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Sep 27, 2022 - 6:06:09 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

11630 posts since 6/29/2003
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I have both a very early Stewmac fretsaw (cuts 0.015") and a current one (cuts 0.023") According to Stewmac site, their standard fretsaw works with all their fretwire (0.048" - 0.073").
We are limited in what fret wire we can get here. One wholesaler has the Accufret wire which would work but the tang is 0.020" with 'studs' at 0.029". I am assuming that the Stewmac saw is a little too large for the Accufret wire and my other saw is too small.

What options do I have? Do I need to purchase another saw that would work for the Accufret wire?

Sep 27, 2022 - 7:17:48 PM

15102 posts since 2/7/2003

Opt for the looser fit tight fit will bow the neck looser is no issue if you simply use superglue to install, my frets fit perfect but like many buiders I always glue all frets to insure long term perfection

Scott

Sep 27, 2022 - 7:58:12 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

11630 posts since 6/29/2003
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by desert rose

Opt for the looser fit tight fit will bow the neck looser is no issue if you simply use superglue to install, my frets fit perfect but like many buiders I always glue all frets to insure long term perfection

Scott


Thanks for the reply Scott. Howdo yyou apply the glue (CA I suppose?) With a pipette?? if so what size?

Sep 27, 2022 - 8:31:08 PM
like this

2675 posts since 9/18/2010

I have a saw that I naively bought from Stewmac back in about 1983 to fret my first banjo. It was just a dovetail saw with most of the set mashed out of the teeth to reduce the kerf width. It was horrible! It bound in the kerf and was so difficult to use that it was basically worthless. Add to that the fret slots were too tight if I could persevere to actually cut slots, and I quickly looked for other ways to cut fret slots.
After having and not using that saw for years I finally set and jointed the teeth, sharpened it, and it has been a good dovetail saw ever since. Not a fret slotting saw though.

I now use a table saw blade for slotting 'boards, also from Stewmac. As it came to me, it cut fret slots were too narrow (about .019" or .020") for all the fret wire I have. I decided to add some set to the teeth, measured the kerf after setting one side and found it to be .024". That works great so I didn't set the other side.

All that is to say that, from my experience, I think you'll find that your .023" kerf will be about right.

Sep 28, 2022 - 11:44:21 AM

10144 posts since 8/28/2013

I would do as Scott suggests. It is possible to "knurl" a fret tang so it fits tightly in a too-large slot (I believe Stew Mac even sells a tool for doing this, but I've had success nicking the tang with wire cutters) and there is always glue to keep things in place.

Sep 28, 2022 - 1:27:53 PM

2439 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sunburst

I have a saw that I naively bought from Stewmac back in about 1983 to fret my first banjo. It was just a dovetail saw with most of the set mashed out of the teeth to reduce the kerf width. It was horrible! It bound in the kerf and was so difficult to use that it was basically worthless. Add to that the fret slots were too tight if I could persevere to actually cut slots, and I quickly looked for other ways to cut fret slots.
After having and not using that saw for years I finally set and jointed the teeth, sharpened it, and it has been a good dovetail saw ever since. Not a fret slotting saw though.

I now use a table saw blade for slotting 'boards, also from Stewmac. As it came to me, it cut fret slots were too narrow (about .019" or .020") for all the fret wire I have. I decided to add some set to the teeth, measured the kerf after setting one side and found it to be .024". That works great so I didn't set the other side.

All that is to say that, from my experience, I think you'll find that your .023" kerf will be about right.


Interesting. I have what I think is the same .023 fret saw and I thought it was just me. I used it the first time I ever slotted a board myself. The experience was exhausting as the saw bound terribly.

I vowed to never slot a board myself again. 

Sep 28, 2022 - 1:44:25 PM

mbanza

USA

2529 posts since 9/16/2007

My first "fret slot saw" was a hacksaw the blade of which I stoned on the sides until it cut a kerf the right width. In an attempt to improve, I bought a Stew-Mac saw and, like Sunburst, had to joint, set, and sharpen it to get it to work at all. I have been hand cutting all my slots by hand for the last 20 years using is a coping saw with a frame shop modified for increased blade tension.

Oct 1, 2022 - 6:22:51 AM
likes this

14964 posts since 6/29/2005

Be careful, different fret wire has different tang sizes.

I have been using. Jescar 37080 EVO on banjos for a number of years, have gone through several coils and when I first got it I found that the Stewmac fretting saw that "works on all fret wire" made too wide a kerf and the frets didn't "stick", so I had to search and search for a tenon or dovetail saw with a narrower kerf.  Saw makers tell you the thickness of the blade, but not the set / kerf, so you have to ask a lot of questions and be careful.

Since I am building a lot of guitars now, I am switching to 43080 EVO, and the higher crown will make consecutive fret spikes on banjos less problematic.

I love the 37080, but we live and learn.

Oct 1, 2022 - 9:16:15 AM

martyjoe

Ireland

217 posts since 3/24/2020

Have a look at Thomann In Germany, they have fret saws In different widths.

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