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slots-then-sanding or sanding-then-slots

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by uethanian, Mar 15, 2008.


  1. uethanian

    uethanian

    Mar 11, 2007
    just wondering, will fingerboard slots be damaged or made unusable by sanding the board? i dont mean just finishing sanding, i mean heavy grit. cause im working on this FB and i'm all set up to slot but i ran out of sandpaper and will have to finish sanding later. :( guess i'm just impatient.
     
  2. I slot first, then radius and sand, then I clear all the gunk out of the slots I've just deposited there and recut them to correct depth for the fret tang.
     
  3. Radius first...if you end up having to take a fair bit off the board, then the slot depth may change and you might have to re-slot. You really don't want to have a lot of open slot below the bottom of the fret tang when you look at the edge of the fretboard.

    Slot, then fine/finish sand before installing your frets.
     
  4. I don't have a fret cutting jig so I like to start off the slots while the fingerboard is still flat and you can go iff a perpendicular edge. I don't mind recutting the slots to the right depth after it's been radiussed. If you don't have a fret cutting jig then cutting into a radiussed fretboard using just a straight edge guide is a recipe for disaster.
     
  5. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I slot first, then attach the slotted fretboard to the neck blank, and then utilize a beltsander to sand the radius in afterwards.

    if I slotted with a radial arm saw I might consider slotting after the sanding

    all the best,

    R
     
  6. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    I have done it both ways. If you are marking out and cutting by hand then most definitely slot first. Laying out and then keeping the cut straight on a curved surface is a bi*%#. If you are using a jig of some sort that will hold the FB and the saw in plane and to the proper depth then your only concern will be if the blade wants to tear at the cross grain of the wood. If that is the case then you might want to radius later.

    No matter what leave the FB wide until after you have slotted. The danger of tear out on the edge is significant but meaningless if you have material to remove later and remove the tear out in the process.

    Greg N
     
  7. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    agreed - when slotting first it is definitely good for the fretboard to be wider than the finished size. I'm usually at least <1/2" wider at the heel than the finish neck width

    all the best,

    R
     
  8. I flatten the fingerboard blank, then slot, then do whatever else I have to (sand it smooth, radius, whatever).
     

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