Depth Setting Jig for Fret Slotting Saw

Now I have this marvellous depth stop thing, but how do I actually set the depth correctly to any value I need, i.e. how do I make sure both blade guides are exactly in parallel and at the right depth? Well, I made another jig out of plywood and little pieces of veneer of known thickness:

Using it is rather simple. First, make sure the nuts are not tightened yet, so everything can move freely. Select two identical strips of veneer of the desired thickness (or, if you want to go deeper than the thickest veneer you have, use more than one layer) and Continue reading “Depth Setting Jig for Fret Slotting Saw”


Depth Stop for the Fret Slotting Saw

When you make guitars you need to make guitar necks. Guitar necks need fingerboards, and unless you build a fretless instrument, you need to cut slots for the frets into the fingerboard. The most common tool is a fret slotting saw (I guess most hobby luthiers don’t have access to a CNC machine, and using a Dremel with a very fine routing bit might be a bit tricky, if you even own such a device).

Those slots must be deep enough to accommodate the tangs of the fret wire so that the crown of the frets actually rest on the surface of the fingerboard but the tangs don’t touch the bottom of the slot by a hair’s width. On the other hand,e the slots shouldn’t go too deep because you don’t want your fretboard to be wobbly. Stability and stiffness is what you want. So making sure you don’t cut too deep is kind of important. But how do you do that?

You use a jig that limits how deep you can cut, and if you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one, you Continue reading “Depth Stop for the Fret Slotting Saw”

Making a Routing Template for the Body

The body of an electric guitar is usually made of a thick slab of hardwood. The luthier roughly cuts the intended contours of the body out of this slab, always leaving a safety margin of a few millimetres. The most common tool for cutting the body is the band saw. Other people such as myself don’t own a band saw and make do with a jig saw which works just as well.

From this raw body you work your way towards the final form by removing all material that is outside the planned surface of the guitar. There is a number of tools you can use for this such as chisels, rasps, a spindle sander, but depending on which tool you use it would take ages and be somewhat frustrating, or you would risk overshooting and removing more than you intend. Cutting away stuff is easier than putting it back. To avoid this sort of problem it is easiest to Continue reading “Making a Routing Template for the Body”