Looking at fret measurements from StewMac, it seems that if using metric, fractions of mm are virtually impossible to place correctly.

Because mm's are so small, I think that a simple '+/-   .5mm is close enough on a steel.
Fret #9   (10.135mm( becomes 10mm

Fret #10 becomes  (10.969mm)  11mm


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Or you can use a fret scale calculator that produces a physical template, like FretFind2D? Don’t forget to replace all the fields to mm, like the width at nut/bridge as well as fretboard overhang? 


You're in good shape with your "rounding" strategy. I always measure fret locations in mm and always measure each fret position from the nut. If you measure from fret to fret, you will introduce error-stacking.

With your approach, you will put the fret within 1/2 mm of it's center. A 1/2 mm error will have less impact on tone that your finger pressure behind the fret or depressing the string (unless your action is quite low). Bottom line, you're in good shape with your mm strategy.

Thx. I used to loath metric, but I've found metric for building stuff sure makes it easier.

if you do use fretfind2d when you print it out double check the print with a ruler not all printers will print at exactly 100% . i made my firs git with a 600mm scale , printed the template out and measured the 12th fret to nut distance should have been 300mm , it wasnt. had to print at 102% to get it right.. the other thing is it requires you to have FLASH running or you wont see the download buttons to save the PDF 

Hard to find (Hundredths or Thousandths) on a ruler/tape/yardstick and the metric Millimeter measurement gets you closer to the actual correct fret placement and bridge placement.

Use the Stewmac.com fret calculator, metric conversion and bridge placement guide.

My thoughts exactly

I use a fret calculator to get the mm measurements and then use mm rule to mark out the fretboard to the nearest half mil...I use a steel try_square to mark the fret lines at 90 degrees. I then start the cut with a cross-cut saw that hangs in a frame. I deepen the cuts with a hand razor saw so the frets fit tightly.

I measured my first couple of fretted guitars and they sound good, then I bought a fret template from Gitty which made the whole process so much easier.


I thought about  a template, but here's why I haven't got one, it gets a little weird.

I tell people..(only half jokingly) that I am obsessive/compulsive combined with A.D.D. That means I have laser focus for about 2 weeks to 2 months, then something shiny over there grabs my attention and I'm off chasing it. Not only that, but as I have mentioned several times before, I don't play guitar or read music (although when young, I took piano and played cello in jr. high for a couple semesters). Music never 'clicked' in my brain, but that was a long time ago. I am picking up more now that way back when. The build I'm noodling with now is the 2 string bass. I think i'll be able to figure a little of that out. 

On the other hand, the basic 2x4 plan is so easy that with practice, one could make a lap steel in one day easily.

Jigs and templates are great thing to have and will save you time(as long as you grab the right one the first time), but you have to check them periodically to ensure that they haven't worn excessively and put you project off a bit.

Always place the bridge last encase you need to move it forward/backward a bit due to frets not in the exact place. Don't ask me how I know. ;)

The slotted fretboard I ordered surprised me a little. It appears to have a 'zero' fret. I assume that's what it is, on the nut end, maybe a half inch in from the end. If so, I can just cut that off, right?


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