Re: Fingerboard Replacement
- From: "Tony Done" <tonydone@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 19:40:22 GMT
"Muso" <MikeMandaville@xxxxxxx> wrote in message news:6ba95a78-e7a0-4290-927d-5696f459e65a@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I can play a nylon string guitar, though I have trouble with steel
string guitars because of the narrower neck. I prefer steel strings
to nylon strings, though, and I also prefer the flat fingerboard of a
nylon string guitar to the radiused fingerboard of a steel string
I finally got fed up with trying to play my dreadnought, so I took a
single edged razor blade, and I pushed it in between the fingerboard
and the neck, beginning at the body end of the fingerboard. After a
bit of work, I was able to substitute a butter knife for the razor
After working the knife back for less then an inch, I could feel the
knife hitting the truss rod. This let me know that the truss rod was
flush with the top of the neck, and that the truss rod would prevent
the knife from digging too deeply into the neck. I tried another
angle, succeeded in getting the knife to pass over the truss rod, and
then proceeded to remove the fingerboard from the neck without the
application of any heat.
I bought a poplar board at my local Home Depot. The board was 1/4 "
thick, 2 1/2 " wide, and 2 ' long. I used five-minute epoxy, because
I couldn't find any slower-setting epoxy locally. I spent two days
just doing glue-up rehearsals becaise of this. I also drilled a
couple of 1/8" holes through the neck and the board, and inserted
screws, with nuts, to serve as clamps and alignment pins. I roughed
up the board's glue side with some medium sandpaper, because I didn't
have any rough sandpaper on hand.
I used a triangular file to cut the fret slots, the frets were cut
from one-eighth-inch round steel rod which I purchased at the Home
Depot, and I glued the frets in with Super Glue. My over riding
question was "How well will the glue hold the frets"? Well, as it
turns out, the glue will hold the frets very well. Several hard blows
with a hammer will not knock them out until the glue has been scored
on both sides of the fret with a razor blade knife.
So I now have a steel string guitar which I can play. And I am
designing an electric guitar. I will be selling my Les Paul.
PS A new bridge will give me more string spacing for my picking hand
also. I will give myself a floating bridge to experiment with
Those banjo necks guitars are for the birds.
Haven't heard from you for a long time. You certainly have a, er, fearless approach to luthery. If you want a wide neck on a steel string, buy a 12 string and replace the nut with one for 6 strings. You'll still have the curved board though. Many years ago Gibson made a version of the J-45 with a wide flat board - the FG-something? - Kelly Joe Phelps used/uses one as a lap steel and it sounds pretty good.
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