Milling a Guitar Fretboard from Ebony

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Milling a Guitar Fretboard from Ebony

Postby Doug » Thu May 18, 2017 6:25 pm

Here's a YouTube video of my Stepcraft machine milling a fretboard from an ebony fretboard blank. Note the video is speeded up 8x. The intention was to use a 6 mm ball nose end mill for the finishing paths but the GCode for the roughing toolpath included the finishing toolpath code too due to my error when saving it, so the entire run is done using a 6 mm flat end mill. The first path is just to thickness the 7.7 mm ebony stock to 7.0 mm.

This looked good but for my second attempt I will leave out the 1/4" marker dot holes from the tool paths and drill these separately at the end with the 6 mm flat end mill using manually created toolpath with G02 arcs.

I calibrated my tool height sensor and used this to zero from the spoil board + double sided adhesive tape then re-zero at Z+7.00 mm before I ran the thicknessing toolpath. This is much more convenient than the method I was proposing to use which involved touching off a piece of ground flat stock/gauge plate of the desired thickness using a cigarette paper.

Material: 7.0 mm thick ebony fretboard blank after running the thicknessing path (7.7 mm originally).
Spindle: industrial quality small HF spindle from StoneyCNC.
XY feed rate: 2,500 mm/min roughing (2,000 mm/min finishing)
Z plunge rate: 120 mm/min
Spindle speed: 18,000 rpm.
Cutter: 6 mm diameter 2 flute solid carbide slot drill.
0.6 mm stepover and step-down on the finishing passes.

The roughing toolpath took about 4 minutes and the finishing toolpath about 34 minutes making a total cut time of 38 minutes.

STEPCRAFT 2/840 CNC machine with 4th axis, TurboCAD V19.2 Pro Platinum, MeshCAM, GWizard feeds & speeds calculator, UCCNC. Hobby use: guitar building (luthiery).
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:56 am

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