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This has probably been covered in depth before and if so, please point me in the right direction.  I keep getting stuck on what order to build and assemble the parts of the neck.  Is it preferable to glue and finish the neck/bridge then cut the fret slots, mount the frets before finishing, etc. I like the idea of doing the frets last, but one bad cut and a lot of work goes down the drain.  if I wait to spray the finish last, then I get lacquer over the frets, and I don't like that either. What's the best way? 

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I stopped looking for a "fret" saw when I discovered this jewel over at Lowe's.  It's an Irwin with a replacement blade, Item No. 213104.  I just mic'ed it and it measured .0135 in. in thickness.  I use CB Gitty's med/med fret wire, and it's a little snug to set the wire, but once in, it's in to stay.  

Also Ted H., I have included a picture of that mini miter box I use.  It's great for cutting the fret slots.

Okay, looking good, be careful of going too tight, the collective pressure from the tangs will cause a bow.

If you plan to do a lot of fretting, you might consider making a jig to locate slots.

 

What would this jig look like?

It's a miter box the length of the fretboard with a slot for each fret. Make one out of aluminum or hardwood.

That sounds like something I want.  All I need now is a piece of 2" aluminum channel stock A scale and find a decent machine shop to cut those slots accuratly and just wide enough to accept a saw.

i use the same miter box and saw 



Dick Mott said:

I stopped looking for a "fret" saw when I discovered this jewel over at Lowe's.  It's an Irwin with a replacement blade, Item No. 213104.  I just mic'ed it and it measured .0135 in. in thickness.  I use CB Gitty's med/med fret wire, and it's a little snug to set the wire, but once in, it's in to stay.  

Also Ted H., I have included a picture of that mini miter box I use.  It's great for cutting the fret slots.

You got it

Good question there.  Thinking about it though, the tendency of the neck is to bow from the tension of the strings.  The fret tension would cause the fret board to bow in the opposite direction.  Wouldn't this be a productive action provided you use an adequate glue to bond them?

We're already dealing with a delicate balance. It's best not to introduce any more tensions than necessary.

How would you gauge the correct amount of bow? And don't forget humidity plays a factor here.

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

If you really want to experiment with that, www.daddario.com has info on string tension.

Personally, I try to get necks and fingerboards straight. I tune dulcimers to pitch, my classical guitar is three frets flat, that is, concert pitch is on the third fret rather than at the nut.

Two or three strings don't put a great amount of tension, not more than 40-60 pounds, close to the wood.

A separate fingerboard acts like a stiffener, keep the total 3/4 or thicker, 1 1/2 or so wide, you shouldn't have any problems.

By close to the wood, I mean the pull is pretty much linear compared to a dobro, where the strings are 1/4 - 1/2 inch from the fretboard.

If you wanted to build a fretted git that you could use the slide, how much clearance should the strings have at the nut?  At the bridge?

I don't know, I play a classical guitar, slides and nylon strings don't mix.

If your nut isn't glued down, try adding shims under it.

Cardboard is handy, it will dull the sound. You are trying for clearance, so tone won't be an issue,

Then make a new nut and saddle according to what you find.

It will be a comprimise, too high for good fingering, and so low, you'll need a light hand with the slide

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