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Locating fretboard centreline

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Hutchwearing6, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Hutchwearing6

    Hutchwearing6 TDPRI Member

    Oct 28, 2015
    Hi all. Hope you and yours are well.

    I'm summoning the will to make up a neck template and neck, and to resaw boards for a new body (maybe a thinline, for variety)

    I bought a pre-slotted fretboard from ebay, but my current cause for procrastination is that none of the edges seem to be square or straight. Does beg the question whether the slots will all be parallel, but they look plausible.

    Any tricks for how to find a useable centreline with best chance of being perpendicular to the fret slots?
  2. pshupe

    pshupe Tele-Meister

    Aug 18, 2012
    The nut end and far end of the board should be parallel to the fret slots. Each side is tapered, hopefully the same. So the centerline should be the mid-point at the nut end and the mid-point at the other end.

    I guess if you wanted to check. The distance on each side of the fret board should match. Meaning, if you measure from the nut to the first fret. It should be the same on both sides. If you wanted further checking. Just align on a large piece of paper or wood and trace the outline and extend the nut edge so it is the same width as the other end and join the lines. This should make a rectangle with 4 - 90 degree corners.

    Cheers Peter.
  3. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2009
    south carolina
    Find approximate center, only needs to be close to start then take all your measurements from this centerline. Your template will be centered, and this line will be your centerline.
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Find the mid point of 2 fret slots, one at the nut end and the opposite end. Do a fret slot in the mid of the length of the board too. Connect the 3 points with a straight line. That pencil line can be used as your centerline. Put your edge taper lines on next with pencil. Masking tape helps if the wood is dark so you can see the lines.

    Ensure the nut width and end width are what you need. Remove the wood with a bandsaw cutting outside the line and hand plane to the pencil lines. That fretboard can be used as your bearing guide after you glue on the fretboard.

    You can also use a protractor to help make sure the centerline is perpendicular to your fret slots. The 90 degree mark should be on the centerline when the zero degree edge is on the fret slot.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I would suggest making sure that the placement of the fret slots is correct before spending time doing anything else. If a fretboard is not properly lined out, how can you trust the fret placement?
    trancedental and SacDAve like this.
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