Show me how you do your side dots on fingerboards

voices

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I'm curious how everyone else does it and in what order.
 

ihavenofish

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I mount the fretboard sideways in a fixture and cnc them.

:)

Actually on my own personal guitars, I dont put any in at all.
 

cmjohnson

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I also mount them sideways in a machinist's vise, with the glue side of the board against the fixed jaw, and drill them on either the mill or drill press. I don't have CNC but I do have a mill. Which may be sold shortly. I'll miss it, but I can use a mill at a local machine shop when I need to, and save myself a LOT of money by not having to keep paying rent where my mill is located.
 

Ripthorn

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I'm unfortunately still measuring manually and drilling with a pin vise by hand. I like Freddy's jig, but I do a bunch of different scale lengths and neck constructions, so not sure if it would work as well as on a fender style neck.
 

cmjohnson

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When it's practical, I prefer to put the side dots in before the fingerboard joins the neck.

Done this way, all you need is a dril press and a smooth jaw vise mounted to the drill press table.

And chuck up the drill bit as short as possible so as to eliminate the wandering drill bit and the off position hole.
 

LtDave32

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I lay mine out with a ruler.

Use an awl as a starter hole.

chuck it in a drill press vise.

Chuck the bit up short.

Move the vise down the line.
 

cmjohnson

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If you just loosen the vise jaw and move the board then tighten up the vise again, you don't lose your hole spacing from the glue side of the board.
 

voices

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I'm trying to figure out an easier way to do it than what I've been doing. I'm finding it difficult to make the line straight on the end of the board due to the small thickness. My dots never seem to be in a straight line. If I drill before gluing onto the neck, there are different depths to account for due to the fingerboard taper. Do you guys just adjust for the depth as you go? Thanks for all the replies.
 

pshupe

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I just measure center between frets and then center of first and last dot on the width of the fret board. Then draw a straight line from first to last. Use a sharp awl to mark locations to drill. That way I can check alignment before I drill. I have not had an issue with this method.

IMG_0540.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

Brewdude

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I am a big fan of many templates from Potvin guitars, I would say I still managed to get a side dot that was off on one of my latest builds, but this will give you a seriously good shot at putting them exactly where you want them.

On that very related note, I find the three knobs aren't totally sufficient (hence my blunder) and the template can still slide slightly if you're not careful. So I put two quick clamps on in addition to clamp it to the MDF base I made and then it stays in place no matter what.


I had Fender/Gibson/Martin scale lengths put on mine that should cover just about any build I'd want.
 

The Ballzz

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I am a big fan of many templates from Potvin guitars, I would say I still managed to get a side dot that was off on one of my latest builds, but this will give you a seriously good shot at putting them exactly where you want them.

On that very related note, I find the three knobs aren't totally sufficient (hence my blunder) and the template can still slide slightly if you're not careful. So I put two quick clamps on in addition to clamp it to the MDF base I made and then it stays in place no matter what.


I had Fender/Gibson/Martin scale lengths put on mine that should cover just about any build I'd want.
Great template! It would seem most appropriate to use it for making three different spaced ones in aluminum. Then carefully store those plastic ones, as they won't hold up very long even in a mild production environment!
Just Sayin'
Gene
 

bradland

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I CNC jigs as needed from maple strips approx. .25" thick. I make the holes nice and snug for a very small brad point, IIRC is 3/32", and mark using the sharp point of the bit. Once it's all marked I put the correct bit into the chuck using the chuck itself as a depth stop and drill by hand. This way I know the bit is exactly where it needs to be as it's resting in the mark before squeezing the trigger :yesway:
 

Brewdude

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Great template! It would seem most appropriate to use it for making three different spaced ones in aluminum. Then carefully store those plastic ones, as they won't hold up very long even in a mild production environment!
Just Sayin'
Gene
Very valid point, and I try to keep master router templates safe for this very reason. This method would probably not hold up in a serious production environment, but for a hobby builder I think I will get a nice long life out of it. To me the selling point of using transparent plastic is there is a center line down the length of the scale so you can see exactly where the dot will be when you drill and hopefully avoids the dot that ends up peeking through the top of the binding.
 

LtDave32

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I just measure center between frets and then center of first and last dot on the width of the fret board. Then draw a straight line from first to last. Use a sharp awl to mark locations to drill. That way I can check alignment before I drill. I have not had an issue with this method.

View attachment 532695

Cheers Peter.
That's the way I set 'em up, Pete..
 

larryguitar

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I just built a small, L-shaped jig that sits on the fretboard and provides a guide hole for the side dot. A slot in the part on the fretboard allows me to center the face dot, ensuring the side dot is perfectly in line with it, while the guide hole ensures they're all the same distance from the top of the fretboard.


Larry
 


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