Fret Position Generator

Okay, I’m a geek*.

The first thing I did was not (as I said in a previous post) to make a guitar neck, but was to write a web-based computer program to generate the fret-markings, and output them as SVG – which can be imported (more or less) directly to a laser-cutter.

It’s here: Guitar Fret Position Generator


You enter your numbers and it draws your fret-markings.

The mathematical formula for doing this isn’t that complicated… for a computer. If you’re doing it by hand, it’s a real pain though – I think the proper luthiers have great big books of tables (like logrithmic tables), which is a technology from the days of sailing ships and cannon balls etc.

I’m not sure how proper luthiers feel about laser-cutting fret-grooves… and to be honest, I find it pretty scary myself… so scary in fact that I’ve been putting it off for about a month. So scary that I’ve decided to make 2 more guitars… and test it on those necks first. And then I accidentally went to the wood shop, and bought wood for 3 more necks, so theoretically, I have 6 guitars on the go now at once.

* You see the way I spell “okay”? That’s not an accident. I spell it that way because a New Zealand writer named Keri Hulme once pointed out that “OK” sounds clipped and kurt, while “Okay” has a gentler feel. And she’s right… and The Bone People is a magical book. I read it over 20 years ago, and I still spell “okay” phonetically. Geekery is a multi-cultural discipline, and every inch it’s own reward.

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