Fret Slotting Miter Box Instructions

Easily cut accurate fret slots with the Miter Box and Fret Saw.


The luthier's Fret Slotting Miter Box is designed to work with any of StewMac's fret saws. When used with our notched Fret Scale Templates, slots for popular scale lengths can be cut with accuracy and ease. The Miter Box can also be used without the templates if desired.

Fret Slotting Setup

The two fixed sidewalls keep the saw square, and the two adjustable sidewalls can be set to hold the saw snugly in alignment. The guide bearings move up and down, to adjust the saw for the desired depth of cut. Hold-downs secure your work and eliminate drifting.

Using the Miter Box with our Fret Scale Templates
Attach the fingerboard to the template with double-stick tape. Set the saw depth in a waste portion of the fingerboard, by adjusting the roller bearings up or down until the depth of cut is satisfactory. With the template on the bottom, engage one of the template notches into the indexing pin on the fixed sidewall of the Miter Box. Set the two adjustable sidewalls so that the saw moves freely back and forth in the roller bearings, yet is held firmly from side to side.

Fret Slotting Miter Box Details

Once these adjustments are completed, tighten the hold-downs and cut a fret slot. Loosen the hold-downs, lift and move the template/fingerboard to the next notch, and cut the next slot. When all the slots have been sawed, separate the fingerboard from the template.

Using the Miter Box without a Fret Scale Template
It is helpful (but not required) to place a spacer under the fingerboard to replace the template. When using this set-up for custom scale lengths, carefully mark the desired fret pattern on the fingerboard and saw accurately on your marked lines.