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Rolled edges?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RS, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Is it possible to roll the fingerboard edges after the neck is fretted, or do you need to do this first? If so, how exactly do you do this?

  2. You could do it with a large flat file. Remove the neck, remove the nut, slide the file down the edge the 'long' way. Finish with a sanding block, or radius block. Redress fret ends, if needed. Refinish.
  3. Yes,

    I’ve done this a couple of times…

    I start with 320 grit wet-dry sandpaper (dry) and carefully go up and down the edge, smoothing the fretboard edge and knocking down the fret ends simultaneously…once I got the shape (doesn’t take much at all), I then go over it a little with 800 grit…

    That’s it…done…takes about 10 minutes…

    If you want, you can protect your frets & fretboard by laying down some masking tape first, lengthwise parallel to the edge…I haven’t bothered.

    The effect I work towards is a "worn" edge not a "rolled" edge per say...
    and yes it does make it nice and comfy :)
  4. I personally like the file better for this - sandpaper can erode the wood between the frets faster than the frets themselves.

    If you're building a neck from scratch, knock down the fretboard edge before you fret - and nip the fret ends so they are just a wee bit more narrow than the board.

    I HATE feeling fret tangs poke out!
  5. fenderphil


    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    i've heard of old blues guys using the side of a shot glass to roll the edges of their fretboard.

    i've never been brave enough to try though...
  6. I understand your concern , erik…however, I use a metal-grade wet-dry paper and I apply it to a hard flat surface (my sanding stick)…it then, in effect, becomes a pseudo file

    and again, the effect I am after is a "worn" rather than "rolled" edge...so a little goes a long way :)
  7. old blues guys would have 1million+1 uses for a shot glass…not the least of which is drinking shots :D

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