Just doing my first fretted instrument. Cut the slots in a poplar fretboard, and I noticed that one of the slots is off by about a millimeter. I’m thinking it will be a few cents flat. Should I just proceed and live with it, or cut another one?

I tend to be pretty fussy about the details...wondering how fussy I should be here. Thanks.

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If the scale length is, say, 25" that is 635 mm. one mm is around 1/10 of one percent of the total scale length or "not so much". The bad news is that it's only one mm so trying to cut a correctly located slot in the fret board is not very practical.

Depending on the type of frets you are using, you should be able to dress the fret and crown with a bit of bias toward the correct location to minimize the impact on note accuracy.

The obvious (and pragmatic) solution would be to complete assembly of the guitar, string it up, get the intonation dialed in and then see if the errant fret really causes a problem with playing. I suspect it will not, but if it does, you can try the fret shaping trick or tune just a cent off so that the fret in question is a cent closer to correct. Also check each string at the fret before doing anything. It may be that only one string is off key enough to worry about.

I say "Don't over react" or fret (pun intended) too much. You may not have an actual problem or a very minor one. Nothing you can't work out.

Let us know...

Hmmm...I see a couple replies to my post with no text...perhaps the web site is having technical problems?

Tom T, thanks for the response. I think you are right...I tend to be too much of a perfectionist (sometimes a good thing...sometimes a problem). Probably best to just try it and see. I often play with a slide in any case.

But it is an interesting question to me, because it brings to mind the differences between equal tempered tuning and just intervals (whole-number frequency ratios). Most equal tempered intervals are a bit out of tune in any case. When we sing or play with slides, or play violin, etc., are we actually playing equal tempered intervals? I've played the trumpet in the past, and certain notes on the trumpet tend to have tuning issues that good players pay attention to.

In my case, the fret in question is the tritone, or the C# on the G string, so it might be less of a problem compared to the C or the D.

Heck, if you mostly play slide, you will likely not notice the fret position since sliders slide to the note not the fret. Could be a good ending without a lot of work.

I once did the same thing - so I filled the slot with epoxy and cut a new one. The epoxy was covered by the fret. Another time I cut one in bed and mife wife made me sleep on the couch.

God Bless You

Hmmm...that's the second suggestion I had for filling the slot with epoxy. Something to consider.

With the current glitch on CBN you need to type your posting, then, before posting it, highlight it and right click and select copy.

When you post your item, if it shows up blank, click on "edit" then paste your original posting in place then hit Save. That will get your posting up and visible.

Hi Tom, yes I worked that out a month ago. I may have missed it but has there been a notice posted about the problem and how to get around it, as you and others have suggested, by the administrators? If so I must have missed it. It may worth having some thing posted permanently so as to guide newcomers.


Or switch to the HTML editor... and it works fine.

Hi, I tried HTML editor and.....


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