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View Full Version : Rolling fretboard edge stupid question


homerayvaughan
01-25-2010, 07:15 PM
I have an Allparts neck that I am rolling the fretboard edges with the shaft of a screwdriver. Does it make any difference which direction I go? Like, should I take the screwdriver and go up and down the length of the neck or side to side? Or is my wording confusing? :messedup

Joe_Steeler
01-25-2010, 07:20 PM
I prefer to go up and down.
IMO it follows the natural path of the fretting hand up and down the neck.
If you go across you will have several perpendicular passes to cover the larger fret spaces. At that point if you do don't overlap perfectly you will have some rough edges.

Aren't rolled fb edge necks the best!!!!!!!

stormin1155
01-25-2010, 07:47 PM
I've not had as much success rolling the edges as scraping the edges. When rolling them, you are compressing the wood... maple, rosewood and ebony are pretty dense, and there's not much room for compression. By taking a sharp straight edge and lightly scraping the edges you can get exactly the edge shape you want. The final step may be rolling to give it the finish you want.

SgtThump
01-25-2010, 08:13 PM
Heck, I always thought that was done with sandpaper? I didn't think the term "rolled edges" really meant rolling something on the edges! LOL

homerayvaughan
01-25-2010, 08:39 PM
Well it seemed like the most non-destructive way to achieve the effect - It'd be real easy for me to screw it up with a razor blade or sandpaper. Took about 20 minutes of elbow grease. I may do it more later, didn't go overboard, made the edges not so sharp and new feeling.

440gtx6pak
01-25-2010, 09:42 PM
I like to use a sanding block with 600 grit sandpaper. With the 'block' used longways, and at an angle, you just cannot do damage. Another trick is to do this in the winter with low humidity, so the fret ends are sticking out their worst. Doing it then really achieves a nice non-sharp feel without cutting too much into the wood.

OM Flyer
01-26-2010, 12:09 AM
I am rolling the fretboard edges with the shaft of a screwdriver.

I've never tried it, but the ones I've seen were done with something of a larger diameter, like a spark plug socket.

Barefoot
01-26-2010, 03:41 AM
Some time ago I read that the indented 1/2 round side profile found on the ceramic end of some spark plugs was the thing to use.

Haven't used anything else since. Works great. Predictable shape and smooth as glass. It compresses instead of removes material. 100% recommended.

Go slow, take your time. Do a little each day till you get what you want.

W/regards to using sand paper...2000 grit...fret ends and rosewoood look/feel like glass.

Can't say too much about going slow and doing just a little at a time. If you go too far there's no going back....

Phoebe
01-26-2010, 06:53 AM
I've not had as much success rolling the edges as scraping the edges. When rolling them, you are compressing the wood... maple, rosewood and ebony are pretty dense, and there's not much room for compression. By taking a sharp straight edge and lightly scraping the edges you can get exactly the edge shape you want. The final step may be rolling to give it the finish you want.

Perfectly put.

It's essential to remove instead of compress.

gkoelling
01-26-2010, 06:57 AM
Heck, I always thought that was done with sandpaper? I didn't think the term "rolled edges" really meant rolling something on the edges! LOL

This is how I do it.

homerayvaughan
01-26-2010, 08:32 AM
So for those of you who recommend sandpaper - is the "compression" method wrong? I just felt I could do more harm sanding or scraping - like it was said, once you go too far there's no going back.

rmconner80
01-26-2010, 08:52 AM
I used 600 grit also, my finger, some light pressure, and my best judgement. Works great. A sanding block is best practice but the space between frets keeps getting smaller down the neck...

pickaguitar
01-26-2010, 08:58 AM
compression for moi

gkoelling
01-26-2010, 10:15 AM
So for those of you who recommend sandpaper - is the "compression" method wrong? I just felt I could do more harm sanding or scraping - like it was said, once you go too far there's no going back.


It feel sanding is closer to natural wear than compression. Imagine how hard you'd have to grab the neck through playing to compress the fret board. Play wear is done through friction, not compression.

eyeball987
01-26-2010, 11:03 AM
Someone should post a pictorial about this. I am completely lost as to how this would be done. The sandpaper/scraping method I can kind of picture.

John Bell
01-26-2010, 11:48 AM
Been doing this to my strats for many years.Mine are more like a Tyler.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/Novarine/candycola004.jpg

eyeball987
01-26-2010, 11:58 AM
Been doing this to my strats for many years.Mine are more like a Tyler.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/Novarine/candycola004.jpg

OK. Got it. Thanks.

Brett Valentine
01-26-2010, 01:06 PM
I did mine with a small, very fine whet stone (one that you'd use to fine tune the metal running edges on skis).

Did a beautifuol job on my Standard Tele.

440gtx6pak
01-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Here is how I do it. I am not saying its the only way, but it works and is safe. Of course you should take the neck off, if possible. I use 600 grit sandpaper in a common rubber sanding block. That grit is a fine compromise between speed and 'cut' for this particular type job. This method also does a better job to get rid of the fretwire's sharp edges. Like I said I actually prefer to do this in the low humidity winter as the fretwire sticks out more and protects from taking off too much wood.

This method kills two birds with one stone of both sharp fret ends and the fretboard rolling.

http://i560.photobucket.com/albums/ss48/arcadia440/neck-roll.jpg

Mad Monk
01-26-2010, 04:04 PM
Can you roll the edges on a bound fretboard?

440gtx6pak
01-26-2010, 04:08 PM
Can you roll the edges on a bound fretboard?
I have, you just have to do it a little gentler, to protect from destroying the Gibson 'nibs'. You might use 1000 grit paper instead for that. Also, for a Gibson, I would not do this when the humidity is low and the fret ends are sticking out their 'most' into the nibs. That would make it easier to damage them.


If it's bound but does not have 'nibs', then it would not be much different from doing the unbound neck.

Gasp100
01-26-2010, 04:12 PM
Agreed... I always thought you "rolled" the fret ends??? So you are actually rolling (or sanding the fretboard itself? Any closeup pics of end results? What exactly does it do to the feel of the fretboard?

440gtx6pak
01-26-2010, 04:21 PM
Any closeup pics of end results? What exactly does it do to the feel of the fretboard?

On some guitars with sharp fretboard edges, the difference is night and day.

I am not a good photographer, so I can't give close up pics that are clear. However, I can tell you, I am a very picky person, and would not be doing this, if the results looked even a little bad. If done 'right', you cannot tell this was done to the guitar from looking at it, even close. The key is the 'angle' of the of the block and being gentle.

dennyman
01-26-2010, 06:23 PM
wish i could find the article, but i read that the Fender Custom shop uses "rope" to round the edges of their necks.

gkoelling
01-26-2010, 06:34 PM
wish i could find the article, but i read that the Fender Custom shop uses "rope" to round the edges of their necks.

Hemp?:bong

Loobster
01-26-2010, 07:26 PM
On some guitars with sharp fretboard edges, the difference is night and day.

I am not a good photographer, so I can't give close up pics that are clear. However, I can tell you, I am a very picky person, and would not be doing this, if the results looked even a little bad. If done 'right', you cannot tell this was done to the guitar from looking at it, even close. The key is the 'angle' of the of the block and being gentle.

What kind of angle to you take the block to the fretboard edge? 45 degrees? I have a Warmoth neck that needs a tiny bit of work to soften the fretboard edges and fret-wire. The frets are SS though - I am assuming these will be tougher to sand?

440gtx6pak
01-26-2010, 08:17 PM
What kind of angle to you take the block to the fretboard edge? 45 degrees? I have a Warmoth neck that needs a tiny bit of work to soften the fretboard edges and fret-wire. The frets are SS though - I am assuming these will be tougher to sand?

Yes SS frets will be tougher.

As to angle, I found this picture on the web that is better than the pic I took.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_wIb8bQvIZyk/Sz1JZ0q9DII/AAAAAAAAAxo/qInbhPV_ivU/s320/DSC00209.JPG

eyeball987
01-26-2010, 09:35 PM
You guys rock! I feel much about how to do this now.

Loobster
01-27-2010, 07:16 AM
Yes SS frets will be tougher.

As to angle, I found this picture on the web that is better than the pic I took.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_wIb8bQvIZyk/Sz1JZ0q9DII/AAAAAAAAAxo/qInbhPV_ivU/s320/DSC00209.JPG

Thanks for the reply. I will go get the necessary bits and have a crack at it. Would you think that I could still work on the fret ends with 600 grit paper, of do i need something courser?

440gtx6pak
01-27-2010, 07:44 AM
Thanks for the reply. I will go get the necessary bits and have a crack at it. Would you think that I could still work on the fret ends with 600 grit paper, of do i need something courser?

I would not go courser than 600 grit. The finer the grit, the safer, especially if this is your first attempt. Also remember, the 'better built' the guitar the less the difference you will notice after its done.

Dickie Fredericks
01-27-2010, 07:54 AM
Been doing this to my strats for many years.Mine are more like a Tyler.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/Novarine/candycola004.jpg
Looks almost scalloped. You roll that or sand it? If rolled, what do you use?

Ive never done this to any of my guitars but Im gonna try it today. Maybe later though. LOL

gkoelling
01-27-2010, 08:05 AM
Looks almost scalloped. You roll that or sand it? If rolled, what do you use?

Ive never done this to any of my guitars but Im gonna try it today. Maybe later though. LOL

I sand mine but don't go that far. Working light sand paper and checking often, you can stop wherever you're comfortable.

440gtx6pak
01-27-2010, 09:08 AM
Just like to add... using the sanding block method, does NOT give that scalloped look, alteast when I have done it.

Dickie Fredericks
01-27-2010, 09:11 AM
I sand mine but don't go that far. Working light sand paper and checking often, you can stop wherever you're comfortable.
Cool deal.. How does that work on Maple necks? Taking off a tad of finish no?

Ive got the sanding block and the paper. Im gonna give it a try.

Loobster
01-27-2010, 09:25 AM
I would not go courser than 600 grit. The finer the grit, the safer, especially if this is your first attempt. Also remember, the 'better built' the guitar the less the difference you will notice after its done.

It's a beautifully build neck but obviously Warmoth only ship the necks with a preliminary fret job...nothing really incredible, I'm cool with that. I'd just rather save some money than have somebody else do it, at cost.

edward
01-27-2010, 09:34 AM
What about an unbound neck with a finish? I am thinking of my LP Studio (Gem), so there's no binding nor gibby "nubs" but the neck is color-finished and clearcoated.

Will going at it with 600-grit and block leave a "finished" look that won't look like the fretboard was "worked on"? Naturally, I want it to look "natural," like no one has worked on it :)
Thanks ...great thread!

Edward

gkoelling
01-27-2010, 11:33 AM
Cool deal.. How does that work on Maple necks? Taking off a tad of finish no?

Ive got the sanding block and the paper. Im gonna give it a try.

I've always just done it by hand and before I finish the neck. Yeah, you'll lose the finish on a maple neck. You might want to decide if it's worth it before you begin.

Southern ILL
01-27-2010, 12:05 PM
I've always just done it by hand and before I finish the neck. Yeah, you'll lost the finish on a maple neck. You might want to decide if it's worth it before you begin.


Learn from those in the know......and this guy sure does.
Order up a "replacement Neck" and roll your own.

Its a must for me.:aok
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i32/jsh1970/Picture1179.jpg

440gtx6pak
01-27-2010, 01:05 PM
What about an unbound neck with a finish? I am thinking of my LP Studio (Gem), so there's no binding nor gibby "nubs" but the neck is color-finished and clearcoated.

Will going at it with 600-grit and block leave a "finished" look that won't look like the fretboard was "worked on"? Naturally, I want it to look "natural," like no one has worked on it :)
Thanks ...great thread!

Edward

If done at the correct angle, and you don't go overboard, and use 1000+ grit, it should be hard to detect with the Rosewood fretboard, since the top of the FB is unfinished anyway. If you want to you can use clearcoat polish after you are done, if you slip a little.

MeMota
01-27-2010, 09:33 PM
Been doing this to my strats for many years.Mine are more like a Tyler.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/Novarine/candycola004.jpg

Doesn't this make the frets seem to "poke out" a bit?

Also, once a fretboard has been rolled, how can it be re-fretted? Do the frets on the re-fret end up a little less wide?

edward
01-27-2010, 09:59 PM
Alrighty ...thanks for that 440gtx! I appreciate it ...will be looking for 1000. :)
(I mean how much damage can I possibly do with 1000 ;) ).

Edward