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Let's make a fingerboard

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by guitarbuilder, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I needed a different fretboard for a neck I want to make. It is different than the ones I made this past summer on the Xcarve. This is one approach to making it.

    First off I am making it out of walnut. I like quartersawn fretboards. In this case I am using a walnut turning square I got off of Amazon and I'll resaw a blank out of it. Usually these turning squares are cut so you can get close to vertical grain out of them. Ordering off the net sight unseen is a bit trickier, but this one worked out. The turning square is a bit over 3 x 3 x 24.

    It came jointed and surfaced to these dimensions for 37 dollars shipped. That will yield 6-7 fretboards or a neck and a couple fretboards.


    turning square.jpg
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The square was already surfaced, but there is a curl in the middle and it had a slight chip there, so I opted to run it over my jointer noting the grain direction. You want the jointer knives to cut into the grain going downhill, not the other way to minimize chip out.


    joint surface.jpg
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Next it's on to the bandsaw. I set up the fence a hair less than 3/8" and ripped it slowly. I used a push stick at the end because it is pretty heavy and would fall off the bandsaw's table.


    resaw blank.jpg
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here's the blank. The wood didn't start to close up around the blade, which can be an issue with wood this thick if it isn't dried properly. Here's a shot with the flash on.



    blank flash.jpg
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The end grain is pretty close to being on the quarter. I'll let this sit overnite to see if it wants to move around.


    quartered.jpg
     
  6. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Marty: The other day I was thinking of a fretboard for the AcousteleBaum, and remembered the sample of flooring I got from Buy Floors Direct warehouse here in Nashville. Brazilian Cherry about 32" long - so I trimmed off the T&G's and slabbed it - should be able to make 2 nice hard fretboards from it. Of course, one side is already pre-finished, but that should sand off OK.
     
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  7. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Fun stuff.

    I recently bought a router bit to cut the radius into fingerboards. I am going to try it out on this new guitar I am building to see if it was a waste of money or a tremendous time saver.
     
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  8. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    What does that bit look like, Colt?
     
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  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    AKA Jatoba from what I read. That stuff sounds pretty dense.
     
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  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    One of those half vertical types I'd venture.


    Specialty :: Guitar Fretboard Radiusing Router Bit - 8-1/2" Radius - Yonico 13002 (precisionbits.com)

    It would seem you need to have a good square fence or a beam to stick the fingerboard to with double sided tape.
     
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  11. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've made two, for Les Moore and for Junior's replacement neck AND cut some fretboard dots from leftovers for my Guild clone. The upshot being a ruined fretsaw (the oldest thank God) and a burned up plug cutter :eek: so MY opinion on Brazilian cherry is unprintable. And ironically, Woodcraft has it in fretboard sizes cheaper than even southern red cedar :mad:.
    So I'll be praying for ya but a trip to Woodcraft might actually be cheaper. The walnut and Bolivian rosewood is gorgeous and MUCH easier to work ;)

    Dave
     
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  13. tewiq

    tewiq Tele-Meister

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    Lol jatoba is very dense , I still have a 1" X5" x6'. I had to redo the set on my stewmac fretsaw after 3-4 fretboards (cause it wouldnt cut butter afterwards) note I have 2 stewmac fretsaws and the number of teeth is very different between the 2 of them. One I can change the set but the other one is so fine tooth that i dont think its possible to re set .
    That being said it does make a fret board that will ring the high frequencies because of its density.
    Sorry to have changed the focus

    Back to you Marty....
     
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  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have no idea.
     
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  15. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Attached Files:

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  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    OK so bitter cold temps make anything outside pretty difficult. All the tools and cncs are about 11 F degrees right now. Therefore it's time to brainstorm some options to radius the fretboard.

    1. Bring in the pinemart fretboard radius jIg and use that to radius the fretboard. This will blow chips everywhere and I have a heater in the basement.
    2. Construct a radius jig to use the planer-basically the fretboard pivots on a carrier board under the knives. This would require designing and making it.
    3. Construct a radius jig to use the drum sander-basically the fretboard pivots on a carrier board under the drum. This also would require making it.
    4. Construct a radius jig for the router table. I did this and it worked but wasn't great. The router table is out in the shed.
    4. Safety Planer...nope.
    4. Sand the radius along the edge sander. This could screw up the fretboard fast.
    5. Hand plane the radius. This would require cleaning up the handplane and sharpening it.
    6. Sand radius using radius beam/block. This could aggravate my right arm injury.

    and the winner is:

    6 with a little creativity.....Remove a good portion of the waste and sand in the radius by hand. Not ideal for my arm but best option right now.
     
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    First I cut down the blank to 20" long x 2.5" wide.


    rip to width.jpg


    trim length.jpg
     
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  18. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I hear that, when it gets too cold in my shop, my Sawstop Table saw refuses to turn itself on. When it's real cold, the pellet stove doesn't even do much.

    I made a lot of necks with just a radius sanding block and sanding beam.
     
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  19. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I did a cross sectional drawing of the blank with a radius. I put a diagonal line on there denoting a facet to be cut which turns out to be 4 degrees.


    fretboard end.JPG
     
  20. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I try to plan for January and February by pre making stuff. This fretboard and neck I'm going to make was a late decision.
     
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