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Fingerboard trimming


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I've only built two necks and I used a dremel to sand my fretboards into shape for glueing.Could I use a router to trim the sides?Figured I'd ask first since I only have one board.

Was worried that it would tear out at the fret slots.

also,when you guys trim your fingerboard,do you leave it a little wide for a final sanding on the sides or go right to fit?

PLease and thanks

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i use a metal straight edge, line it up and rout one side, witha a flush trim bit, then setup and do the other side, i leave about a 1/32" on either side (roughly 0.5mm) to allow for final sanding and back shaping.

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I take my neck blank and make the scarf joint.

While the neck is still rectangular (planed and true), I slide the neck over the router table to route the truss rod channel.

I shape the headstock, and then worry about shaping the neck.

Here is how I shape:

- Measure the nut width and where the widest point will be (i.e., just where the heel starts)

- Use straight edge and "connect the dots," drawing on the fretboard side of the neck blank

- Use a micro-plane (or draw shave) to shave it down, leaving some extra past the line

- Same tools, use them to shape the neck to its rounded shape (and volute). I use an outline form/template to ensure the neck shape is basically correct enough.

- Then, insert truss rod ... glue on fretboard, final sanding, etc.

OK -- I'm thinking 2 things these days:

1- Glue fretboard on BEFORE shaping neck (easier to clamp/glue and easier to ensure the overall neck thickness/etc is right)

2- I need to make a jig (template) to cut (route) the neck taper, instead of hand-shaping it ... like Krazyderek posted

--- joe

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Although I'm not at that point in my build process yet. I had wondered the same thing.

What would be the best way to trim the sides of the neck and the fretboard.

With bandsaw you need a very steady hand. I read about people not getting it straight, doing it that way. I saw in strat thread (guy who built that awesome blue strat, thread floating on this site) that he used a template the route the shape of the neck too.

That got me thinking of using a template.

A template of the fingerboard shape fastened to the neck blank and trimmed on a router table with a pattern bit(has bearing on top). I trim right to fit.

I'm bit worried about trimming to fit, cause I need to do some additional sanding on neck anyhow. And leaving an additional 1-2 mm will just give me additional safety.

So thinking along this lines.

1. Glue and plane neck blank

2. Cut 13 degree headstock angle (in my case)

3. Route trussrod groove

4. Route headstock shape (using template)

5. Insert trussrod

6. Attach fretboard

7. Route neck further shape (using template)

8. Ruff cut neck backshape out of wood

9. Sand living **** out of thing to get nice round backside and shape.

Edited by RGGR
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What would be the best way to trim the sides of the neck and the fretboard.

Just to think about, I've only ever cut the neck out with the fretboard ATTACHED. There are several reasons you might want to wait until after the neck is shaped to trim the fretboard to the right shape, like if you're dealing with a neck-thru or something, but I find it just makes more sense to attach the fretboard right after you get the trussrod in and then shape it with the neck as needed.

I'm sure anyone who has glued anything can testify that gluing something straight is far more difficult than cutting something straight. What I do is cut out the general shape of the neck/fretboard, within a few mm, with a jigsaw and then just use a jig made of a couple long strips of hardwood or metal to guide the router over the neck, switching the jig for each side.

Template bits and templates are awesome and I use them quite a bit, but a lot of times they simply are not the easiest way of doing things unless you are making things exactly the same, time and time again, which many people do not. Especially with necks, which can change from intrument to instrument depending on what you are going after.

Meh, just experiment and see what works best, most methods have their place, it's figuring out where that place is!

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