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:28 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:12 pm
Posts: 2872
First name: Bryan
Last Name: Bear
City: St. Louis
State: Mo
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
You might think twice abut balsa stop blocks; it seems a little soft to me but i could be wrong. Also gluing stop blocks to the paper will introduce moisture and make the paper start to stretch between the lines and could throw off the spacing. The beauty of using a knife blade is that it gives you very fine control over exactly where on the line you register the saw. This give you good repeatability. Further, the knife registers into the wood and stays there until the saw blade (or square or stop block) location is set, and it needs to be set firmly and immovably. I should have stressed in my other post to use tape to keep the paper dry and warn that you need to take along the whole length. You will be sawing through the paper template when you do your cuts. If you only take the ends or just parts of the template, when you saw the first slot the template will come loose and you will not be able to guarantee that it lines up properly when you try to tape it down again.

The template will take the worry out of measuring and layout but you still have to make sure you eliminate errors in process (especially errors that compound them selves because you have to do the operation for every cut) or you will end up with inconsistent results.

My suggestion is to get some hardwood practice pieces and do the whole process a few times. This will allow you to see potential pitfalls and you can measure the results you get to see how you did. Don't ruin your fretboard blank. . .

_________________
Bryan Bear PMoMC

Take care of your feet, and your feet will take care of you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:07 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:34 pm
Posts: 549
City: winnipeg
State: manitoba
Country: canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
For what it is worth, I build a miter-box for each scale length that I use. Luckily there are only four sizes of ukulele so that, theoretically, you would only need four of these miter-boxes.

I build the miter-box the width of the square fret-board (tight fit) and extend it beyond the zero-fret to a stop-block. It usually takes a morning to measure and measure and measure and cut the slots.
I cut the zero-fret first and measure from that to each fret using a steel-rule and jeweller's lupe.
I measure and calculate in millimeters. Frets within 0.5 mm are acceptable, others will disagree.
I mark both sides squaring the mark from one side only.

Cutting the slots, I cut the zero-fret slot and drill in the center of that slot to take a brad which holds the board in place while you cut the rest of the slots. The hole will be covered by the zero-fret or filled with glue and rosewood dust later.

I like the zero-fret and cut slots in the extension of the fret-board to act as a string-guide, others will disagree.

Bob :ugeek:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com