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its over....and im goin back to the fork in the road! NEVER GIVE UP!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cliffemall, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. cliffemall


    Dec 8, 2003
    KABOOM...im sorry but i give up...finally! So taking some sage advice ive decided to replace the fretboard. Iwas told that the neck was some exotic wood and would cost about 250 to have an identical copy made. When this was made, it was made to be a unique "fender copy"? So I was told... It was shaped like a 60's fender (nice n junky) but the back was "squashed" similar to a neck you would find on a classical acoustic. So moving on... I took some a advice and decided to replace the fretboard. I used a VERY hot iron with some steam (sounds crazy but the glue melted right off) and cleanly popped the fretboard off! Its sanded and cleaned and I cleaned the gunk off the truss rod and oiled it a bit. Now, Im sitting here with a plain neck and a brand new fretboard and fretwire. The fretboard is a nice piece of ebony...AND THATS ALL I KNOW! Some how i gotta go from the blank to a finished, fretted neck. &$*i@()! Any advice on what order to do it? I was planning to first line up and trace the old fretboard...which is in perfect shape. Then ill cut it with a handheld jig saw (i have no access to a big shop with table top tools band saw table saw table jig saw etc) Then gluin and clampin it to the neck. Next i'll use heavy grit sandpaper to get the edge perfect...then radiusing it. Okay *** does that mean and how do i do it? I know it has to do with the slight curve on the fretboard but im so clueless. It cant be something i can do by eye, so is there a tool or gauge i have to use? Thanks for yalls continued support and i PROMISE you will finally see a finished bass! I have a body and im repainting it. Im gonna sand it, use a normal primer, sand it again, then hang it out back on some non humid day which we dont ever have here in Houston. Im using an auto grade spray on i picked up a pep boys. I heard that, if I applied this EXACTLY as the directions say, i should get professional quality results. Just to harden it up i got some clear gloss laquer from lowes. Am i doing this the right way or is my plan flawed? AGAIN?!??!?! Thanks again!
  2. Well Cliff, at the very least, your situation should serve as a warning to others...:(

    Research completely first, measure twice, cut once.
  3. bound


    Dec 28, 2003
    Jersey, Baby!
    Stewart-MacDonald has jsut about everything you could need, plus good books on how to.
  4. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    I'd hold on to that piece of ebony for the next project, when you've acquired more tools, and just buy a slotted fretboard from stewmac and a pre-slotted nut. They go for about $30 or $40 for the fb I think, and I have no idea what a nut goes for (but pre-slotted will save you the cost of the nut slot files.) Then all you're left with is the task of gluing the board, and cutting, bending, setting, filing, levelling, crowning and polishing each fret, and installing the nut. Stewmac will sell you tools to make these things easier to do, but it's still a lot of work. The good news is, with a lot of attention to detail, you can end up with a fingerboard that rivals that of many high end basses.

    Definitely pop by your local library and see if they have any guitar making books at all. That'll help you through the sequencing of the tasks involved.
  5. cliffemall


    Dec 8, 2003
    The fretboard i have is a slotted ebony from warmoth.com. Will this be okay? Its not just a blank slab.
  6. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Sure! I understand they sell good quality fretboards. So you just need to trim it, radius it, and attach it to the neck and do the fretwork. Make sure the neck is entirely clean and straight before gluing it on. Don't try to glue glue to glue. Don't use too much glue, don't use too much clamping pressure, and don't gum up your truss rod.

    Have you found a book on guitar building or repair yet? If so, follow the sequence as though you were making a new neck. I'd double check for straightness before mating the pieces, just to be sure.
  7. cliffemall


    Dec 8, 2003
    The fretboard comes pre-radiused but there is one problem...the neck is a bit bowed. Barely visable to the eye but it can be see when the neck is place on a flat surface. I think this is because it has been without a fretboard for 4 days and the humidity here has been all over the place. When I apply just a tiny bit of pressure it goes right back to perfect. Should I be worried and can i fix this if it must be fixed? The fretboard wont be on for a few more days since school is starting again and time will become short. Should I clamp it to my desk or bench to keep it straight or just not worry?

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