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Fretboard Extravaganza


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OK guys, this is the official kick-off of Fretboard Extravaganza!

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I am offering up my services for lumber, radiusing and slotting of guitar and bass fretboards. Order Form

I have a good selection of hand-picked domestic and exotic instrument-grade woods; if I don't have it in stock, I can get just about anything on a day's notice.

warehouse.jpg

Fretboard blanks are available, precision milled to your exact width & thickness specs, with truncated end, nut slot or zero fret slot (your choice).

A variety of standard radii are available; 7-1/4", 9-1/2", 12", 16", 20" and 28". I can also do compound radii and custom radii upon request.

A whole ton of slotting scales are also available; standard, baritone, short-scale and long-scale bass included.

I will also slot multiscale fretboards, please PM or email your request.

Standard radii are cut using precision-ground radius router bits:

neck4.jpg

Slots are cut using precise templates and a radial arm saw:

neck9.jpg

I've created an easy-to-use Excel order form here: Custom Fretboard Order Form

Select your quantity, wood type, scale length, number of frets, radius, type of nut slot, and width & thickness; fill in your shipping info and email the form back to me. Payment can be made by PayPal, money order or good ol' cash. I'll email back with a shipping estimate and delivery timeframe.

Best wishes and happy building! :D

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I think in order to get an accurate quote, you must type in the dimensions of the board. After doing that I was able to get the proper prices for the different woods. Pretty cool little setup on the spreadsheet, very helpful for those who want specific boards. Best of luck Erik! J

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Yep...I gave instructions at the bottom of the spreadsheet for filling it out. Complete ALL the information for each line, and you'll have the price. The price varies by wood type and size of course, so you need to specify all that info.

The form automatically calculates the length of the board from the scale length, but you DO need to specify the width (who knows HOW many strings you're working with!), as well as the thickness of the board at the crown. Specifying these dimensions gets you thinking about the neck build in the proper way, and so it helps you as much as it helps me.

If anyone has trouble downloading the form, email me through PG and I'll send you the form by email. :D

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Would you happen to know how much postage to the UK will cost?

I need to work out if the total for a 27" slotted ebony board is going to be enough to make me pay tax and customs, because if it did, then it might be cheaper for me to get the board somewhere within the EU.

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Would you happen to know how much postage to the UK will cost?

yo Donut

I just quoted one out for Carl, I didn't save the numbers but it was something like ~$150 by FedEx and ~$60 by USPS Priority Mail (correct me if I'm off).

With import duties I doubt it would be worth it for just one board, but you might save some scratch if you ordered 10 or something. Shipping they mainly charge by the length/width of the package, much less by the weight.

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Does your wood selection include pieces suitable for body blanks?

Right now I've got 2" thick alder and black limba that I could glue up into 2-piece blanks, and 2" thick walnut that will make a 3-piece blank. Various stringers etc are options, and I can top it with just about anything. PM me.

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Just wanted to show off a few special boards that have gone out recently (or are about to ship out). These are all boards that have something different about them from the usual 6-string thing....I'm having fun with this! :D

This first shot shows an 8-string curly purpleheart, and 7-string leopardwood for Frank, and two 7-string birdseye maple boards for Frank's friend (in Argentina, birdseye maple is an exotic lumber!).

boards1.jpg

This second shot is a quartersawn wenge board for a 4-string bass commissioned for Chris, with integral binding to hide the fret edges (binding is still a bit wide in this shot...not yet trimmed back to final width).

neck34.jpg

The last shot (top to bottom) are: a figured cocobolo guitar board for Luis with slots for 28 frets; a figured cocobolo bass board for Robert with 9-1/2" to 16" compound radius; and a birdseye maple bass board for Scott with a zero fret slot and nut slot just behind.

boards2.jpg

I still have a bit of all of these woods kicking around...the figured Mexican cocobolo is especially killer, way better than coco from further south, lots more black & red in it. Also new this week from a recent jaunt to NC: Kingwood!! Man is that stuff hard...

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Where I get it, there's coco from Mexico, Panama and Nicaragua all together in one pile. The Mexican coco in the rough is really dark red, almost like bloodwood. The other two are more brown.

Funny thing is Nicaraguan Cocobolo is usually more expensive, and typically considered a more sought after wood. Mexican Cocobolo is usually slightly less expensive, and easier to obtain. From what I have seen, I agree that Mexican tends to have more vibrant reds and oranges(often much nicer inking). I have noticed the Mexican Cocobolo I have purchased has been more variable as far as moisture content(and I have had most of my trouble with case hardened stock with Mexican), but that has little(I only say little because their may be a difference in the oil and resin content and where it grows could be a factor, but I can't say) to do with the species and everything to do with how or how long it has been drying. Cocobolo is a love hate wood for me, I like its looks and the finished product, but hate working with the stuff.

Kingwood is one of my favorites. It is denser than most rosewoods. Which makes it my acoustic bridge choice between Mad. Rose and Blackwood, as its weight 99% of the time falls right between the two. Very nice stuff :D

Peace,Rich

P.S. I love the setup Erik. Having those router bits made custom was genious. Your workmanship looks top notch as always.

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I've done 4 bloodwood boards, all wide ones for 5 or 6-string basses. No problems with tear-out, but two of the boards that were flatsawn twisted quite a bit after resawing & radiusing in short order. An hour at 300°C clamped between a couple of heating blankets took care of that....and actually darkened the grain somewhat, a cool look since the grain on bloodwood doesn't really stand out.

One of the flatsawn boards is shown HERE, on the 6-string fretless at the top of the page.

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Wow, that's good to hear. I've hated radiusing bloodwood by hand, but would love a piece for something I have been working on. I've been dissuaded by LMII not selling it radiused, plus the last time I was router radiusing a piece, the collet dropped the bit slightly which steamed me hugely. Needless to say, that router got sent to the back of the class :-D

Those kingwood boards look really touchable for fretless basses....mmm....

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There's an interesting thread over at the OLF right now, about bending bloodwood and having it snap. Apparently excessive runout is the culprit, that may be where LMI is coming from. But my flatsawn boards had plenty of runout, so....

Probably LMI is radiusing them using a shaper, which spins a bit more slowly than my router. I crank up the speed all the way, and shave-shave-shave as I raise the bit.

I have had a little tear-out on highly flamed maple, but a little spritzing with a Windex bottle of H2O solved that.

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