Fret slot cutting

Because I think the miter box from StewMac or LMII is too expensive and since the one from StewMac doesn’t even fit around my fingerboard blank, I decided to build one myself:

Resulting in this poor man’s fret slot miter box, built in just over an hour from scrap wood:

I also decided to mark the fret positions by hand. I do not trust printing, as it always has some deviation, while ordering a plotted drawing takes another week and costs another 12 euros or so (including shipping). I clamped a long ruler to my fingerboard blank, set up an Excel-sheet to calculate the fret positions (+10 cm so I don’t have to start with the edge of the ruler) and a sharp knife to do the markings, which is much more precise than a pencil:

I’ve made a close up so you can see the markings next to the ruler:

Lastly, I clamp the board in my miter box, align a mark with the saw, tighten the clamps and start cutting. This is the last photo I’ve made, but I got to 10 fret slots today:

The slots aren’t deep enough, they exactly match the fret tang depth and I will deepen them to the required depth after radiusing. That’s also a lot easier, because the board is at full width right now and that’ll change after cutting it out.

The saw I have isn’t the best there is (I’d rather have a Japanese saw for this) and the Macassar is hard like hell.. if I slip, the saw doesn’t even scratch the Ebony.. (I did manage to scratch my fingers a few times though). I just don’t like this job like this and I really have to learn playing fretless, or save up for a better saw I guess.