Fingerboard edge (Full Version)

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Andre -> Fingerboard edge (Dec. 25 2021 11:28:40)

Does the edge of the fingerboard typically remain square or does it follow the neck profile to some degree?


Echi -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 26 2021 10:25:20)

Best answer is it depends by the maker.
In the most of cases the fretboard gets thinner towards the soundhole, particularly on the bass side.
The geometry of the fretboart is not that simple though.

Andre -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 27 2021 12:14:19)

Maybe my explanation was not that clear. I'm not referring to the thickness of the soundboard. I asking about the profile of the the fingerboard across the first 12 frets. Does the fingerboard edge remain square or does it follow the neck profile?

Surely, someone on the forum knows if there is a common practice or does it vary with makers?

RobF -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 27 2021 13:29:19)

Hi, it will vary with the maker and the profile.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the side of the fingerboard square and not touch it during the main portion of profiling. Once the bulk of the carving is complete then the transition between fingerboard and neck can be addressed and softened, if necessary, but again this will depend on the profile and how the neck feels. You don’t want a noticeable or abrupt edge at the transition, as that can feel awkward and look amateurish (although I have occasionally come across it on some higher end hand made guitars).

Another way of putting it is, blend the transition in at the end so the profile is smooth, but work the profile during the carving to keep the need for blending to a minimum.

JasonM -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 27 2021 23:04:00)

Seems that it would take extra effort to not blend. Especially during the sanding phase, not to touch the board. Like why would you want that? Less comfortable !

RobF -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 27 2021 23:36:32)

I didn’t want to go too deep but basically the problem with blending right from the start is it can run away on you and you can lose control of the process. If you’re using the “shoe buffing” style of sanding for the final shaping and smoothing of the profile it’s best to initially avoid and then gradually bring the paper in towards the fingerboard and feel the neck for smoothness as you go. If you’re using facets and longitudinal swipes or any other combo platter of techniques this still applies. Besides the profile stuff it’s also a good idea to make an 8” straightedge to constantly check the neck for straightness throughout the process.

I suppose it is extra effort, and I have no idea how everyone else does it, as there is always more than one way to skin a cat, but it doesn’t hurt to establish prudent habits and avoid the heartaches.

Andre -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 28 2021 10:59:03)

Your right. I tried it with the FB square and the neck profiled, felt terrible. Time to blend the fb into the neck. I thought I read somewhere the FB should be left square, if I did then it's definitely wrong.

Andre -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 28 2021 11:00:37)

Thank you Rob, that sounds like the way to approach it.

constructordeguitarras -> RE: Fingerboard edge (Dec. 29 2021 4:14:29)

I always blend the edge into the curve of the neck.
After carving the neck most of the way, I use a cabinet scraper to scrape a facet about 2 mm wide at the joint between the ebony and the cedro. Then I blend that into both parts with sandpaper. It would seem clunky and unfriendly to the left hand to leave the edge of the fingerboard square.

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