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Friday, January 8, 2016

Cutting fret slots

With the saw guide as a go / no-go gauge I planed and whittled the neck to final width and taper. The neck on this one is unusually beautiful, with rays and specks and a deep lustre. After a couple of wash coats of shellac I drill the holes for the styrene rod that will become fret markers, after doing some service as guide pins for the saw guide. 

Like so. Sometimes I clamp the guide but the fit was good enough without it this time. 

I set the depth stop on the fretting saw for the depth of the tang plus four mm for the acrylic in the guide. 

And away we go. I had to sharpen the saw a while back and it's still good since then. So it only takes a few minutes. 

Checking the depth with a pricey gauge from stewmac. I love their stuff but they do sell a separate tool for every single step and task. 

The last cut defines the nut location and I pare off the wood behind it, blending the surface from square ledge into the slope of the headstock. 

But why the saw guide and the back asswards way of slotting the neck in this manner? Because I don't have a separate fretboard on these ukes, and I can't determine the slot positions before fitting the neck since that involves so much faffing about, effectively shortening the neck. And I really want the 12th fret to be exactly at the joint between neck and body. 

Is there a better or smarter way to do it? I don't think so but you might have ideas. Answers on a postcard, address is 

The Argapanator
The dunge├Ân

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