Cutting Fret Slots

Just thought I would pass on this tip on cutting fret slots.

The above picture shows what happens when you pull your fret saw up and out of your cut. The teeth will grab the edge of the top of the slot and chip out some material. This leads to extra work having to fill these chipped out areas before you can start your fretting job.

Most guitar fret boards are made with hard wood species such as ebony. These are very hard to cut and prone to chipping out. Because of these characteristics I make sure I use a super sharp fretting saw with an attached depth guide. I also highly recommend you use a mite box to make each cut. I use regular sawing motion to cut the fret slot, but when it is to the correct depth I slide the saw out of the freshly cut slot and call it done. I never simply lift the saw out of the freshly cut slot. If you do it will result in the first picture above with little chip out spots where the teeth of the saw grabbed material on its way out.

If you approach cutting fret slots in this way you will get nice clean cuts and you fretting experience will be much more enjoyable.


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