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Thread: Guitar build number three...

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    It's a balancing act between pushing too hard and causing lateral stress leading to breaking them off vs achieving proper chip load to throw off heat because as you know, heat kills cutters "reliably".
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    Is that EVO fret wire or something else? I've been using EVO for a while on most of my banjos because it matches the brass hardware and also is supposed to last a lot longer before having to be worked on, but I've never played an instrument enough to wear out any kind of fret wire so I don't know for sure that it really is a lot more durable than nickel-silver.

    I'm always surprised that fret slots can be CNC cut at all without breaking the bits, but it seems to be a widespread thing nowadays. I'm extra surprised that you can go that fast. How many passes does the machine make to cut a fret slot the full depth? I am a dinosaur and still cut my slots with a small circular saw blade so I have no idea.

    It's all looking great, good for you.
    Zach

  3. #18
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Yes, that's Jescar EVO Gold, medium pre-radiused from Philadelphia Luther Tools and Supplies. Their prices for the pre-radiused stuff is far better than StewMac, etc., and it's never a problem finding enough stuff to quality for free shipping. LOL . My understanding is that this wire is a bit more durable and consequently a little harder to initially setup, but there's no harm in a challenge.

    I'm doing the fret slots in 5 passes for 2mm depth...just faster than I was before having that conversation with the dude at Precise Bits that I mentioned. You can probably do a board faster with your circular blade setup if it's indexed, but I can do something else while my machine is cutting them.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 11-11-2019 at 9:49 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    191
    It takes me about 5 minutes to mark the fret locations and another 5 to cut them, so I imagine that your CNC is faster than that, besides the advantage of not having to do it yourself. My slotting system isn't indexed, it's sort of like a miniature sawbuck, but that works better for me because I routinely am using several different scale lengths. I used to buy EVO from LMII but I found out that it's much cheaper to buy it directly from Jescar, at least in quantity. My last order was for 300 feet as I recall, and it should last me for another year or two. I would prefer to get it in straight lengths but it comes in a roll, about a 12" radius or so. Most of my banjos have flat fretboards and get EVO, which I have to flatten, and when I build guitars they get nickel-silver because I still have a lot left in a guitar size, but it's in flat 2' pieces and I have to radius it before putting it in.

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