Fretboard too thin? (Full Version)

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mango -> Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 8:43:14)

Hey Guys! I just put the fretboard on my second guitar. The piece of ebony I used was a bit thinner than last time... I planed it down to receive my desired string action at the bridge, but now it is only 4.5mm thick at the nut (treble side... 5mm at the bass). Do you think this is too thin? Will I loose too much stiffness and end up with a bowed neck after a year of string pull?

hope all of you are fine... greets!

Echi -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 9:01:01)

Is the neck reinforced or plain?
It’s not ideal, but I must say regularly play a 40 years old Ramirez with that same fretboard thickness and the neck it’s perfectly stable.

mango -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 9:08:06)

No reinforcement...

RobF -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 10:31:33)

Hi Mango, hope you’re doing well, too. 4.5mm for the fretboard is OK. As Echi says, it might not be ideal, but it’s not unheard of, and isn’t wrong, nobody’s going to call you on it.

More importantly, how deep is the neck at the first and tenth*, including the fretboard?

Without reinforcement, a rule of thumb of 22.5mm at the first to 24mm or so at the tenth and you’re probably going to be just fine. But that’s a broad statement without knowing the wood. Thinner might be a cause for concern. If it’s good stiff Cedro you might be OK, though. Mahogany, almost certainly so. Running under 22 would be more comfortable if reinforced, but again, these are broad statements.

Under 21.5, and especially under 21, and you might want to consider corrective action, because that’s getting pretty thin. Even if reinforced, that’s getting lean.

Of course, just my opinion, but not offered without the benefit of some experience. If you haven’t started carving the neck yet, just stick to the rule of thumb and you should be OK.

*edit* correction - the heel end measurement should be taken at the point where the heel carve merges with the neck proper. That would be more like between the eighth and ninth, rather than the tenth.

mango -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 19:17:26)

Thank you I will give this one a chance... planing the whole thing off seems to be more work than building a new guitar ;-)

johnguitar -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 19:18:57)

Ebony doesn't really add much stiffness to the neck, it is very hard but not stiff and stable like cedar. Actually the more cedar you have proportionally to the overall thickness the stiffer the neck will be. Stiffness also comes from the glue joint between the two.

mango -> RE: Fretboard too thin? (Feb. 26 2021 19:39:11)

I think I don't understand... when I google the flexural rigidity from both woods I get something like 100-120 N/mm^2 for Ebony and 55 N/mm^2 for Cedar. To me this sounds like ebony adds more against being bent... not right?

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