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May 14, 2021 - 1:58:56 AM
249 posts since 2/16/2017

Hi,

So I've got a fretboard template on the computer I did a while back, it's served me well for making travel banjos however I want to move to a bigger banjo this time and here's where my science-y question comes in...

Say I maintain the same amount of frets, If I proportionally enlarge the template (thereby proportionally enlarging the ratios of the frets) will this work? or, at different lengths do I need different fret ratios?

It just seems to be a solution that's far too easy (but works in my head)

May 14, 2021 - 4:21:05 AM
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72 posts since 3/24/2020

Try it, then cross reference the measurements against the Stewmac fret calculator

May 14, 2021 - 5:04:45 AM

249 posts since 2/16/2017

Martyjoe - that's a genius idea, why didn't I think of that, if it is correct it'll save me a lot of time for future builds

:-)

May 14, 2021 - 6:05:54 AM
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8547 posts since 8/28/2013

The ratios will remain the same if you enlarge the entire fretboard.

May 14, 2021 - 6:26 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14044 posts since 8/30/2006

See? That's the best of the hangout right there.

May 14, 2021 - 4:13:02 PM
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13591 posts since 6/29/2005

The frets will all be properly spaced one to the other, but the scale length will change, so the bridge placement will be different.

Bridge placement is a critical factor, so In order to accomodate the different fret spacings, you may have to add or subtract frets.

I would suggest making a full-sized drawing with the new spacings to see where the bridge will be and how many frets you need.  It's easier to do with a scoop because you have a kind of fretless fudge zone where the scoop is.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 05/14/2021 16:17:20

May 14, 2021 - 5:19:35 PM
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Kimerer

USA

968 posts since 2/17/2006

I just use a fret calculator to give me the numbers for my desired scale length, then I measure them out directly on the neck from the nut. No template necessary.

If you are sawing by hand it is just as accurate to measure using an accurate rule as it is using the scaled up template with thick, printed lines.

May 15, 2021 - 11:41:58 AM
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8547 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Kimerer

I just use a fret calculator to give me the numbers for my desired scale length, then I measure them out directly on the neck from the nut. No template necessary.

If you are sawing by hand it is just as accurate to measure using an accurate rule as it is using the scaled up template with thick, printed lines.


I had totally forgotten the fact that the lines of a template will also increase in size. That makes a simple "enlargement" less of a simple idea.  One has to ask how easy it will be to cut the exact same place on a couple of fat lines.  If one cuts the slot on the front edge of one line, but inadvertently cuts the back edge on another, the ratios are no longer correct.

May 15, 2021 - 2:41:14 PM
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Kimerer

USA

968 posts since 2/17/2006

I can measure to about 0.2 or 0.3 mm on the rule. I mark the position with a knife and square it with my try square.  The knife line is very thin.

This method is not as precise as a machine tool would be, but to my ear it is close enough on the few fret boards I have built.

Always measure each fret directly from the nut. Never measure from the previous fret because if you do that any errors will accumulate as you move down the neck.

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