Where is that fret supposed to be located?

Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
2 weeks ago
28 posts

I really appreciate the tip to Wfret. I went through the signup process for MIMF and ran into a couple issues. First, the site rejects requests for access to downloads if you're using a VPN service, and we all should be. Second, Wfret is a zip file containing an exe file that works on Windows machines; I use a Mac.

That said, the site is full of great information on just about anything one might need to know about instrument repair, care, building and more. Thank you for telling me about it.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
1,581 posts

Yep.  The Stew Mac calculator is pretty good. 

I also use WFret a free program from the Musical Instrument Makers Forum.   I like WFret because it allows you to print out a paper pattern that you can tack-glue to the fretboard and literally cut-on-the-dotted-lines, rather than mis-transferring numbers from a spreadsheet to wood.  

For Just Intonated fret spacing on my Traditional dulcimers with staple frets, I use the calculator developed by Rob Reinsal here several years ago.  It's discussed here: https://fotmd.com/strumelia/group_discuss/2457/latest-ji-calculator


updated by @ken-hulme: 08/11/19 07:53:35PM
Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
2 weeks ago
28 posts

I'm currently working on a project to refurb an old dulcimer, old as in around 1970. The fret wires are all missing, in fact, everything is missing and the poor thing has been mistreated a lot. Still, with a little work and a refinish, it will be a very nice instrument. Onward...

I decided to check that the frets are correctly positioned, and the formula in a luthier resource book. Naturally, I started constructing a spreadsheet to calculate the correct fret positions for the scale length. About two minutes into this, I thought there must be a calculator somewhere online. Sure enough, a search took be to the StewMac site, and there it was. It's a thing of true beauty, a time-saver and absolutely accurate. It also lets you indicate what instrument (dulcimer, guitar, and so on) you're working on and calculates based on that and the scale length.

If you ever need to fret an instrument, or check the fret positions on an existing instrument use this calculator. Find it here.