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Fretboard question


mairj40
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I have an Epiphone from the 80'd that needs the truss rod replaced. The fretboard was ebonol, and I was not able to get it off in one piece. I'm ok with that, because I didn't really like the ebonol anyway. My question is that it is a 25.5 scale, and the old fretboard had 24 frets. I am having a hard time finding a replacement fretboard. I have found several that are 25.5 scale with only 22 frets. Does the number of frets matter?

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Don't know the radius of your fretboard, but here you can find 24 fret fretboards with 12" radius:

http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Bodies_and_Necks_and_Wood/Electric_Guitar/Fingerboards/Slotted_Fingerboard_for_Fender_Guitar.html

If you need 24 frets or not is depending on the design, but I'd say that if you had 24 frets you need that on the new fretboard too.

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Good deal. I made a radius gauge, so I can check my neck radius. Hopefully one of those will work.

I was thinking that I should stay with 24 frets since the original had that many.

If my current neck radius is 14, for example, is it going to totally mess things up to use a 12 radius board?

Sorry if my questions are dumb. I haven't replaced a fretboard before, but I wanted to give it a shot on an old project guitar that I have.

Edited by mairj40
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No big problems to go from a 14" to 12" radius. You will need to adjust the nut and the bridge radius. The nut radius it probably what scares most people the most, but you will probably need to do a nut job even if you replace the fretboard with an identical radiuses board. And adjusting the bridge might be very easy or a bit more job depending on type. Do you have a picture of said (or similar) guitar?

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Nice guitar. The bridge shouldn't be a problem, it looks like a fully adjustable unit. The nut will need some work if the old fretboard was 14". An yeah, you will need all 24 frets...

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  • 9 months later...

I have the new fretboard. I order one from Stewmac. What is the best way to trim it to fit the neck? I am currently without a band saw or scroll saw. I was thinking of just using my jig saw and cutting it about 1mm wider than it will need to be in the end. Then once it is glued on, I can sand the edges to match the neck. Does this sound reasonable?

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How about hand planers? With minimum access to tool, you might need to use a bit more elbow grease and hand planers, set up correctly and sharpened nicely can trim a ready-made fretboard without chipping the fret slots. Of cause, pay attention to that and if the board is particular fragile you might have small chips and by then, stop, re-evaluate, adjust the planer or choose another method. However, with a planer you should be able to get quite close to the final shape. After that, glue the board on and make final adjustments with files and/or sandpapers. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the fretboard glued on and I am working on shaping it to the neck.

 

This guitar originally had a Steinberger-KB Tremolo. It was missing when I got the guitar. From what I have read, they were known for a flawed design. I filled in the trem routing and I had put a hardtail strat bridge on it. I was never overly happy with it though. It seemed like I couldn't get the saddles adjusted high enough to clear the frets. I tried shimming the bridge, but I don't like doing that. Since I am redoing the guitar again, I am not sure what the best way to go for a bridge would be. I was thinking of trying a Gibson style bridge, like what the Les Paul Juniors have. I believe they are a wraparound bridge. I am just worried about the bridge being too high and the action not being good. Also, then I would be stuck with the two large holes in the top of the guitar from the mounting posts. Any suggestions as to hoe to find the best bridge without having to drill holes into the guitar to experiment with different bridge types?

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A wraparound sounds like it should give you the clearance. That's a bolt-on, isn't it? There is the option of shimming the neck to alter the takeoff angle for whatever bridge you decide on if so. A lot less invasive than drilling holes to figure out which bridge will work. I'd say go for the wraparound if it's the fully-adjustable one. Are you confident about getting it placed correctly? We can sort you out....photos of progress always help so any issues or potential problems can be pre-empted....

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