Guitar Making Tip No. 613 is all about measuring your fret slots. This is one of the most nerve wracking aspects of the build for new guitar makers. But it does not have to be. Here is how you make sure your fret slots are in the best position.
Measuring the Fret Slots on Your Guitar
When you measure fret to fret, you take the risk of compounding small mistakes.
For example, if you mark a fret slightly short, all others after that will also be slightly short if you measure from fret to fret. This means everything past the first mistake will be wrong.
The obvious solution is to measure from the nut for every fret slot. Not only does this produce more accurate results, but it makes every fret slot an independent measurement. When you measure from the nut, it does not matter where the last slot was marked.
The only thing that matters is where the new slot is being marked. In addition to that, you can also do this one thing to help ensure your slots are in the right places…
Look at the Fretboard Before You Cut
One of the best ways to ensure that all the fret slots are in the right place is to look at the fretboard again before you cut. You should also measure a second time to verify that the marks are in the right places.
When you look at the fret locations, they will always be getting smaller. From the nut to the higher frets, the size of the next fret box will always be smaller than the previous.
Sighting the board can reveal any mistakes. You will easily be able to see any box that is larger than the previous box, and correct the measuring error.
Also, take a second measurement at this point. Measure all the slots again, and ensure that the marks are in the right places. This is worth the time, every time. If you do find a mark that is out of place, fix it before cutting.
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