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 April 22nd, 2011, 11:15 PM #2 (permalink) Tele-Holic     Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: Nashville Posts: 895 47 Photos Good stuff. Thanks Nick __________________ Directions? What directions. No one told me there were directions.
 April 23rd, 2011, 12:23 AM #3 (permalink) Doctor of Teleocity     Join Date: May 2007 Location: Queensland, Australia Age: 41 Posts: 14,776 If we run the numbers again for a 7.25" radius neck, we get an optimum 21st fret radius of 9.57". I've made these comparison pictures of a 7.25" and a 9.5" radius overlaid to illustrate the difference between the two. Quite a lot. You can see that above the 12th fret, where optimally you want an increasing radius to 9.5" ... you are bending up a big 7.25" hill, and it's causing the note to deaden on the fret in front. It's not really possible to put a conical radius in a vintage radius neck with a level and crown - the difference between 7.25 and 9.57 is too great. Let's compare this same 2" difference in radius with a 14" and a 16". Virtually no difference. The bigger the radius gets, the less the difference becomes - and the less important a conical radius becomes for a low action. So, if the 21st fret should be a couple of inches flatter (roughly, for Fenders) than the nut, what should the saddle radius be? Using the equations above for a 9.5" Fender neck we get 13.8". __________________ You need to roll the dice to be in the game.
April 23rd, 2011, 12:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by LeroyBlues Good stuff. Thanks Nick
No worries - I'm only just coming to terms with all of this. My brain hurts .
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 April 23rd, 2011, 11:30 AM #6 (permalink) Tele-Holic   Join Date: Jan 2010 Location: NC Posts: 782 Makes sense. I think. So how does one do this? With different radius blocks or after it is fretted with a beam? I'll have to check out the article to see if it says how Parker does this. I do respect the fact that he is not tied to tradition and is advancing the field.
 April 23rd, 2011, 11:44 AM #7 (permalink) Friend of Leo's     Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Sugar Land, TX Posts: 3,262 Boy... he sure gets worked-up about the term compound radius... too much coffee maybe... or doesn't like interviewers.
 April 23rd, 2011, 11:54 AM #8 (permalink) Friend of Leo's     Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Sugar Land, TX Posts: 3,262 This is how I do it... 1) The level is being used as a sanding beam... simply because it has a nice machined straight surface. It has sticky sandpaper on the bottom. 2) Notice the rollers and support glide at the far end of the sanding beam. This keeps the beam traveling through a single point at all times. The distance from the pivot glide to the nut is calc'd using the formulas Nick JD has provided. 3) The neck is checked periodically throughout the sanding process using a a radius gauge at predetermined location. 4) I use dressmakers chalk to put a series of hash-marks across the fretboard... so you can determine easily when the sanding has leveled (or "coned" we should say) the entire surface. 5) I shaved my wookie hand for the photo. Attached Thumbnails
 April 23rd, 2011, 03:34 PM #9 (permalink) Friend of Leo's   Join Date: Oct 2003 Location: Magdalena, NM, US Age: 57 Posts: 2,029 That's a nice jig you've rigged up, piece!
 April 23rd, 2011, 03:42 PM #10 (permalink) Friend of Leo's     Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Sugar Land, TX Posts: 3,262 Thanks... I'm going to build a "real" one once I give it some more thought. That was sort of a thrown together kluge... just to see if'n i'd work. That's a Jazz bass neck getting a fretless Ebony fretbo... oops FINGERBOARD installed. And BTW... those levels are available at Home Depot... maybe Lowe's too. They actually have a machined edge that my precison rule says is straight. There is a Momma bear version as well... so another alternative for a fret leveler. A little on the spendy side though.
April 23rd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by piece of ash Boy... he sure gets worked-up about the term compound radius... too much coffee maybe... or doesn't like interviewers.
Yeah, but his crack about needing a template to blow your nose being the 'Stew-Mac' way is priceless.

FWIW, I've only re-radiused existing fretboards - using a method very similar to Piece of Ash's. You work along the position of each string, moving up and down the fretboard. Which actually creates a series of bevels that can then be smoothed into something approaching a cone. It's not exact, but it really doesn't need to be exact. Again, primarily because we are actually treating each string independently, but also because ultimately it is the frets we are concerned with (and through the fretting process each fret naturally forms a 'better' curve.

Heck, if you are one who tends to press harder with the beam on higher frets during the levelling process that alone can create sufficient 'compound' if you are starting from a relatively flat radius neck (e.g. 12" or such.)

Edit: and those are the exact same beams I use. Buy two, and a small jar of 150 grit valve grinding compound. Slather one with the compound, lay them side by side on a flat surface, mate the two together, then using long even strokes rub back and forth to polish them both into perfectly smooth flats.

April 23rd, 2011, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity

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So, how do arthritic fingers and wrists play into the numbers? How about personal preference?

This is why eggheads will never solve the world's problems.
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 Originally Posted by Old Cane Before the internet we didn't know everything we did was wrong....unless of course we were married.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Del Pickup 'tone is in the underpants'

 April 23rd, 2011, 04:17 PM #13 (permalink) Friend of Leo's     Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Sugar Land, TX Posts: 3,262 Keyser... I have been wondering if one should proportion the radius to match the spread of the string... by doing so... you would make the strings parallel to the "axis" of the cone. e-merlin... the 2011 AM DLX Strats and Teles have compound fretboards... I'd go try one out. Not to mention that the quality of Fender AM necks is pretty danged high as well. You could get one off Ebay or Warmoth makes them too.
April 23rd, 2011, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Nick JD But the math above clearly shows that it is impossible to level the string paths for all the strings unless you have a 9.5 - 12" conical radius.
Maybe that's why I liked my Mighty Mite compound radius neck so much? They have a 9.5-12 compound.

April 23rd, 2011, 04:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Keyser Soze Edit: and those are the exact same beams I use. Buy two, and a small jar of 150 grit valve grinding compound. Slather one with the compound, lay them side by side on a flat surface, mate the two together, then using long even strokes rub back and forth to polish them both into perfectly smooth flats.
This is a great thread, and I will be coming back to it, but, Keyser, forgive me for being pedantic, but I have to point out that the process you describe is not actually guaranteed to give you two absolutely flat surfaces. You could conceivably end up with one concave and one convex surface. To guarantee straightness and flatness, you would need three beams, and lap them all one against the other in the order A:B, A:C, B:A, B:C, C:A, C:B, A':B, A':C, B':A, B':C, C':A, C':B, where A' denotes A reversed. If the process is repeated a couple of times (perhaps with finer abrasives) , you will inevitably end up with three perfectly flat, straight surfaces.

OK, back to fretboard geometry ...
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April 23rd, 2011, 04:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by piece of ash Keyser... I have been wondering if one should proportion the radius to match the spread of the string... by doing so... you would make the strings parallel to the "axis" of the cone. e-merlin... the 2011 AM DLX Strats and Teles have compound fretboards... I'd go try one out. Not to mention that the quality of Fender AM necks is pretty danged high as well. You could get one off Ebay or Warmoth makes them too.
I've owned several guitars with Warmoth or other compound radius necks. I speak from experience.
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Old Cane Before the internet we didn't know everything we did was wrong....unless of course we were married.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Del Pickup 'tone is in the underpants'

 April 23rd, 2011, 07:51 PM #17 (permalink) Doctor of Teleocity     Join Date: May 2007 Location: Queensland, Australia Age: 41 Posts: 14,776 My point in this thread was more along the lines of: you can put a perfect conical radius in a 12" constant radius guitar's frets. Without realising, on fretboards with a radius greater than 9.5", a fret level is also a conical radiusing ... because the only way to take a tiny bit off each and every fret (marking the sharpie line) while following the string paths is to make the neck conical. This can be done in two ways: either by decreasing the radius towards the nut, or increasing it towards the heel. Otherwise the neck isn't being leveled properly. This is why an L&C plays so nicely, as much as getting rid of those few high frets. The OP wasn't about compound radius boards. But it does show that the perfect compound radius is a 9.5 to 12.54, or a 7.25 to 9.57... ...or a 14 to 14 with a quick wipe of the leveling beam . __________________ You need to roll the dice to be in the game.
April 23rd, 2011, 08:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by e-merlin So, how do arthritic fingers and wrists play into the numbers? How about personal preference? This is why eggheads will never solve the world's problems.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by e-merlin I've owned several guitars with Warmoth or other compound radius necks. I speak from experience.

You speak from experience... What are you speaking of? I'm confused...

 April 23rd, 2011, 08:11 PM #19 (permalink) Friend of Leo's     Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Sugar Land, TX Posts: 3,262 I see what you're driving at Nick. Because if we were truly maintaining a perfect constant cylinderical radius, the leveling beam would have to be over/past the ends of the frets, off the neck completely on the nut end, when leveling the ends of the fret on the heel end. Good point!
April 23rd, 2011, 09:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity

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Location: Garden City, KS
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by piece of ash You speak from experience... What are you speaking of? I'm confused...
If you weren't fishing for an argument you would have quoted yourself when you said:

Quote:
 Originally Posted by piece of ash e-merlin... the 2011 AM DLX Strats and Teles have compound fretboards... I'd go try one out. Not to mention that the quality of Fender AM necks is pretty danged high as well. You could get one off Ebay or Warmoth makes them too.
Oh, look how easy that was. Fret no more, I got you covered. So as not to further impinge on the integrety or intent of this thread, I'm out.
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Old Cane Before the internet we didn't know everything we did was wrong....unless of course we were married.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Del Pickup 'tone is in the underpants'

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