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Rolling fingerboard edges on maple fingerboard BTB?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by vindibona1, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    I am a huge fan of rolling fingerboard edges. All my electric guitars except for a limited edition Gibson Les Paul have had the fingerboard edges relieved. It's not only more comfortable over all but seems to make the instruments more ergonomic and easier to play (at least for me). The neck is wide as it is, so a bit of relief on the edges I'm sure would improve the feel.

    I'd love to do this on my new Ibanez BTB but it's got a maple fingerboard and I don't know how the neck was finished. Rosewood is easy because it's unfinished and you can just compress the edges or even sand them and it'd done. Maple is tricky because you don't want to sand away the finish, but if you compress the edges you run the risk of cracking any finish that is on the neck.

    Does anyone know what type of finish Ibanez puts on this maple neck? Will the finish crack if compressed (crushed)? Any thoughts?

  2. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    Bump... Nobody has any thoughts?
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    First off, rolling a fingerboard by compression is a seriously bad idea. First off you will be damaging the fretboard, and as you are compressing you'll be putting pressure on the ends of the frets which will tend to cause them to lift. And any rounding effect achieved may spontaneously reduce after the wood is exposed to higher humidity conditions.

    The proper way to roll the fretboard edges is to file or sand them to shape. Some folks seem to think that "rolling" means running a roller over it. In fact "rolled" is a description of the profile of the edge, not how it is achieved.
    mech, Warhawk and Slater like this.
  4. It's likely a poly finish. I agree with everything Turnaround said.
  5. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    Interesting. I can see your point as they make sense. However, I've done several Stratocasters and one Tele with the rolling technique and have experience no lifting, swelling or anything of the sort over years. Now that doesn't mean that I don't take your advice seriously and am not inclined to go after my BTB the same way. I would sand or file the edges if I had a reasonable way to refinish the sanded portion. Any thoughts here?

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