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Thread: Can CAD calculate fret spacing on fingerboard?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
    Posts
    215
    Richard, what do you use to cut the fret slots? I've been thinking about doing this, but haven't look to hard for a .023" end mill or something to cut it. With a bit so small, do you have breakage issues?

    Thanks,
    Michael

  2. #17
    Michael, I can't remember, it was 2 years since I last cut them, made enuf boards to last for a while. I remember that I did a lot of testing first, and used a slightly undersized bit (maybe .020 or .022) and took 2 passes to get .023", and miltiple passes to get final depth, plus compressed air to clear dust. Amazingly I didn't have a problem with breakage, unless I dropped a bit or screwed up zeroing out. The super controlled cuts keeps the forces constant and those teeny endmills hold up amazingly well. One caution - there has to just about zero runout on yourspindle. Mine is an old german 800w router motor, and I had to regrind the taper to less than .0003" TIR. Cobbled together a setup on my little South Bend lathe with a pencil grinder. There's a video on youtube showing this by LabelsExtreme a guy in Australia who does amazing work - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu4iezstUlU. I learned a lot watching his videos.

    Really good information and cutters and available at this site- https://www.precisebits.com/. Top quality stuff, but I think I would up using some cheap cutters from ebay after I plunged a couple of the pricey ones up to the hilt in ebony with bonehead beginner screwups.

    The thing that truly amazed me was if a slot or inlay pocket was a bit snug, I could change offsets by .001" and actually take just .001" off. My machine is an old, tiny Techno Davinci, have to tile once to do a full fingerboard, but it's built really heavily with ball screws, and apparently very accurate. I'd love to have a 24 x 36 machine with that capability.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
    Posts
    215
    Thanks Richard! My spindle right now is a PC router with a Precise Bits collet on it. I want to upgrade to a chinese spindle soon. The machine is 24x36, home built 8020 extrusion. Accuracy and repeatability is far better than it should be for what it is.
    I'll get some little bits and try it out!

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