Hello! Any tips, tricks, and insight about scalloping a guitar neck?

walterw

Gold Supporting Member
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37,367
the thing to remember is that carving away wood necessarily decreases structural rigidity and mass, meaning there can be a cost in stability and "tone".

the goal is to remove as little material as possible
 

Black&Blue

Member
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390
how so?

you have to destroy the finish on the maple and then re-finish after
Oh, well the neck I'm working is unfinished, sans a couple of passes of lacquer sealer...I'm planning to finish it with a wood dye and paint job, spray the headstock and heel with poly, then use some Tru-oil for the back and fretboard.
 

Black&Blue

Member
Messages
390
the thing to remember is that carving away wood necessarily decreases structural rigidity and mass, meaning there can be a cost in stability and "tone".

the goal is to remove as little material as possible
And I should mention that the neck is a 1-piece quartersawn maple neck with a fairly standard .83 to .92 C profile. Musikraft...stability, once the work is finished and is rested and settled, shouldn't be an issue.
 

Blix

Supporting Member
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24,896
even there it looks like you could go like half as deep and still have zero contact between fingertip and wood, especially if you scooted the deepest part of the scallop towards the backs of the frets
Any shallower and you start losing that scalloped feel quickly IME. Those are pretty shallow scallops already.

how so?

you have to destroy the finish on the maple and then re-finish after
Rosewood is way harder and more work to scallop.
 
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3,539
right?

you shouldn't need much removed at all, you're frankly just about there already.

i remember the richie blackmore signature strat fender made a while back was scalloped in an interesting way, seemed like there was at most 1/16" removed, and the "troughs" were kind of nudged up against the back sides of the frets (where you're supposed to put your fingers) rather than over the entire area between them. IIRC it had regular vintage frets, so the scalloping served to transform the bending feel like you'd expect, effectively turning the little frets into giant frets.

the yngwie strat on the other hand is just ridiculous, massive 1/8" deep scallops between massive bars of 6000 fretwire, just wildy redundant.
And I should mention that the neck is a 1-piece quartersawn maple neck with a fairly standard .83 to .92 C profile. Musikraft...stability, once the work is finished and is rested and settled, shouldn't be an issue.
I've played a RB, a YJM, & an 80s original Schecter with a scalloped FB. The RB, I remember being to shallow, I liked the YJM, but I wanted the Schecter. The last two were close depthwise, but I liked the neck shape better on the Schecter. Damn I wish I could've bought that one.

I'd like enough room to tweak it flat or sharp, not just to get enough purchase on the string. Unlike most players, my grip touch lessened instead of increased. In some ways, I wish I'd have sold everything to get that Schecter. My playing would have improved faster.
 

walterw

Gold Supporting Member
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37,367
I'd like enough room to tweak it flat or sharp, not just to get enough purchase on the string. Unlike most players, my grip touch lessened instead of increased.
well yeah, that's the whole idea, to allow for absolute minimum hand pressure since you're not pushing flesh against fretboard wood. people that squeeze too hard are the ones i warn away from even using taller frets, much less a scalloped board
 

Tone_Terrific

Supporting Member
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31,481
I'd like enough room to tweak it flat or sharp,
Imo it's really a lot to expect from scallops to be able to go flat.
I find flat requires more finger pressure to get enough string friction to pull the pitch down.
It may just be my fingers ymmv.
More pressure = higher pitch with scallops.
However, up-pitching for vibrato is easy, with pressure, or bending, on scallops.
 

Devin

Low Voltage
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It's extremely tiring work by hand and if you are not careful you will require a fret job afterward. I had 4 layers of painter tape over the frets but one slip later and I knew the crowns were goners, paid for a dress. I wouldn't do it again. But I used a round file a couple grades of sandpaper and various round objects and then sealed the wood with tru oil. The job looks home made but it isn't awful. One thing you will notice is that certain parts of the neck go allot faster. I like the feel and it wasn't hard to adjust to. Neck is from allparts and it is a relic...
tumblr_a229c21e9ca2ffbd532ab0ec2b5a46cc_e5b6e889_540.jpg
 

Mr Fingers

Member
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2,473
I hope you have a clue how much scalloping you want. I'd be more concerned with that than with the mechanics of scalloping.
 
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3,539
Imo it's really a lot to expect from scallops to be able to go flat.
I find flat requires more finger pressure to get enough string friction to pull the pitch down.
It may just be my fingers ymmv.
More pressure = higher pitch with scallops.
However, up-pitching for vibrato is easy, with pressure, or bending, on scallops.
Not if you use 8s or 7s. Yngwie uses 8s.
 
Messages
3,539
well yeah, that's the whole idea, to allow for absolute minimum hand pressure since you're not pushing flesh against fretboard wood. people that squeeze too hard are the ones i warn away from even using taller frets, much less a scalloped board
I'd want Jumbos to help keep the depth of the scallops reasonable. These fretboards would be a good tool for helping lower finger pressure for those types of players, not a player.
 

Devin

Low Voltage
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3,769
Maybe I have a naturally lighter left hand than some people do. I've found the reports of going sharp with scallops to be wildly overblown, you really must have hammers for fingers to do that. The vibrato feels so good!
 




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