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New Toy, Radius Jig

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BrowneBasses, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. BrowneBasses

    BrowneBasses Bass Builder

    Sep 4, 2003
    Sparrow Bush, NY
    Here are a couple of pictures of a radius jig I made, I figured I'd put these up on here for your viewing pleasure. When I started out building the most perplexing thing I had to deal with was how I was going to put an accurate radius on the fingerboard with out spending hrs. at it with a radius block.

    After talking to my friend Darrin Huff about a few different ways of doing it this is what I came up with. It's fully adjustable and works like a dream. I just double stick tape the neck or fingerboard to the swing plate and go to town. Also the swing plate is not in line with the belt so that it uses the whole width of the belt instead of a narrow strip of it.

    But for those of you having trouble finding pictures on what some people do here are a couple, I hope this helps.

  2. BrowneBasses

    BrowneBasses Bass Builder

    Sep 4, 2003
    Sparrow Bush, NY
    Here's another picture.

  3. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Jeez Mike,
    You're an animal building stuff like that. It looks very well thought out and probably very quick.
    Can you do compound radii with it?
    I had a thought to build something like that once, but after four years of doing it by hand at Suhr Guitars I decided I didn't need it.
    I hope you guys get a chance to come by my shop when you're out here for NAMM. I'm sure we could all share some cool ideas...
  4. Wow!!
    Great Job Mike!

    Yes it looks like you can do compound with it! That make my wooden cylindrical radius jig look like a 50 years old machine :D

    Peace, JP
  5. Well, my method is just as shiny...

    Great looking device there. It looks like you've got some fabrication experience that isn't gained from just gluing nice woods together.

    For production work, you've got the best. Salute!
  6. BrowneBasses

    BrowneBasses Bass Builder

    Sep 4, 2003
    Sparrow Bush, NY
    Thanks guys!

    Yes I can do compound radius boards on this machine if I was to remove the cross bar, the one that has the Browne logo on it, I would set the support arms to the desired distance from the belt, and then set the take up adjusters on the swing for depth of cut and that would give me my compound, at this point though I really haven't played with it enough to see if I want to do compound radius necks, I'd have to see the advantages/disadvantages before I do a compound on one of my basses. And I think that would be awesome if we could stop by your shop, I'm always up for learning new things and passing on what I've learned.

    I'm pretty sure I've seen your radius jig before, is that the one you use the router on? I thought about doing it that way for a while but using a router bit on a finger board made me a little bit nervous, you know with the possability of chipping and all, also I like to radius the fingerboard once I have it glued to the neck and with the way my necks are designed it would be very hard to have a solid jig, as my necks are thinner at the nut end then they are at the butt end, and to try to match this taper on all the necks with a solid jig would be a tricky task. But yeah I like that jig setup you have and if it wasn't for the tapered neck thing I would prolly be doing the same thing.

    Now there's an idea I hadn't thought of an adjustable radius block man that is cool! That would be somthing sweet to have for finish sanding the fingerboards and refret jobs. And Yes I had some fabrication experience before I got into making basses, I started out as a construction equipment mechanic and then started my own fabrication business, but I really love making basses now. I think I made the right choice, I hope! ;)

  7. Yep that's my jig.

    I have very few chipping on the board but yes, it can happen. It takes only a fex minutes to get a board ready for final sanding.

    I also radius the boards once they're glued on the neck and the neck tapered. I use double sided tape to hold the neck in the jig and it's aligned with the neck centerline. I'll take a picture for you next time I use it (we'll soon be able to discuss that in more details ;))

    Peace, JP
  8. BrowneBasses

    BrowneBasses Bass Builder

    Sep 4, 2003
    Sparrow Bush, NY
    Yeah I understand that but, I'm not refering to the width taper, my necks taper in thickness, and that's what would have created the complication.

  9. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member


    That's the sound of the concept of your jig going over my head. I don't get it. Is the part of the finger board being shaped face down? And is that a very large peice of sand paper on the table? How does this jig work? What's moving and what's stationary? I've visited JP's site and understand his jig. Hambone, the downloaded picture didn't download completely, and I don't understand yours either. I'll try to download it again.

    Forgive me, but I feel like a junior high school kid sitting in on a graduate level quantum physics class. But this is one of the ways I'll learn.

    Thanks in advance for being patient with me.

  10. BrowneBasses

    BrowneBasses Bass Builder

    Sep 4, 2003
    Sparrow Bush, NY
    Yes the fingerboard is being shaped face down, and that table is a JET 6"X 89" belt sander, the chrome round bar is sitting on pins and does not move but the two red slack adjusters have bearings that are attached to the chrome bar and allow the plate and arms that are hanging over the sanding belt to swing back and forth to cut the desired radius into the fingerboard. The radius is set buy measuring the distance between the face of the fingerboard and the center of the chrome rod, so if you wanted to do a 12" radius on a fingerboard you would set the distance from the face of the fingerboard to the center of the chrome rod to 12".

    I hope that explination helps, if not I'll keep trying, haha.

  11. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Ding, ding, ding!

    The light goes on!

    Thank you. Now that I understand it, that's pretty clever. Nice job.
  12. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Browne: Wow. What a jig. That's so far beyond my metalworking capabilities (and I've got the scars to prove it) but the idea is exactly what I was toying with - a pendulum sander! Brilliant execution! I also can't devote that much jig storage space to a radius jig, but, man, if I could...

    Hambone: Now we're talking... That looks like something I could handle. Unfortunately, the jpg didn't dl entirely, just the top. It looks like an aluminum channel with spreaders (turnbuckles?? Is that the term? Been a while since I hung a chain link fence!). Widening the spreaders decreases the radius at that along the fretboard. A couple questions (natch):

    - What exactly is that channel you started with? They dun teach us that in software school. :) Precise measurements, even a source, are appreciated!
    - The spreader-dudes there Are they attached somehow? They look kind of just wedged in, but I can't tell from the partial jpg.
    - Does the channel flex to a true radius, or just a comfortable curve?
  13. Is it possible for you to repost the pictures?
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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