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Does anyone slice their own fretboards? I don't have a bench plane or a decent bandsaw. I do have a rig that lets me slice thin strips on my table saw, but I'll always be left with a piece the size of my push stick left over (at the very least). That's a lot of waste. Especially on pricey woods.

Mine doesn't look this nice. But here's how I do it now.


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Ohhhhh... Maybe like this. I keep keep my fingers away this way!

I do mine on the table saw too - usually in dense clouds of smoke as I have never changed the blade! lol
A trick I learned not long ago - clean the pitch off your blade with some oven cleaner- it will cut easier - you can even add a little wax after cleaning for a smooth cut

Roosterman said:
I do mine on the table saw too - usually in dense clouds of smoke as I have never changed the blade! lol
I use teflon coated blades, CMT, so the blood don't stick to 'em.

Wade said:
A trick I learned not long ago - clean the pitch off your blade with some oven cleaner- it will cut easier - you can even add a little wax after cleaning for a smooth cut

Roosterman said:
I do mine on the table saw too - usually in dense clouds of smoke as I have never changed the blade! lol
Hey Jason,

This is just my two cents. Back in the day there was a good video from the folks at Fine Woodworking on small shop techniques with Jim Cummings (sp) Anyway he was a box maker at the time and had some pretty good techniques on how to make small intricate pieces safely and accurately. In the video he shows a few set ups for resawing and working with small stock. Jim used a 2x4 scrap clamped to the fence that had the blade buried into the wood as a very effective guard and stabilizer. I believe that you can still get a copy of this video or perhaps rent it from (smart flix). I can't stress enough the importance of safe woodworking around these machines. I have an uncle that lost 2 fingers and know plenty of woodworking friends that have horror stories involving kick-back with a table saw. I highly recommend this video as a woodworking primer.

I myself cut my stock on a bandsaw and use a thickness sander for my fingerboards. I realize that I have 30 years of acquiring tools so what I do may not apply. That being said you might ask yourself how many of these instruments am I really going to make and/or do I really need to make that part of my build? As an example I have been making my own truss rods. (something that takes me a good deal of time) Recently I decided to source them in a size I need and am about to place my first order for truss rods.

One of the coolest aspects of the CBG community is how helpful folks are. So if you are really just looking for a few of a certain kind of fingerboard I would be happy to help out. Maybe that approach is cheaper and safer in the long run.

Don't get me wrong I am strongly in the camp of buying tools and look forward to one day when all I do is spend time in the shop. Right now I am going crazy looking for an over- arm pin router and the space to put it in my shop. You'll never hear me say don't buy a tool in fact I am saying welcome brother... You are on the right track looking for information on how to use the tools you have have.... Please let me know if I can help out

Oh you may also check-out Frank Ford's site www.frets.com. He has a lot of great material on building instruments.

Take care
If you all are looking for one of a kind exotic fretboards, the wood seller that I get my slide tops from. Is starting to cut custom fretboards, I recently bought a rosewood burl fretboard [ 1st one he cut] 1/4" x 3" x 18" for a reso dulci that I`m building. Beautiful wood and the price wasn`t bad either considering the type of wood it is. If you want to check him out let me know and I`ll give you his web site.

Jim Mitchell said:
Hey Jason,

This is just my two cents. Back in the day there was a good video from the folks at Fine Woodworking on small shop techniques with Jim Cummings (sp) Anyway he was a box maker at the time and had some pretty good techniques on how to make small intricate pieces safely and accurately. In the video he shows a few set ups for resawing and working with small stock. Jim used a 2x4 scrap clamped to the fence that had the blade buried into the wood as a very effective guard and stabilizer. I believe that you can still get a copy of this video or perhaps rent it from (smart flix). I can't stress enough the importance of safe woodworking around these machines. I have an uncle that lost 2 fingers and know plenty of woodworking friends that have horror stories involving kick-back with a table saw. I highly recommend this video as a woodworking primer.

I myself cut my stock on a bandsaw and use a thickness sander for my fingerboards. I realize that I have 30 years of acquiring tools so what I do may not apply. That being said you might ask yourself how many of these instruments am I really going to make and/or do I really need to make that part of my build? As an example I have been making my own truss rods. (something that takes me a good deal of time) Recently I decided to source them in a size I need and am about to place my first order for truss rods.

One of the coolest aspects of the CBG community is how helpful folks are. So if you are really just looking for a few of a certain kind of fingerboard I would be happy to help out. Maybe that approach is cheaper and safer in the long run.

Don't get me wrong I am strongly in the camp of buying tools and look forward to one day when all I do is spend time in the shop. Right now I am going crazy looking for an over- arm pin router and the space to put it in my shop. You'll never hear me say don't buy a tool in fact I am saying welcome brother... You are on the right track looking for information on how to use the tools you have have.... Please let me know if I can help out

Oh you may also check-out Frank Ford's site www.frets.com. He has a lot of great material on building instruments.

Take care

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