First SG Project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Girl_Rock, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    The rule of 18 does not work with common fret scale calculators or rulers. I have all the Stew Mac rulers and use the Stew Mac fret position calculator which uses the modern 12th fret measurement. I have measured numerous vintage guitars, most recently a 1962 SG Standard, and they all line up perfectly with one of the Stew Mac rulers. I do have the rule of 18 scale on some of my templates that I sell but I have not yet measured a guitar that uses that particular scale.

    Regards Peter.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The errors are tiny, and would be hard to identify, particularly on a neck with wide frets. My issue with rule of 18 is that it was designed for luthiers who didn't have computers that would allow them to do the maths needed for a true tempered scale. But now we do, and there is no reason to persist with the old way.
     
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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Whilst you two knowledgeable chaps are on here: I'm curious to know whether I'm correct in assuming that the harder the fretboard the better? What say ye?
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Probably, but there are more things to think about. You want wood that doesn't wear away too quickly when you bend strings. And it needs to be pretty moisture-proof. I have a Nighthawk with a baked maple neck that made the most horrible scratching/squeaking noises when I bent strings. I finally found a cure in polishing it to a mirror shine.
     
  5. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    The fretboard, the pickguard and the control cavity cover are not made of the same wood of the body and the neck, but yes, I fully agree with you, I need a different fretboard, maybe maple to stay close with the light color of the other wood. What afraids me is that when I start to turn the tuning machines, the neck can break or bend (in spite of the presence of the truss rod). Honestly, I wasn't sure to arrive at this point, as I've already said. What I'm sure is that the fretboard and the nut are the first things I will change when I test that the guitar can stay in tune and is playable. The best thing should be changing the neck too (headstock excluded).

    It uses the 12th root of two.
    I can see from your posts that there's a strong discussion about this calculation, can I use this or is it better to change?
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    12th root of two is the correct one. The rule of 18 was a compromise that allowed for easier arithmetic before we had calculators.
     
  7. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    OK, perfect, thank you very much!
     
  8. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Ok, good. I guess it's a personal preference, I always use ebony, but I to me a maple fretboard would look wrong. A little contrast here and there is nicer. (to me) There would be no shame in just ordering a pre sloted one considering all the great work you're done. I don't think there's a risk the neck would break so don't worry about that. And as long as you get the measurements right, the guitar will stay in tune and be playable.
     
  9. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Just use one of the online calculators. Stew Mac has one - Fret Position Calculator Just put in scale length and number of frets and it spits out a chart. Like this -
    fretscale-24_562.jpg

    Here is a good explanation of Gibson's 24.75" scale.
    Capture.JPG

    Cheers Peter.
     
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