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Radiusing A Fingerboard

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There are probably several ways of doing it, but here's how I did it:

Radius fretboard with router jig

Cut fret slots

Attach to tapered (but not carved) neck

Rough cut fretboard taper on bandsaw

Sand fretboard taper close to finished dimensions

Next time I'd probably radius the fretboard after it's already attached. Easier to clamp for gluing while it's still flat.

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It depends on what's going to work easiest for you, and what other steps you need to do. I've done it both ways - taper first, then radius, and raidus first then taper.

I find it easier to get the binding on the fretboard before I radius it, simply because I start with 1/4 binding, and this way I start with 1/4 inch edges to attach it to, if I haven't radiused, which makes it easier. I can work around the thinner edges left after radiusing, and I always could cut my binding to size first, I suppose. And of course, you want to taper the board before you bind it, or you have some problems. :D

I've taken to doing my radiusing after the board is on the neck, simply because I can use my flat board as both a surface for the router to ride on, and as a "template" with a bearing guided router bit for tapering the neck to match the board, but there's plenty of ways to do this.

It seems easier to radius the fretboard while it's off the neck and before it's tapered, but with a little planning it's not to hard either way - I either clamp or double stick tape my neck (depending on how much length I've got, and whether the headstock helps or interferes) to a board, and clamp two long, straight boards equidistant from the centerline of the neck at all points. The two boards are space just about as far apart as my radiused sanding beam is wide, and then I sand in my radius by hand using these as a guide for the sanding block. Not the most efficient way, but it works.

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