The easy way to slot a fretboard is with a jig. There are jigs available online that carry a price tag, but they are nice tools and can save you time if you go with them. You can also make a jig yourself. I encourage you to try making a jig first, and here is why:
The Easy Way to Slot a Fretboard
When you make a jig yourself, you increase your understanding of the tool. Not only will you know it really well, but you will be able to use it better. Anything you make will work the same way. This gives you an advantage, because you will already deeply understand your tool.
Since you are about to make a guitar, which is a large project, comparing it to making the jig almost seems like no comparison at all. If you are making the guitar, then it would seem that you are over qualified to make the jig.
Try making a guitar fretboard slotting jig yourself before you buy one from a store. You can save a lot of money like this, and over the course of several fretboards you will actually get all your time back as well. Here is a nice easy jig that you can follow along with, and make yourself a fretboard slotting jig…
My Guitar Fretboard Slotting Jig
My fretboard slotting jig is made from scraps, and is an easy project. It’s the most popular jig that I have ever created, and there are many people using it. The price tag (nearly free) is much nicer than the store bought jigs, and the results are very accurate.
All you need to make this jig work is a template fretboard. Any slotted fretboard can be a template board, so I recommend buying a flat fretboard with the slots cut, and no taper. This is the perfect template board. You can buy these from any luthier supplier, and they are not expensive. If you make three models of guitar, then you need three template fretboards.
Make sure to keep your templates safe, and they will provide years of faithful service in your shop. As you build new models, pick up a new template board and you will be all set.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
While I publish the overwhelming majority of my woodworking content for free, I also have several books available as well. You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they cover several different woodworking disciplines.
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If you like guitar making, check out Acoustic Guitar Making for Beginners, which highlights the best parts of my massive 508 page acoustic guitar making book.