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This is how I glue a fretboard to a neck.. - GTB guitar #01

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Giel, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Giel


    Sep 9, 2005
    The Netherlands
    So like, I'm building this guitar for a friend of mine..
    And this is the method I use to glue the fretboard..

    Here are the pics:



    I wrap a lot of inner tubes of a bicycle (under a high tension) around the neck..
    Maybe it looks stupid but it shure works.. I learned this method from the luthier who teaches me..

    I was wondering who else uses this method..
    I know it's a guitar but I build my bass guitar necks like this..
    Any comments?
  2. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂș
    Looks like you griped the neck and fretboard just like a tennis raquet!!! :p
  3. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    I have never seen that before, love the headstock shape too.
  4. What is the advantage of this method over others? Also, how do you keep things lined up while wrapping the tube and keep from gluing the tube to the neck and board?
  5. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    One advantage I can definitely see is the ability to reuse discarded bicycle innertubes, of which I personally have a lot in my house (my father rides every second he possibly can, and my brother and I are getting more and more into it), and save money on clamps.

    As I was typing that, I thought of another advantage: innertubes are made of a plastic (hardly anything is made from full on rubber anymore) and Kevlar fiber, weaved into a tube. There is quite a bit of give when it comes to stretching an inntertube (I've had quite a bit of practice with this sort of thing), and it can exert crazy pressure onto the wood.
  6. Kevlar tubes? I've been an avid cyclist for years and I've yet to hear of this breakthrough. So basically a person could have bulletproof tires... Sorry, but I call BS on that one. :crying:
  7. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses

    Your guitar looks really good. I really like the headstock too. Which luthier showed you that trick? I'm kind of curious about that one. I chatted with a couple of luthiers when I used to live in Den Haag. Curious to know if it's one of them.
  8. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Wow! really innovative. I could see this really working well for pre-radiused boards because the pressure is all over the board, instead of just one area. Hell, if you can attach a board with zip ties (I have not or will I ever, but I know a few who have) I dont see why this would'nt work. Thanks for sharing.
  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Don't know about tubes, but kevlar tires and liners are quite common.

    Back on topic.
  10. just a thought, if they are tubes, couldn't you put them on looser and inflate them to be really really tight?
  11. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    I would imagine that the tube would burst before you could get pressure equal to that which you get by simply stretching them.

    This whole inner tube method, however, is quite brilliant, and I may try this on the bass I'm working on. Clamps are just too expensive, and I don't have tons of them.
  12. Giel


    Sep 9, 2005
    The Netherlands

    The main advantage of this method is that you have the pressure evenly spreaded over the entire neck..
    And it's so much easier to work with..
    I keep the fretboard very accuretly centered by drilling a tiny hole on each end of the fredboard, when I glue the fretboard, I put those drills in the holes so it stays in the position it should be.. I hope that makes sence..

    This is the luthier that is teaching me:
    It's a dutch luthier but I think you can choose an english version of this website aswell..
  13. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Yup. I found out the other day that I was speaking of the extremely heavy duty tubes that keep going after a puncture (at least long enough for you to get to a suitable place to stop). We're picking some up in the coming months - a pleasant ride from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL and back, spanning three days needs heavy duty tubes.

    And, as it turns out, regular, everyday tubes do not contain Kevlar. Too expensive. And no tubes are bulletproof - it's not weapons-grade.
  14. i like how everyone assumes kevlar is bullet proof in all its forms......ovation acoustic guitars have kevlar backs.....just FYI

    and the tube thing is brilliant, you could even drill your placement holes where your inlays or dot markers will be.....just a thought
  15. You could also use surgical tubing.
  16. This is a standard method of clamping down the top or back of an acoustic instrument during glue-up, according to William Cumpiano in his excellent book on the subject.
  17. to all that glue fingerboards like this, how do you secure the ends of the innertube? it looks like one end in the first picture is just layered with electrical tape and masking tape... but the other end's securing method isn't clear...
  18. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    i think its secured with the pressure from the next layer.

    The same way you only need to tape down one end of a racket grip.
  19. Giel


    Sep 9, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Exactly :)
    That neck has 2 or 3 inner tubes wrapped around it.
    We use this method al the time, also for glueing bindings.
    It works very good and is super cheap!
  20. Cheap is good... i've got a neck/fingerboard that's been ready to be glued for over a year... i just haven't gotten around to it, and i've been trying to figure out how to afford enough clamps to do it... i think this is the answer i've been looking for.

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