Scroll saw fret slot cutting - I need a thicker blade - help a sister out please

Hey y'all, so when I started fretting I went with a StewMac fretsaw which does a fantastic job. But I have chronic hand/wrist issues, and the labor of hand cutting the slots leaves me hurting. I watched a bunch of videos a while back and saw one on cutting fret slots with a scroll saw with the blade flipped to the back. I've tried that with my scroll saw (Craftsman), and it does work. Yay! But my scroll saw blades are actually too narrow! I have to pound the living crap out of the frets to get the tang in or actually go back over the slots by hand with my StewMac fretsaw to widen them a bit. Boo! I want to get a thicker blade for the scroll saw, but I'm really confused in looking at the blades online. I don't know what to get. The StewMac fretsaw is 0.023" thick. I've looked for scroll saw blades that are 0.020 to 0.022" thick, and I'm having trouble finding one. 

Can anyone share a product number for a scroll saw blade that works for you for cutting fret slots? Pretty please??

It's funny - when I tried cutting fret slots with my scroll saw I thought surely it would cut the slot too wide, or crooked, or too deep, or something. I never expected it to make beautiful, straight slots at a great depth but too narrow to seat a medium fret! Now I'm all confused trying to understand the designations on the scroll saw blade dimensions to find one the right thickness. 

I don't have a table saw and I don't have one in my near future, so getting the StewMac table saw fret blade isn't an option for reducing my hand labor. Those are really sweet (and pricey)! Just not in my cards. 

Here's the video that inspired me. It does work with my scroll saw (really nice, clean slots), but I need help finding a thicker blade. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Not sure if I should have posted this question in a specific topic area?

Thank you!

Views: 302

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm not in the states Janis, so i can't help you with suppliers, but, i would say you will be able to get a blade with a .023 blade, as mine came new with one, if all else fails, you can get a saw doctor to widen the kerf a bit, or even try yourself with the blade prices being so low, it is fiddly work, and your condition might make it difficult, but basically, you just bend each tooth a tiny amount 1 left then 1 right for the length of your blade, it will be a very, very small amount, but if you do bend too far, you can easily close it again with pliers or a light tap with a hammer

Darryl, thank you for the info on widening the kerf. It's good to know that's an option. It's also good to know there are blades out there since you have one. :) I just need to keep looking. 

A lot of them have a designation for 'wide' and 'thick'. With the widths being in the hundredths of an inch (say 0.03") and thicknesses also in the hundredths, I'm unclear what these 2 measurements are. I was thinking I need to look for thickness designation to be 0.023", but I'm not sure. 

I just had a quick look, i suspect these are too long for your saw, [ 11"], but it gives you some idea what to look for, the 0.023"  is 23 thousandths of an inch kerf width, length and depth will always be a fair bit larger---------

These are what i use in my saw Janis, my saw takes pin ended blades, .5 mm is just nice for gitty's fret wire-----

Do you think these specs would work? The designations I'm finding here in the US are different. Unfortunately this particular one is plain end, and I  also need pin end.

hmmm, I have a pretty old craftsman scroll saw I use for fret cutting, and my blades seem to work well for thickness, I have a pack of blades, let me find my calipers to mic them up to see what thickness they are. I could always just throw one in an envelope and mail it to ya. I'm about to cut some medium frets, last ones I cut were jumbo, I'll let you know how they work, maybe different fret manufactures, different thickness too. These are pin type blades also

Oh man, Richard, any help on identifying your blades would be awesome! I was searching more this morning, and for the actual Craftsman blades I can't find thickness info. I've been using the medium, medium fretwire from C.B. Gitty (jumbo for the zero fret but only for that). 

Pretty sure they''ll be fine

I think I found one that works! Craftsman 29441

Hope so, can't find my calipers at the moment

Not really an answer to the blade width, but for your hand/wrist issues you might try pressing in the frets instead of pounding them in.  Some hard wood blocks and a decent vise will push them in with little effort.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


The first sale

Started by Blues Frog in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Blues Frog 5 hours ago. 4 Replies

Tap Tuning

Started by Ken I in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 13 hours ago. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

3. German CBG Festival

Posted by Markus Gaiser on September 16, 2018 at 3:42pm 1 Comment

..absolute authenticity!

Posted by billy jones bluez on August 18, 2018 at 10:30pm 0 Comments

Other woodwork

Posted by Tom E on August 16, 2018 at 5:00pm 4 Comments

kannel/ kantele (Baltic psaltery)

Posted by Tom E on August 16, 2018 at 1:00pm 4 Comments



© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service