Fretboard twist

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Newbcaster, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    593
    Joined:
    May 10, 2015
    Location:
    Gilbert
    So like the title says. I got this fretboard which I desperately want to use for an old build.

    Its 3/8ths

    Its ever so sligthly cupped and has some twist.

    I can make it flat by pressing it to a flat surface.

    I dont THINK, but since I'm not sure Im asking the collective hive mind....

    if I were to glue this as is to a really thick neck that doesnt have such problems, would it interoduce twisting?

    Or is there a way to wet the wood, in this case flame maple, then clamp it down and let it re-dry?

    here in AZ drying takes minutes.
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,807
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    How much exactly is it twisted would help, though I can't personally answer how twisted is too twisted.
    I'd say which direction it's twisted would also influence my choice to use it or not.
    More relief under the low E and less relief under the high E makes a better setup IME, so if the board tends to twist that way a little, I would not hesitate to use it. If twisted the opposite direction and quite a lot, I might not use it.

    Hopefully others will answer too.
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,086
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    The only way I would consider using something like that is to do whatever it is you think will untwist it, then put it away in my wood room for a long time. Long as in a year or two or five.

    I put too much time and money into each guitar I build to ever use a questionable piece of wood.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  4. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,479
    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    San Antone
    I'm not a woodworker and this question is more out of my own ignorance and curiosity than anything else but could you clamp it to a flat surface and steam it so it straightens?
     
  5. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    404
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha
    Yes, but this is a heavily debated subject. A lot of people believe it will eventually return to its original shape. Other think that will fix it.
     
    I_build_my_own and TeleTex82 like this.
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,086
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    My experience is bending sides and bindings for acoustic guitars. The procedure is to heat the wood to 350 to 400 degrees F with a slight amount of moisture, at some point the wood wants to "yield" to the bending pressure and and can be held in a mold of the right shape while it cools. It will more or less retain that shape afterwards.
     
    telemnemonics and TeleTex82 like this.
  7. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    404
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha
    I’ve never bent wood, but I have a really pretty piece of curly maple for a neck. It’s 4/4, I really want to roast it. But everytime I’ve tried it’s warped. Do you think baking it with some water below, then right after it’s done. Clamping it down to a large piece of granite. Do you thing it would stay straight over time?
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,086
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I can't answer that - I've never "roasted" a piece of wood. To repeat what I said before, I have bent sides and the idea is to take them to a plastic state, change the shape and then let it cool into that new shape. When I bend wood over a pipe I don't use a thermometer (I do with my Fox bender) but I know the wood is close to 400 degrees and I can feel the change as it starts to become pliable. The process people are using to make "torrified" soundboards is completely different, and I don't do it. I don't have a clue how folks roast their necks (or why).

    There was an interesting interview with Ken Warmoth in a recent issue of American Lutherie. He said there has been a great demand for roasted necks and whether he agrees with the concept or not doesn't matter, he is happy to fill it.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,807
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Beyond the OP maybe needing to mill off the cupped glue surface, how dead flat do you personally need a blank to be in order to use it in one of your high end guitar builds?
    By high end I mean you build pro instruments and are not a hobbyist, where a hobby builder might make a bolt on neck and learn stuff while taking a small risk with materials.

    But back to how twisted is too twisted for you to use?

    Say laid on the table saw and try to slip a piece of paper under each corner.
    Or a feeler gauge.
    Dead flat and paper wouldn't slide under a corner.

    I don't think we can realistically expect machinist flat blanks, so how many thousandths gap under a corner would you reject?
    Just for some numbers, I'd think .0625" would be fine and might question .125"?
    Would you reject both those twist amounts?
    Or do you buy extra thick blanks and mill them really machinist dead flat?

    I ask because the OP said "has some twist".
    Not sure what the quantity of "some" equates to!
     
    TeleTex82 likes this.
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,086
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I'm assuming that the OP planed the blank straight and flat and it has cupped and twisted after that. He doesn't say how it was dried, whether he is encountering RH changes or how long it has been since he planed it. I sticker the little bit of wood that I have in my cellar which stays pretty close to 45F and 45% often for a year or more before I build and I buy my wood from trusted sources.

    I expect back and side plates to move a little, particularly as they get thinned towards their final thickness - they will be braced against that. It would worry me a lot if a neck blank moved (I only use mahogany and it seems to be very stable). How much a fretboard should be allowed to move is a good question - in theory a stiff neck, the truss rod, possibly some CF can be used to control that. However I only use rosewood or ebony for f/b's and it seems to be very stable also.

    I guess my original point was that if I was worried enough about a piece of wood to have to ask on an on line forum whether to use it I probably wouldn't.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  11. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    Post a pic! Any wood left setting thru changing climate will change a bit. Thin wood even more so. If it is slight & easily comes out with little pressure I would use it and not worry. By the time you get fret slots in it the flexibility will even increase more and may even shift in the twist. If in doubt slot it and check it then.

    Eric
     
    Newbcaster likes this.
  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,658
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    A fretboard blank is 3/8 so that you can joint the bottom flat and plane it down to .25 thick. You could probably sand it flat on a dead flat surface with coarse grit abrasive. Then plane the top surface parallel.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.