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Questions: Single Fretting Fixture

Questions: Single Fretting Fixture

by Tim Shaw

Originally published in American Lutherie #101, 2010

Mark French from West Lafayette, Indiana asks: Do people ever make a single fretting fixture and just pick off whatever section they need for a specific type of instrument? I started with a 25.5" scale length and added some frets to bump it up to about 34.07". It looks like I can use this set of positions to find fret spacing for everything from a bass to a mandolin.

Tim Shaw from Fender in Nashville, Tennessee responds:

You could also use this for both medium-scale bass, which is usually 32", and short-scale bass, which is typically 30" or so. Since Leo Fender had the 25.5" scale first, I don’t know if he actually “added” frets to come up with 34", but that was certainly possible on the prototype. The shorter Fender scales were also probably started by lopping frets off a standard neck.

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