sliding miter saw or Radial saw for cutting fret slots?? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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sliding miter saw or Radial saw for cutting fret slots??

I need a quicker way to cut the fret slots on my fingerboards because the stew mac fret saw jig/cutter is too much work! I thought the saw would cut through the rosewood easily........but i must've spent over an hour sawing all the fret slots in just one fingerboard! Now my arm is sore. I want to speed this process up ten fold, so i want to get a power saw that will do this job.

But i don't know which one would work and the cheapest way.
I guess i have a choice b/n getting a sliding miter saw, or a radial arm saw.........and i will be using the saw blade from stew mac to cut the fret slots.

Which is the best way to go b/n these two??? I've never used these tools before and after doing research a little......one of these might help me out a lot.....not just in fingerboard work, but woodworking in general.
It seems as though the sliding miter saw might be the cheapest way......but i'm not sure if it will cut the fret slots without any problems.....to me its very similar to a radial arm saw.......i assume you can set the depth of cut on the miter saw?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Neither one, that blade is designed to work with a table saw, you can't set the depth of the blade on the radial arm or miter saw so all you'll do is cut your fretboard into many pieces. Table saw you can raise and lower the blade as needed, and there is less chances of finger removal, the radial arm saw is one of the most dangerous tools you can buy, I know many carpenters who are short at least one finger from those things.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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I guess doing the table saw would be cheaper.......i have to find a good way to make sure that i would slot the fingerboard square though.
and i have to slot preradiused boards too......so i might have to shim those so they don't rock on the surface while slotting?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Although on stew mac's website is says you can also use the fret saw blade for a radial arm saw
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlegreenman
you can't set the depth of the blade on the radial arm saw...
sure you can -- you turn the crank under the tabletop to raise or lower the post that holds the saw arm.

a radial arm saw would be perfect for slotting frets, after you clamped an edge board to the neck exactly perpendicular to the fret slots. it would also let you see the top of the neck and the fret slots while you saw, unlike a table saw. the sliding miter saws i've seen did not have a way to adjust the cut depth with precision [only by how far down you pushed the saw handle].

table saws take a lot more precision of operation to get accurate crosscuts, like you'd need for fret slots. it would be even harder with a cut not to the full depth of the wood, like slotting fingerboards, and the fingerboard would have to be face down on the table.

the radial arm saw vs. table saw debate is kinda like Strat vs. Les Paul -- lots of people favor one over the other, but each has strengths and weaknesses. the radial arm saw is ideal for crosscutting but requires setup and caution to rip long boards to width. table saws are great for ripping, but you'll need lots of practice and maybe a sled instead of the stock miter handle to get really accurate crosscuts. radial arms saws start around $600, but table saws range from super cheap up to very solid at $450 and up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlegreenman
the radial arm saw is one of the most dangerous tools you can buy, I know many carpenters who are short at least one finger from those things.
it's certainly a dangerous tool, but just like many others, you can live to a ripe old age with all your digits if you use it right.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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If i went with the stew mac saw blade for my table saw, i will only have to spend $80 ...........versus several hundreds of dollars for a radial arm saw.

Stew mac has instructions on how to use the blade for fret slotting that seems easy to do......so i'm going to try that way and see what happens.

Plus a saw blade doesnt take up a whole lot of room

but it kinda sucks not being able to see how the board is being cut since it is upside down.

Any powered saw scares me, and i always make sure i have all my fingers when i turn it off
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2004, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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I made up my own jig for cutting fret slots in preradiused fretboards......it works great. I cut down my time in a huge way, for cutting all the slots. The stew mac blade is worth the money i spent. And i'm happy that i didn't go out and dish $700 on a radial arm saw
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