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Techniques for creating fingerboard radius?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by count_funkula, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. I'd like to hear some of the techniques you builders are using to radius your fingerboards. So far I have used a radiused sanding block I got from StewMac. Works great on narrow boards but what about wide 5 and 6 string boards?
  2. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I've been using a scraper on boards with acetone based bindings (don't like being power sanded much) and it is a lot faster than using a radiused block. I get it close with the scraper and finalize with the block. Unbound boards I would rough out on the edge sander.

    I've seen swing arm jigs for edge sanders, also I'm sure someone out there is using curved planer or shaper blades.
  3. I had the same question. Check out JP Basses- there's an article at bunnybass.com(in the archives) w/some really cool pics.
  4. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Do you think by any chance you would have a link to this site?
  5. Sorry, I'm just above computer-moron level, don't know how to do that. Go to either www.jpbasses.com & email Jean-Pierre or look in www.bunnybass.com's archive section. Do a search on custom bass builders, luthiers, etc, & you'll find answers to questions you haven't even asked yet.
  6. Looks like you have to be member to search the Bunnybass archive.
  7. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I can't remember where I saw it but I've seen pictures of where someone cut a shallow V-groove down the length of a 12" long, 2x3 board (or something like that) and then screwed something like a 1/4" thick piece of plywood down into the groove making it warp to the desired radius. They counter sunk the screws so they wouldn't interfere with the sanding surface.

    Your question also got me thinking about possibly using a piece of PVC sewer pipe for the inside radius. A 24" inch pipe would give you a 12" radius and a 30" would give you a 15" radius. The pipe is plenty think enough and a 12" long x 4" or 5" wide piece would be really sturdy. You could screw it to a block of wood for a handle(s).

    All that being, a radius is a radius is a radius. You can roll the less wide block off the edges of the fingerboard if you keep your sanding strokes parallel. You'll still maintain the radius. Just don't sand in one place too long.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
  9. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
  10. If you really want something long and sturdy as the basis for a radiusing block, have a piece of .100" aluminum rolled for you. If you need one 3 ft. long, that can done easily. You'll have to have one per radius dimesion but most sheet metal shops can do this. Even though most modern shops use computer controlled rollers, they still need a pattern to match because of metal memory. I'm going to do this soon and have some 24" long sanding blocks. It should make things go faster.

    This is what I've been using...It's a piece of raceway scrap from work that I made into an adjustable sanding block. The turnbuckles work as a good handle. This'll put a bicep on ya!
  11. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Great idea Hambone!