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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a good saw for cutting fret slots and a set of end nippers to cut the frets off at the fingerboard edge. I don't want to buy from StewMac cause I hate getting hit with the high shipping, then the duty at the border, plus their prices already run a premium. I plan to use medium fretwire with a 0.020" wide stud and 0.032" wide tang.

Will either of these guys work well for slotting frets:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32949&cat=1,42884

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441899083&FOLDER<>folder_id=1408474396672888&bmUID=1184906141489

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441899039&FOLDER<>folder_id=1408474396672888&bmUID=1184906153269

Or these for cutting frets:

http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=1&p=33042&cat=3,41306,41331

Any thoughts on these links or suggestions for what you guys use would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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Antz....I was doing the same thing as you are now,trying to find a saw here in Canada with a .023 kerf....I ended up buying from Stu Mac.....If you are in a bind and need some slots cut I found that the Junior Hacksaw sold at Home Hardware will give you a decent cut if you make a good miter box to do the job. The kerf is almost perfect....Hope this helps.....let me know how it works,,,Lab

Another item Lee Valley should carry
 

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Any short saw with the right kerf will work.

However if you're planning to use Ebony then get a good one, it will dull rather quickly.


Hint: Often the made in China cheapo end cutters in the bins at canadian tire are inconsistent in the quality, this is a GOOD thing becasue usually there is a set or two where the business end is already ground flush, there is no bevel.

Just thought I'd add a bit of flavour.
sincerely
Soupbone:food-smiley-004:
 

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The problem is not finding a good quality saw.....For some strange reason you cannot find the right kerf......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, wow, it really is a giant pain in the A** to get this stuff together in Canada. I'm not cheaping out too much as far as tools but I am trying to put together a decent "workshop" on a modest student budget.

I don't mind paying $30 for a top notch fret saw from StewMac, I just hate tacking the extra $20 onto it between the shipping and duty charges.

Lab, I should be specifically looking for a 0.023 Kerf? Just want to know exactly what to ask for on my hunt today. What kind of fretwire do you use??

Edit--> I just noticed that the lee valley one was 0.022 thick but with a 0.038 kerf. What exactly does that mean?? Even though it's the right thickness the slot that it cuts will end up being too wide??
 

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Antz...I know what you are going through, I,ve been there....My advice is buy the saw from Stu Mac (i did)....Its going to cost an extra 20 bucks....I use a .023 tang fret wire....I tried using a .020 kerf on An ebony neck and really made a mess of it. Anything larger you will have a slack fit and some frets will pop up....then you get into trying to glue it down.....
The.022 wide blade with the .033 kerf means that the teeth are opened up for a wider cut.....Hope this helps......Just my opinion, maybe someone will have a better one......Lab
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Antz...I know what you are going through, I,ve been there....My advice is buy the saw from Stu Mac (i did)....Its going to cost an extra 20 bucks....I use a .023 tang fret wire....I tried using a .020 kerf on An ebony neck and really made a mess of it. Anything larger you will have a slack fit and some frets will pop up....then you get into trying to glue it down.....
The.022 wide blade with the .033 kerf means that the teeth are opened up for a wider cut.....Hope this helps......Just my opinion, maybe someone will have a better one......Lab
Thanks a lot Lab, I do appreciate it. I'm gonna check one place locally today that I just heard was quite good and if I have no luck there, I will go with StewMac. I was at least happy to see that they consider Canada "domestic" shipping and only charge $8.50 for a $50 order. That's good as most places start at $20 for shipping even a CD to Canada....haha. Plus under $50 you might get lucky and not even get hit with duty.

As for the fret wire, what do you use?? I was looking at using this stuff: (Guitar --> Hardware --> scroll down a bit to the medium fretwire)

http://www.amwoodinc.com/canada/instrumentFrame.html

Tang stud is 0.020" but the tang itself is 0.032" wide. Will this go well with the StewMac saw do you think??

It's funny, I've been reading extensively / slowly as budget permits collecting tools for months now. Though I had a good grasp for getting into the first guitar. Then when I had my final push for tools before I start cutting, it was fret stuff......made me feel like I was starting to learn all over again. Lots of stuff to take into account I guess when fretting a guitar :eek:
 

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Antz....Welcome to the club....I am still trying to get all the tools that I need..Its going to take a long time.....First you have to realize that I don't consider myself an expert in this .......Secondly God didn't make all tangs equal.
(sorry couldn't help myself)...different brands can have different tang sizes....Stu Macs are .023.....Thus the saw cut is .023....The barbs are what holds the fret in place. If you are going to use a .020...the a .020 kerf saw purchased from Lee Valley will do the trick......Hope I am not confusing you .......Lab
 

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There is one other solution to your problem. Call StewMacs customer support number. place the order with them and specify that they ship by United States Postal Service (USPS ) That way the shipping cost will be minimal and you will only pay 14 percent duty. You are going to pay that in sales tax anyway.
 

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other sources

Antz---Some suggestions to help you get started.


Stew-mac there are others - try Luthiers Mercantile International Ive dealt with them a little and they are very freindly and helpful and way less $

-check out the local repair shops and other luthiers for used tools-

-see if there is a "luthiers" group in your town, if not , start one.

-Ask around at local woodworkers hobby centres about tools, I found a japanese saw which frets ebony like balsa.

-It was $$ but I like it.

-If you're a university student go to the Theatre or movie Department props/workshops. They often have loads of sources on where to find things like tools and wood, anything... and I mean ANYTHING!

Well time to get warmed up for the weekend-cheers:food-smiley-004: and hope that helps

sincerely

Soupbone




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The stew mac thing is a pain for canadians. To top it off they almost always include shipping charges in the value of shipment so you pay more tax.

HOWEVER my take on someone starting out is NOT to cheap out. When starting it makes sense to have the absulote best tool. Sure you might find the Stewmac fret saw at Lee Valley for $10. However you KNOW the Stew Mac Saw is the right tool. You KNOW their radius blocks will sand a proper radius etc.

Learn the rules then bend them.
 

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Sharing your collective pain here. Yeah, getting stuff from Stewmac is not cheap, but I do this for a living, and the quality of my tools is paramount. Stewmac is pricey because of the border thing (free trade my butt!), but everything they sell works properly and lasts. There is obviously a need for a Canadian source of supply, and I guess Lee Valley would be the choice, but until someone steps up to the plate Stewmac will continue to get my dollars. Cheaping-out on tools is really false economy!-Eric
 
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