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Another fretboard radius jig

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tklaavo, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Hi,
    I just want to show a jig I have built today. It's a fretboard radiusing jig that uses the router table and works on the swing arm principle. I'm not sure if I saw this somewhere or did I just take ideas from different jigs I've seen..

    It still needs some tweaking before it can be used seriously, promising already though. The pics tell most of it:

    [​IMG]

    The holes were drilled on the drill press while the pieces were stacked together for a perfect match. There's a flush trim bit on the router, and the bearing rides this tight slot to keep the bit centered. Shown with a test piece of scrap mounted:

    [​IMG]

    There are holes for the usual 7.25", 9.5", and upwards in one inch increments from 11" to 20".

    (EDIT:) I just realized that the pic doesn't show the holes that are on the frame behind the swinging part - there's of course holes at similar heights as on the swing arm... (/EDIT)

    This could also be used for different compound radius fb's, just needs some tweaking to make it swing better when the bolts are not in the same holes.

    Here's a test piece with 9.5" radius. The edge is rough, but it's not the jig's fault. I was mostly worried about the centering but it seems okay.

    [​IMG]

    After taking the pics I did better bolts to hold the swing, no pics sorry about that. I'll show some more next time.
     
  2. marvinjensen

    marvinjensen TDPRI Member

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    At Parker Guitars Ken and I made a similar (sort of) fixture to make compound radius boards. A 12" arm on one end and a 16" on the other. Swung against a belt sander to dress the neck before the fretboard was glued on.

    The swing fixture was mounted on linear bearings so we could move the guitar with the neck glued in, guitar strung and tuned, fixed into place and then the neck was dressed. The neck was then in the actual "strung mode" , fretboard glued on and had the proper relief. It had to have the proper relief because the frets were stainless (rockwell 56) and could not be dressed with a file like all the other manuf. do.

    Keep working on it, it's the "way to go".
     
  3. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Tele-Meister

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    oh hah, so you make long lengthwise passes before adjust the swing. That seems like a really good idea, I imagine there's much less chance of having any problems with the depth of the cut that way.

    The only problem I can imagine is needing some extra width on the table to support the jig when it hangs off, but man that'd be worth it. Heck you can go diagonally if you want. Nice job man!
     
  4. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    You've done a nice job, and it makes the process so much more enjoyable. I'm in the middle of redoing my jig as well. I've gone with a different design and hope to have it together in a few weeks. I've got a friend with a cnc router, so he's doing all the design in CAD. He'll cut out my parts in 1/2" ply, and I'll assemble everything.
     
  5. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Yes, lengthwise passes. It gives smoothest result.

    The whole thing is made of MDF and I was extra careful to make everything straight and square, but I have my doubts how well it will hold, still needs some reinforcement.

    It's also very bulky to store anywhere - and when set up for a 9.5" radius the swing is out of balance without a neck mounted. Once the top bar hit me in the head.
     
  6. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Great job. Well worth tweaking to perfect it.
     
  7. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's almost exactly the same as the jig I made several years ago.

    I agree. In fact I also found that by the time I un-buried it, attached a fretboard, and frigged around getting everything set up... it was just as fast to sand a radius by hand with a radiused sanding block. I think I only used my jig 2 or 3 times before I cut it up for kindling.
     
  8. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Probably true.. But I have three different teles and a bass planned in my head - and no radius sanding block.. If I get myself together to start working on those four necks, I'm probably gonna save some time (and sweat less) if I can radius them all at once.

    Have you posted your jig here? I probably stole the idea, just can't remember where from.

    If the challenge starts at spring, I know I will be very busy at the time and won't be able to drive half an hour per direction to work at grandads old workshop as I usually do. So to be able to take part I'm going to have to find ways to work at home, max one hour per day. Gotta figure out how to do things without the heavy machinery and bulky jigs - which means I'm gonna need a radius sanding block anyway... :)
     
  9. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I tossed my jig because it was bulky and took too long to setup. I can accurately radius and finish sand a neck with my radius block in less than ten minutes. Took me way longer than th at to setup and double check my jig. If I were building more guitars, I'd set my shop up with an assembly line of dedicated jigs/tools. That way everything would stay setup.
     
  10. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    I already have an idea how to use this jig to help me make some radius sanding blocks... :)
     
  11. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

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    I agree radius blocks are probably just as easy but what about a compound radius? If you had a jig like this with 2 different radii, would that work? It seems like the swinging piece wouldn't want to swing with 2 different pivot points.
     
  12. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    I have that in mind. It swings, because the swing arms are not touching the fixed parts, there's a 15mm washer inbetween them on the connecting bolt.

    The bolt is actually inside a piece of a tight-fitting aluminium tube. Not a pic yet. The washer is like a sleeve on that tube. Hard to explain... Needs some tweaking to make it swing nicely. I probably should put something like aluminium sheet to cover the holes, then drill through, and then make the holes on the MDF larger to make it swing better with different pivot points, if you get my idea...

    But yes, this could make a compound radius. I already tried it... Just gotta calculate first, because the radius at the ends of the fretboard won't be the same as on the swing arms, which are further away from the mid point.

    Like, if I have 7.25" on one end and 12" on the other, the compound radius might be something like 8,5-11", depending on the length of the fingerboard. Gonna make a spreadsheet for that.. yeah!
     
  13. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

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    What if the arm swung on something more like a ball & socket than a bolt?
     
  14. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My radius jig does a compound radius and slots with one click of a button! :D

    [​IMG]

    For under $20 ... it's just too tempting. Got a IRW one on the way (25" scale; 12" radius) for a current build ... and I have a slotting and radiusing table.
     
  15. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    recently began cutting my own fingerboards - i am going back to S/macs fretboards methinks - for the price, even adding in freight to australia, it saves a lot of work out of building a neck
     
  16. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Great idea.. Totally over my engineering skills though. Maybe someone else will catch the idea and do it.
     
  17. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's how Bill Scheltema's compound radius jig was designed. I think there are some pictures of it on here somewhere.
     
  18. Joe_Guitar

    Joe_Guitar TDPRI Member

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    I built this jig so I could do any radius/compound radius on a neck.

    In this picture it is set up to do a 12-16.

    [​IMG]

    I can go through the details if anyone wants.

    Joe
     
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tele-Holic

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    Did you steal your dog's Kong to make that jig? Shameful! <JK> :)

    I would be interested in more details. Specifically what you used to lock the handle in place at the various angles. Is there some sort of ball joint in there?
     
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tele-Holic

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    OK.... I haven't had coffee yet. But I didn't understand the part that I bolded.
     
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