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Fretboard started to detach ..

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by D.Don, Oct 2, 2008.


  1. While radius sanding my defretted fretboard, after I finished with the first grit (120), the fretboard started to detach from the neck!!

    About 1/3 of it has cracked up, it looks even and nice and cracked in one piece, and now I suspect that I will have to take off the entire board to clean and glue it back. So, my question here is how this is done properly. I have not tried to force anything as I do understand this is a delicate thing, and at the same time it's great, coz know I get to learn how to do this too ...

    :)

    All advise is most welcome, and I am really happy to have you guys here teaching and supporting us who try to get into the secret world of the luthiering ...

    Cheers!

    D.Don
     
  2. fookgub

    fookgub

    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've done this before. It's actually easier than it looks. Make sure there is no tension on the truss rod before you start. It'll seem like it's not working at first, then once the glue starts to loosen it goes really fast.
     
  3. And the fact that there's no frets but filler in the old fret slots will not be a problem?

    Thanks!

    D.Don
     
  4. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Did you take off the neck and started work before loosening the truss? I think that could have been your problem.

    Anyway a hot razor between the neck and fingerboard should lift your fretboard clear in no time. At least, i think i've seen it done like that before.

    Ah, D.Don's got the link.
     
  5. Nope, I loosened the truss before I started work, and neck has been off from the body since I got the bass some months ago.

    I think I'll go for the steaming iron and a paint scraper, I got a feeling the glue here is not really gonna be any problem (I assume the fretboard detached due to friction heat when I radius sanded), old bass, old glue maybe?

    Cheers!

    D.Don
     
  6. fookgub

    fookgub

    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Don't know about that, but the worst case is that you just have to re-do the filler. It's not a big job, so I wouldn't be too worried. Better than having a completely unplayable neck with a lifted fingerboard.

    Also, I doubt the heat from sanding loosened the fingerboard unless you were really going at it big time with the sander. More likely it's either a bad joint, bad glue, or just dying of old age. Did you glue it on? How old is it?

    When you glue the board back on, you have to make sure you clean all the old glue off first. Also, make sure the mating surfaces are perfectly flat and there aren't any gaps between the fretboard and the neck. I usually rough the gluing surfaces up a bit with an old fine-tooth hacksaw blade just before I glue them together. Seems to help things stick better.
     
  7. I just mean that the iron will touch the fretboard direct (thru the cloth piece) and not the frets as it would on a fretted one ...

    The bass is a late 60's early 70's matsumoku build, Kingston, found it in a corner in a store this summer in a bit rough shape and will put some love into and make it a nice beater, to learn how to fix things, so the fretboard detaching was a lucky accident so to speak....

    :)

    Thanks!

    D.Don
     
  8. Now that was a picnic, used a sponge and really frakkin hot water carefully on the fretboard, and after about 30 minutes the entire board was off and everything in great condition (no marks, shaved off wood or such) ...

    Thanks for great headsup!!

    Now I just have to wait for the fretboard to completely dry and see if the filling got damaged (looks good so far).

    :)

    D.Don
     
  9. Hmm, seems like the filling has been sinking in a bit now when it's dried for a day. Options are to either re-fill and sand that down, or just sand a round again to level it.

    Filling was messy and smelly, though the fretboard is pretty thin as it is now..

    Oh well, let's sleep on that for now!

    D.Don
     
  10. fookgub

    fookgub

    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Might be easier to just get a new board. Depends on how thin the board is, but I would be careful about sanding it too much.
     
  11. Yeah, I will fill, in the middle of the board it's now about 5mm so I figure I have about 1mm left before it's ruined.

    A new board would be fun indeed, though my workspace is limited so working a fingerboard isn't ideal here (2 piece flat, living with my woman)...

    D.Don
     
  12. Do you have a balcony? If not, then luthimate may be able to make you up a new fingerboard to the correct specs!

    Just thinking, cutting the taper on the fingerboard with a hand saw would be a dusty job, but would be way less dusty than sanding in a radius... :)
     
  13. Good idea! And no, no balcony. Though I will fill this time, and see what comes out in the end, remember Alanis singing: "You live you learn" ...

    :)

    Cheers!

    D.Don
     
  14. Yes, unfortunately now I do.
     
  15. :D

    D.Don
     
  16. I bought a tiny little brush with metal teeth (no idea what it's called in english), sanded the neck with grit 320 using a flat sanding block, and then rugged the surface with the brush, looks like it will be excellent for the glue to stick to. Will sand the back of the fingerboard with 400 grit tomorrow and then get them together, dunno if I should brush the back of the fingerboard as well?

    D.Don
     
  17. Here we go...

    Detaching all parts

    [​IMG]


    Home made clamps

    [​IMG]


    The final moment

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for all heads up here, this is looking good and I cant wait to take the clamps off for inspection!

    Cheers!

    D.Don
     

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