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Thread: Mandolin Fretboard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    47

    Default Mandolin Fretboard

    Here is a quick video I made of us making a fretboard for our mandolins. They were cut using the shopbot desktop. Also, any tips any of you could offer to make this CNC part of the operation a little faster would be great!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PtJp...&feature=share

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    cnc routing, portland or
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    3,499

    Default

    I am wondering are you using gaboon ebony? I am wondering since the stuff is not all that stable do you have any problems with movement?
    if you change the start node on every other line the machine with go back and forth. If you have aspire you can cut the curve pretty quickly using a straight bit. you would install the dots then run the 3d to get the curve going across the fretboard with a 1/2" bit it is pretty fast. you could make the grooves follow the curve too if you wanted.
    what size bit are you cutting them out with?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    7,774

    Default

    Hello Lauri,
    My suggestion is more for the video then the cutting. The only suggestion i would make is you might want to add a narration track with more details about the process. I found myself a little confused for 8 minutes mostly because i didn't really understand the process.

    The total time for a instructional video is "relative". If i'm interested and want to learn more i would watch something for 30 minutes but it has to keep my attention. By adding narration you are involving 2 senses, sight and sound and the narration keeps me engaged so i understand what i am watching.

    The workflow and editing were good but lower the volume of the background music and add the narration and you have a much better video.

    My criticism is meant to be "constructive" as i have worked on movies and television in front of and behind the cameras and in post production.

    I can't do what you do in your craftsmanship of beautiful instruments that's for sure!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Londonderry New Hampshire
    Posts
    333

    Default

    Loved it Lauri! We still need to get up to see your operation. Dick (Londonderry)
    Dick
    Aspire 8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Hi Steve,

    We have had some pieces of Gaboon that were quite unstable, so we have to be very picky about what we use. It is usually purchased air dried, then it is cut to dimension, then it sits for months in a humidity controlled shop. We check it several times for movement (twisting, warping) and checking. Thanks for the tips on how to speed it up a little. I don't have a good 3d designing and cutting set up yet, but I'm working on it. We are cutting the boards out with a 0.093 end mill

    Jack,

    Thanks for the tips on the video. I'm going to be making some more videos and your tips will be used on the next go. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    nelson woodcrafters, palmyra wisconsin
    Posts
    128

    Default suggestion

    Lets start by saying Were no experts on fret making. your operation looks pretty smooth. I would think about what steve says about cutting the curves 3d that seems alot more accurate. also vac hold down . and maybe a jig mounted to the end of your table to horzontaly hold the boards for drilling the side holes. can you teach me to play?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    PIKEVILLE, KY
    Posts
    1,876

    Default

    Supper nice... You have done some awsome work...
    I have a few questions,
    1. Why are you bending the fret material into a circle...
    What type of vice was that...
    What size of bit were you using to cut the fret slots. I normally use a fret saw.. Also was there a special holder for the bit.

    I make a tin can banjo.. ( one string ) used to have music for it.. But someone burned it by mistake.
    Where do you live.. Would love to visit your shop. To see how you make instruments.
    My wife teaches music and has collected numerous instruments. Some of them are very old. And some we do not know what the name of them are.
    Thanks for showing the pictures.

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