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Fretboard to neck
Author
Post
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 261
I've cut the fretboard nearly to size, and then used a shooting board to get it very, very close. The frets are on except for the 1st and 13th and below the 14th. I'm using the 1st and 13th to put in indexing holes to keep it square when gluing.
Two quesitons. First, the board is about 1/64th proud of the neck. The neck is from StewMac, and I had not intended to shape it any further than it is. Should I glue up with the board "as is"? Or should I get that last little bit shaved off?
Second. I'm considering putting all the frets in before I glue to the neck. Seems I've seen discussion on this before but can't find it now. What are the ramifications of this? If not before gluing, can I do it after that but before setting the neck in and gluing the fretboard to the top? There's something about banging a hammer over the soundboard that scares me.
Thanks,
Bob

Jan 31, 10 | 1:34 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
you have to consider the nut width and the string spacing. Check your bridge. Measure the overall hole spacing from the 1st to the 6th holes center. In most cases you have a 1 3/4 nut and 2 1/4 spacing at the 12th fret and bridge.
However you may have a kit that is designed for a 1 11/16 nut and 2 1/8 bridge. If you make a fretboard that is too wide for the saddle and bridge the strings will be pretty far into the edge of the fretboard , likewise if you do a fretboard taper that is less than the bridge spacing , the strings can be too close to the edge of the board.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 31, 10 | 4:11 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Yeh, John, the neck is 1 3/4" at the nut, 2 1/4" at 12th fret.
The part I was worried about was the overhang of the fretboard on the sides. Should I keep running it on the shooting board until it's perfect, or glue it with a bit of it hanging, and then trim with a file or something?
As to the 2nd question above, there were posts on this forum that I searched, and Bill and a number of others put the frets in before gluing to the soundboard. So I will follow their lead.
Thanks for your help, John.

Bob

Jan 31, 10 | 4:52 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Bob, the fretboard should be trimmed and shaped to the neck width (or better said, both the fretboard and neck should be shaped to your desired profile). Often the curve of the back of the neck extends into the f/b. This is one of the reasons I prefer to glue the f/b on the neck, shape it, then fret.

On my first couple I clamped the f/b to the workbench, hammered the frets in, then glued it on the neck. It will take a pretty good back bow (so called "compression fretting") which makes it a little tricky to glue on and the extension will drop off until it is clamped to the top. I was never really able to get the frets very level this way and each guitar took a lot of work before I was happy with the frets.

On my last one I built the neck from scratch and glued the f/b on before fretting, then used the StewMac fretting caul in a drill press to press the frets in - I'll never go back to hammering!

Feb 01, 10 | 6:11 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
I like your idea, Freeman. That way I wouldn't have to deal with the frets as I trimmed the board to the neck. Another good lesson learned. Thanks,
Bob

Feb 01, 10 | 6:19 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
StewMac fretting caul, StewMac neck caul, drill press (but an arbor press would work). Build another little caul to suppor the f/b extension




Feb 01, 10 | 4:04 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Here is another method.

Some folks install the frets before gleing the fretboard to the neck which arches the fretboard (as previously mentioned). Then place the fretboard on 1/2" blocks at each end of the fretboard and clamp near the middle of the fretboard pulling the fretboard in an opposite bow and let sit overnight to 24 hours (clamped all the way down to the table). Instead of placing the clamp in the very middle of the fretboard, scoot it toward the upper frets when clamping (since the frets are closer together in the upper register, there will be more bow in the upper part of the fretboard).

If needed, keep working the fretboard by stratigically postioning the blocks and clamps till it will lie flat and remain flat for 24 hours.....then glue it to the neck. I would double-check that no frets have popped loose. As I understand it, bowing the fretboard in the opposite direction helps set the barbs inside the fret slot (so maybe they are less likely to pull loose, not sure).

I'm sure either method has it's challenges.

Feb 01, 10 | 6:11 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
BTW, when I locate my fretboard on my neck from Hannalei Moon (sp?), the neck is a little wider than my fretboard. Seems this the opposite of your situation. I measured and teh fretboard is the width I would expect. I assume the neck is slightly oversized to fit to the fingerboard.

I'm curious, which is more normal, an over-width fingerboard or an over-width neck?

Feb 02, 10 | 9:44 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
In most cases if you buy a fretboard from someone like LMI you specify the scale length and radius. It will come with extra frets and a little extra tab of wood at the zero fret location - both which need to be cut off, the sides will be straight and it will be at least 2 inches wide. They don't know if you are making a narrow nut guitar or a classical or 12 string, whether you are going to bind it or not, or what the bridge spacing will be.

Likewise, my experience with preshaped necks is that they are close but a little oversize - that allows you to do the final profile and decide whether you want 1-11/16, 1-3/4, 1-7/8....

My limited experience with matched kit necks and fretboards were pieces selected from Martin's assembly line - in both cases the fretboards were tapered and cut to the final width and the necks were very slightly wider.

Feb 02, 10 | 10:08 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
The neck that came with my Stewmac kit is thinner than the fretboard. It had instructions for shaping the fretboard, which I followed. The neck is shaped at 1 3/4" at the nut.
I'm going to use Adaboy's tip on straightening the f/b once I finish putting on the frets (tonight?). Also, I'll then glue it up to the neck, and use a file or something to mesh the two together.

Feb 02, 10 | 10:57 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
My Hanalei necks are also wide. This will allow me to get the fretboard exactly where I want it, then round the neck down to it.

Feb 02, 10 | 2:20 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I'm not sure I'm understanding, but, your fretboard should be the final size, and then glued to the neck, and the neck brought down to it. You can fret before or after, whichever you feel comfortable with.

Kevin

Feb 02, 10 | 2:52 pm



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