On my calendar was recovery from back surgery this past week but there was a change of plans; a dental issue came up and surgery was postponed. Instead I am taking antibiotics and will have minor dental surgery in a week or so. The back surgery will probably be within a month or so after that.
Let it not be said that I don’t know how to have a good time!
I’m a firm believer that what is happening is happening and what is not happening is not happening so I am rolling with it.
In the meantime I am up to my usual tricks and getting some work done in the shop.
In the photograph above is a simple setup for cutting fret slots. The miter box is made from scraps of MDF and the depth stop on the saw is a strip of wood held in place with three colorful spring clamps. The wooden cam clamps hold the miter box to the work-board and holds the fretboard in place while sawing.
This low-tech setup works remarkably well.
I have templates for fret patterns I commonly use. The templates eliminate calculating and measuring out the fret positions.
This fingerboard is for a custom chromatic dulcimer with a scale length I have not used before; 743 centimeters! That is a very long string length but is what the person who will be playing this dulcimer prefers.
Since I didn’t have a template for this scale length I had to calculate the fret positions and lay them out on the fingerboard. Fortunately, there is software that does the math. In the 1970’s I had to spend a long time with a calculator to work out fret positions. The constant often used to calculate an equal tempered fretboard, 17.81715385, is still permanently installed in my memory.
I laid out the fret positions using a very accurate ruler, machinist’s square, sharp knife, and patience. I triple checked the measurements before sawing the slots.
Sawing the slots with the miter box was the fun part.