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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rolling fretboard edges.

Next 20 Messages  
Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Jan 5th, 2018 07:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Looked up as much as I could find with the basic search words on YT. One video has a guy using a utility blade to take off the edges and another one has a guy using a screwdriver barrel and just compressing the edges of the wood.

The compression method seems more logical to me, which way y'all doin it?

I cannot seem to locate the video with the screwdriver method but I tried it on a strat neck and it worked nicely.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 5th, 2018 07:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some people do the screwdriver or socket method.

That works, but it compresses (damages) rosewood boards and cracks the finish on maple boards.

I prefer to carefully sand a slightly rounded corner.

On maple boards, I follow with a few light coats of Danish oil or tung oil to seal the wood where the finish has been removed.

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Jan 5th, 2018 08:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Okay, I will plan on using your method. Could I get away with using 500 grit or should I go less aggressive?

This rosewood is seems very forgiving.

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Jan 5th, 2018 08:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Popsicle sticks it is!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 5th, 2018 09:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

300-400 or so will do it.

Be careful around the fret ends.

vomer
Contributing Member
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*

Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 6th, 2018 05:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've just started preparing a USACG strat neck which arrived last week. It says on their webpage that they roll the edges but it doesn't look like it. I'd say the board edges are very slightly off square, but not what I'd call rolled, so I'll be doing that myself. And with the small fret end bevel angle, it doesn't feel great.

In comparison with the two guitars closest to hand, the neck is almost the same width as the Squier SQ strat and just a little narrower than a Vintage brand telecaster in the lower frets. The SQ has a marked curve to the fretboard edge which is in the pic below. This is original, I haven't done anything to it and the finish is intact so I doubt the previous owner did. There's plenty of room between the E strings and the fret ends. (I should measure that.)

Because of the measurements, in theory I should be able to do something like that to the USACG neck. But I've got Mick's comment from my thread about the long neck screws in mind, "Come onnnnnnnnnn!!! What's the worst that could happen???" :-)



Profile pic

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 6th, 2018 11:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

vomer, that looks like my road worn 50 style neck, not too much rounding but enough to make a difference.

I am going to put the neck back on today to see how it feels, may do a bit more but I have to go slow like a snail. Lots of time in this beast :)

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 6th, 2018 11:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

vomer, that looks like my road worn 50 style neck, not too much rounding but enough to make a difference.

I am going to put the neck back on today to see how it feels, may do a bit more but I have to go slow like a snail. Lots of time in this beast :)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 6th, 2018 01:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Therealfrogman, you have your delay set too slow.

:o)

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 6th, 2018 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, but it pleases the ne'er do wells.

Edited to add most important comma ;)

(This message was last edited by Therealfrogman at 04:11 PM, Jan 6th, 2018)

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 6th, 2018 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I remounted the neck and honestly...I like where this is going. I also smoothed my fret ends with my brand new stewmac fret file. I will make the edges just a bit rounder and then, and only then I will take a pic and post it right here on the PDF!

Not really impressed with the file tho. Nice fine grooves but perhaps too fine.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 6th, 2018 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Not really impressed with the file tho. Nice fine grooves but perhaps too fine."

Why? Is it not cutting well?

I have one of the SM fret end files as well and I don't recall having any issue with it. (it's been a while since I used it though)

I you want something more aggressive*, get a good quality 3-sided jewellers file and "safe" the edges. (usually cheaper/easier to get a whole set btw)

I did this (under PG's advice) and they've become a handy part of my kit.

*However, sometimes slow & steady is best with these things.


Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 6th, 2018 05:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

Mick, I am slow to the core... Kinda seems slippery if that makes sense, I do have many jeweler files that I usually use but Stewmac was giving me 15 bucks at checkout so I bought it :0

Now onto the important stuff. Anyone know if the vintage rosewood tele's like the one George played had poly on the neck or nitro??

I will be putting a finish on this thing, fretboard too and I love the way it just shines like my bald head! Gonna do it but I want the rosewood to be as dark looking as possible and I wonder if poly vs. nitro would have any affect on that.

I want to give it a lemon oil rub down before I coat it as well but I aint too smart and I don't wanna make a problem for the finish to adhere to.




vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 6th, 2018 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Therealfrogman, I'd second what Mick said about the Stewmac fret end file, I think it's just right. I'd be cautious if you were wanting something to cut faster.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 6th, 2018 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Correct. A more aggressive file cuts a lot faster, but it leaves tool marks.

A super-fine file is slower, but the good ones leave a finish that requires no polishing with progressive grades of abrasive paper.

I use an ignition file to dress fret ends. It feels about as coarse and the surface of a dollar bill; it's that smooth. I also use an ignition file to level drop-fills in guitar finishes. It's more precise than a scraper or razor blade and leaves a surface so smooth it requires no wet sanding. I can go right to the polishing compound.

Fretwork requires control and precision. If you try to rush it you may end up with lackluster results.

Put on some music and have a beverage on your bench while you work. Take your time. Hold the file at the same angle for each fret. Count your file strokes on each fret. Consistency and precision will yield great results.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 6th, 2018 06:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

Fender didn't lacquer their rosewood fretboards.

Rickenbacker did, and still does. It is a laborious process to obtain a mirror finish because rosewood has an open grain, and it requires a lot of grain filling (or a lot of clear coats) and sanding to be perfectly level for the final topcoats.

If you simply sand bare rosewood smooth and apply a few coats of clear, it results in a rough but shiny 'orange peel' kind of surface, with the finish having sunk into the open grain. Look closely at the reflected light in the linked pic to see what it looks like.

If you apply lemon oil or other non-hardening oil wood treatment to bare wood, it will create adhesion problems with later hard coatings. Rosewood is a fairly oily wood to begin with, and has to be specially treated before clear coats are applied. This involves careful cleaning with acetone or naphtha to remove as much of the natural oil near the surface as possible. This allows the initial clear coat to bond directly with the wood fibers.

Many players that prefer a slick feel on rosewood boards use stuff like Howard's Feed & Wax. You rub this on, allow it to sink in a little, and polish it off with a cloth. Lather, rinse, and repeat. It does make for a slick, smoother surface. Not mirror-like though; more of a matte or satin look. And it has to be occasionally reapplied to maintain that look and feel.

sunken lacquer on oak

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

Pulu si bagumba!
Jan 8th, 2018 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am going to get some of the Howard feed and wax today. Lowes stocks it.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jan 8th, 2018 12:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's good stuff.



Peegoo
Contributing Member
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********

Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 8th, 2018 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you have nitro finish on the body or back of the neck, keep the Howard's off of it and be sure to really polish off the rosewood so none of the liquid stuff can migrate to the nitro finish.

I don't know for certain that the Howard's will soften it, but many cleaners and polishes that have solvents in the recipe can damage nitro.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 8th, 2018 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just checked the SDS on this stuff, and it does contain petroleum distillates and paraffin oil.

Generally, a good rule of thumb when using any products around nitro finishes is this: if it's flammable in liquid form--it's bad for nitro because it has volatile (evaporative) solvent components.

So yes--Howard's can probably damage nitro if the liquid is allowed to remain on the finish.

Getting some on there and wiping it off, though, is not a problem. Just make sure everything is wiped dry.

It IS good stuff on rosewood fretboards.

SDS link here.

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