Rolled fretboard edges

Little Jay

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Made my DIY Tele a lot better by filing the fretboard edges, or bevelling them. I believe Gibson calls this a rolled fretboard? This is a neck from Ebay, probably Chinese, and the fret edges were very good, not sharp or protruding at all. But the edge of the fretboard was a sharp 90 degree angle. So I took my fret file, which is glued to a block and bevelled the edges at about 45 degrees. After that I quickly ran a fine sanding paper along it. All I can say is wow!! I can’t believe how much better she feels and plays now!! Feels like my vintage ES-125 (1950) Now.

I tried to fotograph it but, but there’s hardly any coulor difference so it’s hard to see, although I removed the poly finish by filing and sanding it of course. Last pic is the whole guitar (yes I put a Fender decal, couldn’t resist, sorry).

Do any of you do the same to your (DIY) Teles?


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schmee

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Made my DIY Tele a lot better by filing the fretboard edges, or bevelling them. I believe Gibson calls this a rolled fretboard? This is a neck from Ebay, probably Chinese, and the fret edges were very good, not sharp or protruding at all. But the edge of the fretboard was a sharp 90 degree angle. So I took my fret file, which is glued to a block and bevelled the edges at about 45 degrees. After that I quickly ran a fine sanding paper along it. All I can say is wow!! I can’t believe how much better she feels and plays now!! Feels like my vintage ES-125 (1950) Now.

I tried to fotograph it but, but there’s hardly any coulor difference so it’s hard to see, although I removed the poly finish by filing and sanding it of course. Last pic is the whole guitar (yes I put a Fender decal, couldn’t resist, sorry).

Do any of you do the same to your (DIY) Teles?


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It's not that easy to do well, especially if you try sandpaper etc between frets. I hate sharp fretboard edges.
 

Little Jay

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I am amazed at what can be done using a 3M extra fine sanding sponge on this situation, fret sprout etc. without using the files. You may want to soften your 45 degree with that method. Far superior to regular sand paper inmho.
Thanks! I can try that indeed. But it feels realy good already, actually.
 

CoryB

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I just roll the edges with the shaft of a screwdriver. Do it little by little. It takes that edge right off.
Does that ever crack the finish on the neck? I have a CV50s that I want to roll but don't want to damage the neck poly.
 

Martocaster

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Does that ever crack the finish on the neck? I have a CV50s that I want to roll but don't want to damage the neck poly.
Yeah don’t try and roll the edges on a maple fretboard, I’ve never seen that work very well.
 

Beebe

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Do any of you do the same to your (DIY) Teles?

Yup. I "roll" mine before finishing in a similar way using a long fret leveling block and the same adhesive sandpaper I use on the frets. I follow that with a squishy 400 grit sanding sponge to soften it a little, and knock the edges off the frets.

Looks like you avoided loosing too much fret width, which is the trick here. The risk of taking off too much is exasperated with the wider vintage string spacing as well, where the low E is known to sometimes slip off the fretboard.

I didn't find any info online about rolling them this way, and came to it myself as I imagine you have as well. I prefer this method to scraping, smashing, or anything perpendicular to the neck. It's so much faster and gives a better result (unless you like the scalloped thing) IMHO.
 

golfnut

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I do it sometimes, but I have beem burned by going too far on a narrow neck. This can cause the strings to get too close to the edge of the fretboard if you are not careful. I don't do much "thumb-over" anyway.
I bought an AV 52 Tele on line that came with the fretboard edges rolled way too much. Both E strings were so close that no matter how careful I was the constantly slipped off the edges. I'd rather have sharp edges than too over rolled.
I have a Brad Paisley roadworn that has pretty sharp edges and it doesn't bother me at all. I like that neck just as much as my custom shop 52 tele with rolled edges.
 

Little Jay

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Yup. I "roll" mine before finishing in a similar way using a long fret leveling block and the same adhesive sandpaper I use on the frets. I follow that with a squishy 400 grit sanding sponge to soften it a little, and knock the edges off the frets.

Looks like you avoided loosing too much fret width, which is the trick here. The risk of taking off too much is exasperated with the wider vintage string spacing as well, where the low E is known to sometimes slip off the fretboard.

I didn't find any info online about rolling them this way, and came to it myself as I imagine you have as well. I prefer this method to scraping, smashing, or anything perpendicular to the neck. It's so much faster and gives a better result (unless you like the scalloped thing) IMHO.

Yes, I took care not to take off too much, although this neck is pretty wide and there was plenty of room to wiggle. I didn’t really look for info online to roll off edges; it seemed the obvious wayto do it like this ;-)

I bought an AV 52 Tele on line that came with the fretboard edges rolled way too much. Both E strings were so close that no matter how careful I was the constantly slipped off the edges. I'd rather have sharp edges than too over rolled.
I have a Brad Paisley roadworn that has pretty sharp edges and it doesn't bother me at all. I like that neck just as much as my custom shop 52 tele with rolled edges.
Yup, too much off makes a guitar unplayable, that is to be avoided, but I like this guitar sooo much better with the rolled off (or should I bevelled?) fretboard edges!

I actually did the same now to my Ibanez AF55 and my DIY ES-330 (check my thread on that ;-) and love those guitars now also even more! (They had enough room to wiggle as well).

My Gibson ES-333 came factory with rolled edges and my 1950 ES-125 has them as well, although with the latter it may perhaps be the result of a number of refrets and genuine play wear in its 70 year life ;-)
 

That Cal Webway

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Nice clean job!.

I'm not a fan of rolled edges, I like as much fb room as possible, a shallow bevel.

I also do a technique on the A string, the 10th fret and above:
I bend the A string "off" the fb creating an interval of a maj. 3rd.

Here's ny short video of it:

 
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Fretting out

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Nice clean job!.

I'm not a fan of rolled edges, I like as much fb room as possible, a shallow bevel.

I also do a technique on the A string, the 10th fret and above:
I bend the A string "off" the fb creating an interval of a maj. 3rd.

Here's ny short video of it:


I probably said this the last time I saw this but… holy cow that’s insane to look at!
 

El Tele Lobo

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Nice clean job!.

I'm not a fan of rolled edges, I like as much fb room as possible, a shallow bevel.

I also do a technique on the A string, the 10th fret and above:
I bend the A string "off" the fb creating an interval of a maj. 3rd.

Here's ny short video of it:


This is really cool. Very inventive and very Texas-swing sounding!
 

Old Verle Miller

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The advantage to the foam sanding blocks is they 'give' enough to dress the fret ends nicely at the same time - you can't do it evenly with just your hand or a solid block.
 




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