Changing fingerboard radius. Concerns?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by BigViolin, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. BigViolin

    BigViolin Member

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    I'm thinking about having a 7.25 vintage radius planed down to 10" or possibly 12". Will this cause the need for a new nut seated lower into the neck or just a re-file. Also for those that have done this does the neck feel noticeably smaller or is the wood removed so little that you didn't feel a difference in the neck thickness? Thanks guys and gals, Mike
     
  2. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    what kind of guitar is it? hard to say how much wood's gonna come off, depending on who's doing it. i imagine the nut's going to need an overhaul. it's going to be expensive.....
     
  3. giventofly

    giventofly Member

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    yeah i've never heard of someone doing this. It might be cheaper just to buy a new neck. I'd imagine there could be problems. Frets would have to be replaced too.
     
  4. BigViolin

    BigViolin Member

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    It would be a 10/56 Fender neck. I know the EJ neck is really close but not the same. Probably my best bet is to get one with 9.5 and call it good. What holds me up is used 56 reissues can be had for appox. $1600, add about $400 for the fretboard work and I'm still ahead.

    I can ask some folks that do the work, but thought someone here may have the experience with a similar finished product.
     
  5. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Doesn't matter what kind of guitar it is. If you're going from 7.25" rad. to something like 10" or 12", you're going to lose fretboard material from the center of it. You can't build it up on the edges - you've got to plane it down in the center. The neck will feel noticeably thinner, no matter how carefully it's done. Just so you're prepared for that!:cool:
     
  7. BigViolin

    BigViolin Member

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    Thanks Jack, that's what I needed to hear.:AOK
     
  8. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    that and you gotta finish the whole neck again because getting the lacquer to match will be tough.

    you can send your neck into usacg and they'll match it pretty exact but with your specs. get the paddle headstock and have your luthier make the strat shape and apply the logos.
     
  9. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    You, or who ever is doing the work will most likely have to deepen the fret slots before pressing the new frets home. I'd get a new neck, the Warmoth 10/16 compound radius is really nice and if "V" shape is your thing the Clapton profile is sweet.
     
  10. Tele_62

    Tele_62 Member

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    I had this done about two months ago on a Strat so I will address your questions.

    To me the neck is not noticably smaller
    Mine needed a refret so that was a non issue
    I did not have them try to match the finish, simply coat the fretboard with tinted Tung Oil to match the rest..I am VERY pleased with this.
    I had a hard to play vintage neck that is now a 9.5 radiused, 6105 fretted wonder.

    This was the right decision for me, YMMV.
     
  11. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

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    have u considered just a refret before actually changing the plane of the neck?

    on those vintage radius boards sometimes a refret with some jumbos is all you need to get the bends right...best of both worlds and cheaper than either a re-plane or a new neck...comfortable chording and lead work
     
  12. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    I read some where that a Pleck machine could change the radius without shaving off any of the neck. If that is true, it might be worth consideration.

    Best,

    Martin
     
  13. chumley

    chumley Member

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    Years ago I had my 62 reissue Strat refretted with something similar to 6105 frets(just slightly shorter) and planed down to a 10 inch radius. Loved the fret job, was never sure about the change to 10 inch radius. The guitar had a wide, thin neck to begin with, felt a bit thinner afterwards. However, it is still my favorite guitar, 7.25 or 10 radius.
     
  14. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    If you attempt to change the radius with only the frets, you will have an almost scalloped feel on the outer pair of strings. Too weird IMO. Guessing, I'd say the middle of the fingerboard will come down about 1mm to flatten the radius.
     
  15. willyboy

    willyboy Member

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    BigV, I had the radius on my strat planed to match the Floyd Rose I had installed. This was done about 20 years ago, before there were many aftermarket necks readily available in my area. It changed the width very slightly and really was a non-issue for myself. I still play this guitar daily and the neck has never had any issues as a result. If I had to do this now, I would most certainly order a neck from Warmoth or someone comparable unless I absolutely loved the neck as is. Not sure about the cost of the machine work these days, but then it was about $150 CAD including a refret with Dunlop 6100 wire. I would guess it runs pretty close to the cost of a brand new neck, though. Hope this helps somewhat.

    Cheers
    DM
     

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