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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I make guitars - a lot of the work is done by hand but I'm wondering whether CNC routing might help with one particularly tedious task! Cutting the slots in the guitar fretboard, into which the fretwire is placed, is currently done by hand with a fret saw and a template which measures the correct distances between the frets.

These slots are very fine .0023 inches wide and .0133 inches deep

Are there CNC machines, or companies offering CNC services in London, that can cut these tolerances?
 

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That width (0.0023 in; 0.0584 mm) is actually microscopic. Being among other things in real life, a microscopist, I would use a micromanipulator with an attached narrow blade.

In the realm of reality I do not know the width of a scalpel or razor blade, but they might be possibilities. I do not know how fine is the work that can be done with CNC. Hopefully one of our CNC experts will be able to help.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum! Yes, there are bits that cut fret slots and I plan to get one soon to cut mine. Right now I use a Japanese saw from StewMac to cut fret slots.

One thing of note, though, is that you have one too many zeros in your dimension - it is 0.023" (twenty-three thousandths). I can't speak to a service in the UK that does that but there's certain to be someone doing that.

I just did a quick Google search for "cutting fret slots on CNC" and there are quite a few videos so maybe you can start there.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone for the contributions and my apologies for the typo which produced an extra zero in the dimensions! of course it should have been 0.023 inches not .0023.
 

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You could cut the slots using a 0.5mm end mill, but I have yet to pluck up the courage to fit one of the two I own into my CNC machine!
When I built a simple electric guitar recently i used the CNC router to mark the fret positions using the point of a 3mm wood drill as a spinning scriber and then cut the slots by hand. You can see this at around 1:50 into this video which I also linked to yesterday in another thread on the forum.

Kit

https://vimeo.com/210020811
 
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