View Full Version : Hand-rolled fretboard?
01-23-2011, 09:56 AM
Are they talking about the fret ends or the actual wood of the fretboard? Yes, I know it's a dumb question!
I had to replace a warped neck (told it couldn't be straightened) on my '89 Strat Plus and went with a Jeff Beck neck since it seemed about the closest to the original. The fret ends are a bit sharp and I wanted to try to file them a bit. What's the best method - steel wool/emery board or some special type of file? What should I order from stewmac to do this?
If it's the wood they are referring to, how do you do this (rosewood) without tearing up the board? I don't think I've ever played a neck like this, but is it worth trying to do or will I probably tear up the neck attempting it?
01-23-2011, 10:03 AM
I've read that you take a chrome sparkplug socket and roll it along the corner of the fretboard at 45 degrees to the fretboard pressing hard to compress the wood.
You should round and polsh (hotdog) the fret ends too for total comfort.
01-23-2011, 10:08 AM
I do both. Becareful with the rolling with a screwdriver/socket/etc. You can only compress the wood so much without getting a puckering thing going on.
01-23-2011, 10:25 AM
The fret ends can be sharp due to low humidity this time of year. They can be filed back if needed.
mill bastard file up the length, reach your appropriate bevel on the fret ends, then use a 3 sided file with one of the corners ground off, and round the ends of the frets, stew mac also sell a special file that is rounded on one side and flat on the other for this specific job. Then use fine and superfine 3M foam sanding pads, then 0000 steel wool to clean her up, your set. To roll the edges, you could always scrape a bit back with a razor blade and then clean em up. but may not always be recommended. If you do a good enough fret job, rolling the edges isn't always necessary in my opinion, although many would disagree.
01-23-2011, 12:09 PM
You can just break the sharpness of some fretboards with a screwdriver shaft, or such.
That may be enough.
For the big roll wood has to go.
I'd be very reluctant to roll to the point of decreasing fret surface space.
Running a file, lengthwise, along the protruding frets can knock the points off. Detailing each one is harder.
01-23-2011, 12:35 PM
I thought that low humidity might be an issue, so I just bought an electronic hygrometer. I was using an old one with a metal coil that never seemed to change. It always hovered around 45%, so I didn't worry about it. Unfortunately, the new one read 20%! I ran a humidifier all night and have the room back up to 40%. My acoustics have been in there cases for the winter anyway, but without case humidifiers. The electrics were hanging on the wall. I think the fret ends were sticking out a bit on the new neck before the humidity dropped though.
Wasn't sure if there was a special tool to roll the edges, but compressing the wood a bit makes sense. Is this what your talking about for filing the fret ends? http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Shaping_and_crowning/Fret_End_Dressing_File.html
01-23-2011, 01:33 PM
7string and Tone_terrific are pretty much spot on with how I do it. On a fresh guitar I scrape the edge first with a razor to keep the lacquer from chipping while rolling.
Then I use the shaft on a 1/2" nut driver (don't know why, it doesn't really matter what you use, I just like that one the most) to roll it.
I basically go far enough to keep the sharp edges off the top corner of the FB and thats it. To much further IMO you start shrinking the playable surface of the neck.
Then I go back with a little flat file from SM to make sure there are no sharp fret ends exposed (on the guitars I build I end up doing a more or less hemispherical fret end).
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