Precise Fretslotting Jig

Band Saw with Digital cale

Here I give some basic knowledge on the subject fret saws and show a designed and built by myself saw for sawing the fret in the fingerboard

For sawing of slots in the fingerboard wood there are numerous methods. On the one hand the "sledgehammer approach" differs from the "Einklebemethode". When the hammering is sawed slots to a few hundredths higher than the fret wire walking and taking advantage of the small barbs of wire collar to ensure a secure fit of the collar rod. When Einklebemethode (it is (used depending angehörendem faith) in repairing) sawed to the slots for the frets so great that the fret foot slightly incident but can not wiggle sideways. The strength you get through the gluing of the rods with epoxy (iiih, so depending on Glaben). Basically there are three parameters that affect a good slot:

  • exact location
  • Slot width
  • Slot depth

Depending on the scale used, the positions alls on the fretboard. As the old masters who worked at that time with simple saws, compasses and rulers and you got dulcet tones of these instruments, I mean that an accuracy of ± 0.075 mm per fretwire (absolute) meets today's demands and is perfectly adequate.

Of course, the slot width is determined by the fret wire used. One measures with calipers easy to wire walking without barbs and comes out at about 0.6mm. A width of 0.65mm I would use here. Depending on the blade and sensitivity comes out with a blade thickness of 0.5 times and 0.65. One should definitely make attempts to do so. Can the wire with the Fingenagel easily Pry the slit is too broad, you have to have strong hew during impaction, which is behind a bent very bad back neck because each embarked wire like a wedge puts the neck under tension. With a simple feeler gauge you can then measure the slit width and vary according to the saw blade thickness.

The ideal slot depth is achieved when the wire foot after running just does not touch the ground slot. Since most modern steel strings guitars nowadays have arched fingerboards, it is with the uniform depth for most manufacturers on manufacture eh ago not far. Man saws namely in one sentence just through the woods, has at the extreme fingerboard pages so the ideal depth and at the center of curvature of an air gap of up to 1.5mm. This has the consequence that you lose to a sustain and secondly stiffness of the neck.

There are also various Einsägetechniken. If someone only ever builds a scale length, a motor-driven shaft is ideal on at the correct intervals about Ø100mm large circular saw blades in the correct strength are strung. On a sliding carriage to drive the fretboard at once all saw blades - finish. Another method is associated with the circular saw: in the recesses fit a small pen you sawed each slot individually by attaching on the top of the fingerboard a template made of Plexiglas. after each slit you just added to the template (purchasable at Spezialversand). One method is the hand on the Handsägevorrichtung (miter). Again via a template pen and added to the fingerboard according to each slot only that one einsägt the slot with a miter saw by hand. My method is a kind of combination, it does not move the wood, but the saw is moved laterally. About some time I have the device also further developed. Both versions work perfectly, the first you have to stop sawing by hand, in the below-described has the prizipiellen structure not changed, except that I've grown a motor and the fine adjustment is much easier.

Structure I:

Wooden base, linear axis on the bottom. On the guide carriage, the saw guide is attached (the sides and in height). The LM block has a connection to a stationary digital scale from a tooling machine. I can determine any position and approach over a reader. I made me a table for the most common scales and adjust the carriage to the position and clamp with a wingnut from below the car. It is faster if I use a plexiglass mask. This I clamp on the wooden base plate and I drive the required positions on a pivotal wooden blocks with matching pen.

Structure 1 with handsaw Guidance of the saw on the template Structure 1 with handsaw

Structure II:

Wooden base, linear axis on the bottom as described above except that I added some improvements:

  • Non-power
  • Slot depth adjustment with micrometer screw
  • Slot depth varies because the saw blade is guided over Kolisse
  • Both fingerboards and all necks can be settled
  • Spindle-operated cross-Support
  • Improved clamping

The construction has cost me a few days and production on CNC machines as one-offs are also not cheap. But when I then saw the Sägebild, felt the strength of the finished neck, I knew that the investment had paid off.

Saw motor Clamping from below Tiefenanschlug dynamically
Various scenes Height adjustment range Scale connection
Portable circular saw Cutting depth Top view of mechanics


  • Fasten fingerboards with double-sided tape
  • When handsaws happy tears wood on the face side of the saw of (behind only to the final dimension plane)
  • Instead of a digital scale and a converted calliper with vernier scale goes into the appropriate length (cheaper)