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Plane Fingerboard With Glass?


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Hi I recently bought a japanese fender strat (a 62 reissue). The trussrod appears to be adjusted to its maximum (either that or its just stiffenen up because I cant get any more out of it). Also when i wind it all the way off the neck has a reasonable amount of bow in it (concave). I want to wind the truss rod off and level the fingerboard but without spending a fortune at stewmac.

I was planning on leveling the center of the board with something dead flat and then using my 7 1/4 inch radius block to take the flatspot out. Has anyone used a thick (about half inch) piece of glass laid on a flat bench with sand paper attached to it to level a board before? I planned on rubbing the neck on the glass instead of vice versa...

Thanks for any input..


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I wouldn't want to work "blind" like that (having to turn the neck over to see what's been sanded, and what hasn't been sanded).

The main thing is to have an accurate (precision ground) straight-edge to check how flat the glass is.

I prefer to move the glass backed abrasive, rather than move the neck, but that's not what you're asking.

I wouldn't want to be without my metal/glass levelers.


No radius block needed.

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Great thanks for you help:)

soapbarstrat, thats so wierd, I was driving around for hours trying to find some matieral for this jon and those were the exact identical 2 things that I picked up....the steel tubing and the thick glass..did you have yours ground down? or just luck out and glued them together and they were flat?



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Well I'll tell you the story (although not very interesting to anyone other than me, because I have *a thing* for making home-made tools).

I had bought one of those 16" "precision ground" leveling bars from Stew-Mac. My trustworthy precision straight-edge showed that the Stew-Mac leveler was far from being perfectly flat. Told Stew-Mac, and they said to send it back and they'd pick another one. The next one they sent was worse than the first one. Sent that back. Went back to using the glass surface leveler that Stew-Mac used to sell (it's 13" long by about 2 or 2.5" wide). It's the one in the middle of this photo with the wood handle on it.


But I liked the size of the new Stew-Mac bar, so then I learned how to cut glass, and made glass strips from 1/4" thick glass from a bunch of mirrors taken out of a house I did a lot of work on. Then I glued glass strips onto a piece of dense particle board. It's on the far right, in that photo.

Somehow, that didn't turn out perfectly flat after gluing the glass on with rubber cement.

Then a neighbor threw away a metal gate, which is where I got the 1" x 1" metal tubing from. I had to wire brush the white paint off of it, and then I sanded the sides flat, by using a couple pieces of glass stacked up on the work-bench with sandpaper on top. That made them very flat from end to end, but from side to side, they were *slightly* convex, which probably wouldn't be a problem at all, but I still didn't like it. That was probably from the slight side to side rocking that happened while sanding, which I couldn't totally avoid.

So, then I glued pieces of glass on one side of the metal tubes. Not with rubber cement this time. This time I had the strip of glass laying on top of my bigger pieces of glass on the work bench, then I set the metal tube on top, then ran water-thin super-glue around the edge of the glass. I couldn't be more pleased with the results.

I have a 3", 8" and 19" one. I plan on making more, so I don't have to change the sandpaper so often (I end up pulling sandpaper off, before the sandpaper is even worn, just so I can change to another grit. )

I won't just use any piece of glass. it has to be a perfectly flat piece, and only a small percentage of glass I have gone through has been flat enough for me to use for this.

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Given my history with glass, I don't trust myself not to get cut, but I've been thinking of trying this method out - is there a way to get the edges on the glass less sharp after you've cut it, or do you simply cover them up, or make sure you have the heavy gloves on when you work with one of these?

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I have a friend who's wife's hobby is glass cutting, so I was able to borrow tools, etc.

(he has since left his wife, so I might have a problem next time I want to cut glass)

Diamond sanding drum makes fast work of rounding any sharp edges.

I've also done pretty well doing some of that by hand with the cheapo Horror Freight Chinese diamond hones (about $6.00 when on sale).

I also have a small can in my shop with " broken glass" marked on the lid. Anytime I'm either working with cutting glass, or even out of the blue, find a sliver of broken glass, I put it in that can. I don't want it to go into my hands, or the dog's feet, etc.

I probably do have micro pieces of broken glass in my hands, but that goes right along with my ' thorn in my foot' personality.

I've even rounded edges on glass with sandpaper. That gold kind works better than other kinds. Not nearly as good as using diamond abrasive.

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