Now I also make jewelry

Monday, 22 February 2010

Starting work on fretboards

Not all fun and games, no siree! Quite laborious with hand tools.
Anyways, here is the first stage: measuring and marking. Actually, there are preliminary stages that came before: selecting and buying the wood, getting it re-sawn at the proper thickness -- not something I can do on my really basic bandsaw -- doing the initial sanding (more of that after the fret slots are cut), so there's been a previous journey to get to this "first" stage as there is in fact for every part of the instrument.
First, admire the wood: rosewood in this instance. Get a table of the fret positions for your chosen string length from an online calculator (millimeters work better than inches). Mark those positions in pencil: I've just acquired a "stop rule" to make this process a tad easier. Then, double-check the measurements. Mark in pencil the whole length of each fret across the fretboard, double-check again, and go over that with a marking knife or blade (another new acquisition: an engineer's square). The cut made by the marking knife makes it easier for the saw to grip the wood where you want it later on.
There may be easier, more efficient methods: all suggestions gratefully accepted.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this truly is a hard process for the fretboard. I had made a jig to hold my fretboards while sawing the slots but gave in an finally purchased Stewart Macdonald's fretsaw jig. It is for guitars, but I've rigged it up to hold the smaller ukulele fretboards. Saves tons of time so was well worth the money. U.P.