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Proper Assembly Order For A Bound Fretboard

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So I'm already thinking about planning build #2, and I want to do my own neck for this one. Since I already have a sweet guitar to play, this is just going to be a fun project, no need to rush anything. I'm thinking about building the neck over the summer to fill some time.

My plans: 2 to 3-piece maple through-neck, rosewood fretboard, 25" scale, black plastic binding, white side dots, Earvana LP-style nut.

Since I'm still a poor and thoroughly inexperienced bastard, I'm going to get a StewMac preslotted fretboard. Here's the question: What order should I assemble it all in?

I was thinking:

-Build neck

-Attach fretboard

-Route for binding

-Install binding

-Install side dots

-Scrape binding, sand top

-Clean fret slots

-Press frets

-35-degree cricket-chirping and the like

However, I was thinking that if I wanted the binding flush with the back of the neck when it's painted/cleared (probably just clear, less thickness) I should install the binding after it's all painted. So therefore, would it be best to build the neck, attach the fretboard, route the binding channel, then paint the neck? I'd have to wait until the whole build is done, since it's a neck-through, but I think the final product would come out nicer as far as the neck-to-fretboard transition goes.

Just need a real quick answer here, thanks for your time, all :D

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-Taper fretboard, taking into account the thickness of the binding

-glue on binding

-Scrape binding flush with fretboard

-install side dots

-Glue fretboard onto neck

-clean fretslots



Precisely the way I do it. Except I often don't do the side dots until I install the fingerboard, because I like the look of a slightly larger dot centred on the join line between fingerboard edge and neck.

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I did it the way you've outlined it and it works just fine, thank you. It will make the fretbaord much harder to remove in the future if it becomes necessary for some reason, but there's no given "right" way to do it.

That said, I think the "correct" hereafter the "Setch" method is easier and I wish I had done it for my own sake. I did it my way because I routed everything to one template and didn't want to deal with another size I was running short on time. It worked out just dandy, but I think the fully-finished fingerboard is easier to handle.

Just be difficult, though, I will argue that the way you descibed and I did will result in a slightly stronger joint since there are more surfaces covereing more weak spots. It also will more effectively hide any gaps in your gluing between fingerboard and neck stock if there were gouges, chipout during routing, or you did a less than perfect job of gluing.

Choose whatever works the best for you, or what you have tools for, and just do a good job without worrying too much about which way is right or wrong. Build and be happy!


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