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Q About Changing Fretboard Radius


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Consider a neck with the frets removed (to be refretted later). Dot inlays.

And using the Stewmac fret radius sanding blocks, is it better to....

Using an existing 16" radius fretboard, sand it rounder to a 12" radius (w the 12" block)

-- or --

Using an existing 12" radius fretboard, sand it flatter to a 16" radius (w the 16" block)

???

(please don't ask why :D )

Edited by Cherryburst
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Depends....

If you sand it flatter your overall thickness of the board will be less. If the board is already thin that could be a problem, while on typical boards if wouldn't be too bad. You would risk sanding through your dots depending on how much of them remain from the original inlay. Sanding the edges lower with the 12" leaves the board almost the same overall thickness but will make you side markers close to the top edge of the board instead of centered.

As far as the amount of work involved, I'd say it would be about the same.

SR

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Consider a neck with the frets removed (to be refretted later). Dot inlays.

And using the Stewmac fret radius sanding blocks, is it better to....

Using an existing 16" radius fretboard, sand it rounder to a 12" radius (w the 12" block)

-- or --

Using an existing 12" radius fretboard, sand it flatter to a 16" radius (w the 16" block)

???

(please don't ask why :D )

Im sorry, but I have to do it.

WHY ?

Not just being a gimp, But it would help make sure you got relevant information.

What you have already gotten from scott is about all that can realy be given without any further info.

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Consider a neck with the frets removed (to be refretted later). Dot inlays.

And using the Stewmac fret radius sanding blocks, is it better to....

Using an existing 16" radius fretboard, sand it rounder to a 12" radius (w the 12" block)

-- or --

Using an existing 12" radius fretboard, sand it flatter to a 16" radius (w the 16" block)

???

(please don't ask why :D )

I deduce that this is totally hypothetical. Let's break it down. We can ignore the Stew-Mac brand name on the blocks; let's say we have generic radius sanding blocks. We can also ignore the dot inlays; they are easy to sand and can be replaced cheaply and easily if necessary; they have no bearing on my decision.

If the fretboard had binding, then I would rather flatten a 12 to a 16; that way if the slots became too shallow, then it would be easier to deepen the middle of the slots than the ends; we could use a short blade that fits in between the bindings. But we don't know that it has binding.

If there were a lot of chips from removing the frets, I'd rather fill those than sand them off. And what if the surface needed leveling? In both of those cases I would want to keep the same radius, but that's not a choice.

If the hypothetical player preferred one radius over the other, then I would change it to his preference; that means that either answer could be correct.

In either case we would have to reshape the nut, so that does not inform the decision.

Will the luthier see any difference in the two choices. Considering the information given, as an engineer or artist he would do it either way. As a manager he would advise against it unless he could charge extra.

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1. Increasing the arch means you may loose side dots on a thin board. 16 to 12

2. Flattening the board means you may be loosing posistion markers on the center of the board. 12 -16

Thats about the risks you face. If the board is very thin option 1 will ruin the neck. But it would have to be very thin. Remember the board will get thinner on the lower frets as the arch will be greater in size..Binding is another issue if the frets are cut back behind the binding it will be difficult to deepen the slots either way you do it.

Again you are either going one way or the other... so which is it????

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