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Need Some Help And Opinions

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Let me apologize for all the questions up front. I'm currently working on a tele build and am getting close to having the neck done. It is all sanded up, fretboard on, dot inlays in, frets in (not dressed yet) and awaiting some finish. I want the neck to be oiled, but the body will be lacquered. I have seen some build where the headstock (front and back) are lacquered to match the body, and some where it is just the face of the headstock. Just the face of the headstock would make it easier, but I was wondering what you guys prefer and why.

Second, I cut the slots using the stewmac fret template. It has you cut the edges of the nut slot, but I am wondering what the best way to remove the rest of the material is without messing up the rest of the fretboard. I thought maybe a dremel, but that could take out too much material too quickly. I also contemplated putting a slot in the middle of the waste and then use needle files or something. Anyone else done this?

Third question is about a little bit of tearout on the treble side of the board right near the 12th fret. The router just didn't quite like the grain there. The chip got sucked into the table and I was never able to recover it, so I am trying to figure out what to do with it. I tried a little dust and glue, but it didn't look good. Currently I am thinking my options are fill with epoxy (would still be able to see the defect, though), use wood filler (might look cheap), or cut a small piece of fretboard wood of such a size to kind of "patch" (for lack of a better word) the defect. Here are a couple pictures I got of it.



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If your headstock has a face plate that matches the body, I would finish the plate like the body, that is with lacquer. If not, and the rest of the neck is oiled, then I'd oil the headstock as well.

Your patch idea will show the least, depending on how skilled of a job you do. I'd go that route and glue it in with CA then sand it flush Once flush you may need to wick in some more along the edges of the patch. I usually sand that while the glue is still somewhat wet. This works the sanding dust into any gaps. The glue line will still look darker than the surrounding wood, but when you oil the neck and fretboard it will be much closer to the same color.


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With regards to removing the material for the nut slot a 3mm chisel followed by a file is probably your best bet.

I might add that I would use a razor saw and cut another slot in between the 2 existing slots then use the chisel in that slot. That way you do not damage the edges of the slot your nut will sit against.

Start here


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Concerning the lacquered headstock, I just finished one. Musicman's are like that. i just taped off from the headstock side of the nut slot and covered the rest of the neck. Make it pretty or whatever to match a volute if you've got one - or not. I used Satin lacquer so no real buffing was required. Tru -oiled the neck.

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