Calling Out to Builders…Favorite Jigs, Templates, Tips & Techniques

Sawarow

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
605
I have a similar trussrod bullet hole jig, but I use three of the tuner holes to reference it to the neck.



Here is the bottom of the jig.



Here it is being drilled.



And after:

 

Sweetwood

Member
Messages
1,177
Agreed, I use CNC for the vast majority of shaping now because the guitars vary considerably from each other. I can refine the shaping in CAD and know what the result will be. It's no less work, just a different type of work, with a more predictable result. There's also a definite point of diminishing return, where it's quicker just to sand off rough machining marks than it is to run a finer toolpath. If you're doing the same model, same neck shape etc. then CNC becomes much less efficient and you're best off with a jig and cutter system. The majority of my stuff is multiscale in various scale layouts so CNC'd fret slots are the way to go. It has to be hundreds of times slower than a gang saw.
...This ^

BTW: DPM you need more pics in the Oni Gallery. I can't imagine any kind of jig that could shape the backs of your guitar bodies.

I do agree that certain operations are faster with a cutter and fixture especially in a production environment. I could see Strat style bolt neck shaping to be ultra fast with the right fixture. I'm curious to know what Fender uses for this. I'm sure they have figured out their run times and costs.
 

Malinoski

everything wrong possible
Messages
2,118
Here is a fret end file I made with a flat bastard file and a piece of scrap.
Saves on hand cramps and bloody knuckles:



 

Rich Rice

Member
Messages
1,052
I have a similar trussrod bullet hole jig, but I use three of the tuner holes to reference it to the neck.

Nice solution! :D


As to the whole cnc thing- most of my operations are easier for me to do with a more "hands-on" approach, but certain aspects of machining vs. hand shaping are clearly better suited to the cnc..

I often use my cnc as an overhead router with a pattern bit- especially convenient for binding channels. The results are excellent, and I have better control/visibility this way.

After having cut fret slots with a hand saw, then a radial arm saw, then with the cnc, I prefer the radial arm saw for standard slotting. It is fast, accurate, and I can control the progress most easily this way. The cnc is very good, but takes forever and I lost count of how many bits I broke while trying to get it to work properly. Gets pricey really quickly.. In the case of special scales/multi scale, I would assume the cnc wins- I haven't done those types of operations, but shudder to think of the work involved to get them right..
 

bnguitars

Member
Messages
41
Here is a fret end file I made with a flat bastard file and a piece of scrap.
Saves on hand cramps and bloody knuckles:



Wow, even your file follow the same design of your guitars! And they're surely more comfortable than the Stewmac ones :bow
 

Sawarow

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
605
I have a similar trussrod bullet hole jig, but I use three of the tuner holes to reference it to the neck.

Nice solution! :D


As to the whole cnc thing- most of my operations are easier for me to do with a more "hands-on" approach, but certain aspects of machining vs. hand shaping are clearly better suited to the cnc..

I often use my cnc as an overhead router with a pattern bit- especially convenient for binding channels. The results are excellent, and I have better control/visibility this way.

After having cut fret slots with a hand saw, then a radial arm saw, then with the cnc, I prefer the radial arm saw for standard slotting. It is fast, accurate, and I can control the progress most easily this way. The cnc is very good, but takes forever and I lost count of how many bits I broke while trying to get it to work properly. Gets pricey really quickly.. In the case of special scales/multi scale, I would assume the cnc wins- I haven't done those types of operations, but shudder to think of the work involved to get them right..
I was breaking the little 0.022" end mills until I changed the pattern they are cutting to shallow passes like below. There's no direct plunging into the wood and the mill is never removing more then 0.010-0.015" of wood in a pass.








It is time consuming, about an hour to cut the fret slots. But instead of a flat bottomed fret slot, the bottom of the slots matches the fretboard radius. If I was in mass production of the same style neck, I might try a different approach, but this is working right now.
 

anyone

Member
Messages
1,699
I have a similar trussrod bullet hole jig, but I use three of the tuner holes to reference it to the neck.

My! That's a purdy piece of maple!
Used for the base of a jig, though...?
You're treating it like that stuff just grows on trees or something...

(nice jig)
 

Sawarow

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
605
My! That's a purdy piece of maple!
Used for the base of a jig, though...?
You're treating it like that stuff just grows on trees or something...

(nice jig)

That's not the jig, that's the neck. I make my jigs from my stack of Brazilian rosewood :bonk

Actually, the jig is MDF in the 2nd photo.
 

Sweetwood

Member
Messages
1,177
I often use my cnc as an overhead router with a pattern bit- especially convenient for binding channels. The results are excellent, and I have better control/visibility this way.
Same^ I have a little template I use to make it into a overhead pin router too! Self centers, clamp the fixture, then I plop the pin in. One expensive pin router!
 

dpm

Member
Messages
60
DPM you need more pics in the Oni Gallery. I can't imagine any kind of jig that could shape the backs of your guitar bodies.
Yeah, I know, I need to learn to take a decent photo too. Gotta prioritise the current orders for the time being then look at the website once I'm caught up.


Sawarow, I use the same approach to the fret slots. Light passes, keeping an eye on feed rate. I also follow my compound radius exactly but make mine with closed ends because I like the look.

Here's one of my CNC jigs that I use for small sections of sheet materials. It's crude but it works so well that I keep tweaking for different jobs and materials. The MDF board locates on the table with 1/4" pins so sheet location is the same every time. The screw heads hold down the edges firmly, it's a really solid way of dealing with thin materials like the copper clad PCB sheet in the pic (I use that for pickup baseplates now). Works great for cavity covers, pickup components and that shallow rectangular area holds the brass bar I make bridge bases from. My machine table is 1.5" MDF which I've machined flat and sealed then engraved a grid coordinate system on. Misc. materials can be clamped straight on the table and their location transferred to a CAD template. There are locating pin holes and threaded inserts in the table to mount jigs for bodies, necks and fretboards.

 

dougk

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,989
It is time consuming, about an hour to cut the fret slots. But instead of a flat bottomed fret slot, the bottom of the slots matches the fretboard radius. If I was in mass production of the same style neck, I might try a different approach, but this is working right now.
I used to do this but I just don't have the dedication any more. Luckily I have a sawblade on the CNC so I can knock out FB's in any scale from start to finish in about 15 a FB (depending on inlay type).

I have a couple multiscale things brewing though that means I'll have to go back to the end mill bit.
 

Pfeister

Member
Messages
1,586
I remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth...

Whoa, if I didn't know better I'd think you stole that from my shop.:boxer The miter box for fret slotting I made looks almost exactly like that.

I never understood why anybody would buy one.
 

Brett Faust

Member
Messages
850
...This ^

BTW: DPM you need more pics in the Oni Gallery. I can't imagine any kind of jig that could shape the backs of your guitar bodies.

I do agree that certain operations are faster with a cutter and fixture especially in a production environment. I could see Strat style bolt neck shaping to be ultra fast with the right fixture. I'm curious to know what Fender uses for this. I'm sure they have figured out their run times and costs.
Fender had an 8 position Zuckerman copy lathe when I was there, and there was a lot of handwork after rough cutting. With interchangable master patterns, done 8 at a time, it goes pretty quickly.
 

ocgeardisorder

Senior Member
Messages
109
That fret press is HUGE! Where can I get me one? I sent the stewmac one back it was wimpy, and way to chinalike.
 

Jack Daniels

Member
Messages
1,870
This is my fretting station. The compartments in the back hold radius blocks that are used for final prep of the fingerboard or sometimes as clamping cauls.

That is a one ton press. It has a bit larger throat than stew macs. I replaced one of the front locking bolts with a thumb screw from a drum set. I can lock the cam down while gluing a fret end or even lock it pin the up position.

Movable side blocks lets me do bolt on necks or set necks with slanted headstocks and tall heels.

 
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ocgeardisorder

Senior Member
Messages
109
What is the brand on the the press? I use my drill press now, and it works well. I would like to add a station that is dedicated. Although, I do like the clearance on the drill press.
 

Jack Daniels

Member
Messages
1,870
I'll have to check the name on it. Harbor Freight has a one ton press very close to this for $50. For pressing frets this is more than adequate.

J
 




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