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Let's Talk Fingerboard Radius Sanding Blocks.


stereordinary
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I have tried a few different methods for radiusing fingerboards, and though my quest for making this necessary part of the process a quick and painless one is still in progress, at this time I have decided to do it with little more than a fingerboard radiusing block. Though IMO it is a time-consuming and finger-aching method, the results are consistent and worthwhile. Plus, I can choose from any radius I want, and somewhere around here there's even a tutorial on how to make your own.

So this thread is all about tips and techniques for using this simple tool/method. I'm sure there are lots of great jigs and even some hand techniques that some of you use, but that's not what this is about. Let's talk about things that we do to make our fingerboard radiusing sanding blocks more effective, less back-breaking, and altogether better tools.

What sandpaper can we recommend?

How about pictures of our guide-rail jigs?

Who makes the best blocks? Stew-Mac? LMII? Other?

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Add a handle or handles. Even just a couple of ball handles (like at the toe end of a handplane) makes using the thing so much easier, for me. Particularly if you're running it between a couple of rails or something to keep it aligned.

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Add a handle or handles.

I was totally thinking that. It doesn't throw off your balance, causing you to lift it on either end?

Oh, and thanks for the link to the 16" blocks dpm99 (Derek I guess?)! I'm totally gonna get me some of those!

Edit: Just ordered one.

I'm Paul by the way. Hi everyone! :D

Edited by stereordinary
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I'll definitely report back on the 16" block. I'm hoping that's it's machined better than the StewMac one I have. That one has some tiny ridges in it that I actually think are affecting my work.

And J. Pierce, since you have experience with this, where do you think I chouls add handles to this 16"-incher? Two inches in? Four maybe?

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I have a 16" block that someone here on the forum made me. (Sorry, I forget who it was... maybe the same guy as the link goes to?)

I built a jig for my router that I use to radius fretboards, but I think the block is still great for fine sanding.

I do need to add handles though. Great idea.

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I machined in a lathe a steel radiused sanding spindle which goes a drillpress. I have 80 grit paper glued to it and feed the fingerboard blank in against a back guide and do it in about 6 light passes thru. It works great and then I glue it to my perfectly flat bench with double sided tape and sand it to 400 with my Stew Mac radius block.

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I machined in a lathe a steel radiused sanding spindle which goes a drillpress. I have 80 grit paper glued to it and feed the fingerboard blank in against a back guide and do it in about 6 light passes thru. It works great and then I glue it to my perfectly flat bench with double sided tape and sand it to 400 with my Stew Mac radius block.

Have any pictures?

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