hand saw??

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Forum topic by jumbojack posted 05-10-2011 04:40 AM 2457 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1689 posts in 3192 days

05-10-2011 04:40 AM

I am looking for a dovetail like saw to cut some frets for a ukulele. The fret wire package calls for a .023 kerf. I have been having trouble getting the information from manufacturers. I have looked a several saws in various stores but the kerf info is not on the packaging. I suppose the kerf could be a few thous under but not over. Anyone have recommendations?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

7 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3377 days

#1 posted 05-10-2011 04:43 AM

How bout using a fret saw ?

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3192 days

#2 posted 05-10-2011 04:57 AM

I did see a fret saw online. I made an inquiry, the manufacturer said it cut a .026 kerf. I know .003 is not much but I would rather be at .023 or smaller.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4216 days

#3 posted 05-10-2011 05:07 AM

Either buy a special saw for cutting frets from a luthier supplier for
about $30 or take a gentleman’s backsaw and file it down on a
sharpening stone to the width you need.

Backsaws have way too much set for cutting fret slots, and
removing the set by bending the teeth in is a finicky and inexact
process. Just filing off the outside tips with a diamond stone
works great and you have a lot of control over the kerf.

Trust me, this works.

You can also cut the slots wide and glue the frets in. This works
as well and it is a well established re-fretting method.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3657 days

#4 posted 05-10-2011 05:56 AM

I really like the veritas saws from leevalley. they are .026, but could be very easily stoned down to .023, since the blade thickness is only .020. It would still be a great dovetail and general purpose detail saw. I guess it isnt the cheapest option, but you would definitely get the most uses out of it besides your fret cutting.

BTW. stoning a saw is very easy. just take a medium sharpening stone or diamond stone, and take even strokes, one on each side. carefully measure with a dial caliper or micrometer, repeat until you get what you want. It should only take a few minutes to get that .003 off.

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3192 days

#5 posted 05-10-2011 11:14 PM

Thanks guys. Great info.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Bertha's profile


13569 posts in 3261 days

#6 posted 05-10-2011 11:15 PM

Man, you guys really know saws. I need to step up my game.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 3261 days

#7 posted 05-11-2011 06:57 AM

I would think about looking at zona saws. They have their fret widths listed and they range from .008 to .020 of an inch and they are really cheap. The only downfall is that you can’t replace the blade, but they cut pretty well.

-- -Joshuah

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