Safe to reradius fretboard by planning it?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by JimLamme, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. JimLamme

    JimLamme Member

    Jan 4, 2003

    I was wondering if it was safe to reradius the fretboard of a strat neck from 7.25 in to 9.5 inch by planning the fretboard.

    I know what some people do is file the frets down in the center so that it becomes flatter. But what if one removes all frets and planes (sp?) the center of the fretboard. Will it compromise structural integrety? Any effect on tone?

    For strat neck, is the 9.5 just a thinner planned down version of the 7.25 and the 12 just a planned down version of the 9.5?

  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    If a fretboard is thick enough it can be planed from 7.25 to 9.5, but the fret slots will have to be resawn.

    Considering the work and expense involved, buying a replacement neck is the simplest solution.
  3. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

    May 28, 2005
    Just don't do it on one of those veneer board necks like many 60's Fenders are. Well, also don't do it on any vintage neck where it's going to lessen the value. If I had something like a used allparts neck, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

    But, I don't know your fret-work experience or what kind of tools you have, but for the job to turn out good, you'll need both special tools and experience with this kind of work. I won't even go through the list of tools, but for example, if you have to deepen the fret-slots, the way to do the cleanest job is to use a very short-bladed re-fret saw.
  4. macatt

    macatt Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    pacific northwest
    I realize this reply is to a very old post but it is still relevant today.I`ve done it (planed) to a "71 Tele neck. I used sandpaper with a radius wood block from Stewart MacDonald.
    The fret slots will dissapear in the middle (crown) of the neck but they will still be there on the edges so positioning the refret saw is easy.
    The saw is a small backsaw with an ajustable stop, also from Stewart MacDonald.

    My neck had a serious back bow that required planing so I decided to re-radius to 9.5 as long as I was doing the work anyway.
    I also had to re-drill for new fret markers.

    It was a pretty easy job.

    Scott Mac
  5. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    The Twilight Zone
    The above guy is right ,sand it with a stewmack radius block and then recut the fret slots.

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