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fretboard radius plane?

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thetyreman

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I was thinking today about making a special plane, a moulding plane just for making guitar fretboard radius shapes, it'd have the advantage of planing not sanding so possibly create a nicer final surface, surely it'd be quicker than the current methods of using a block of wood with sandpaper on it, very specialist but as far as I know I've never seen one,

thoughts?
 

samhay

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How often will you have to sharpen when you are mostly using ebony, rosewood and hard maple?
Sharpening may not be quite as easy as changing the sandpaper on a radiused sanding block...
 

profchris

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If it's for your own use, why not.

But I doubt you could sell them easily to luthiers if that's what you have in mind. They (I wont claim to be one) are pretty conservative about new techniques. Additionally, many want to focus their radiusing on the vanishing point where the projected sides of the tapered fretboard would meet,rather than on the centerline, which produces a subtly different shape.

Plus there's the sharpening.

I don't think speed/ease of working is much of an issue. If I were radiusing I'd remove most of the surplus with a normal plane, then sand to final shape.
 

MusicMan

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Chris, isn't another way of putting it that the curvature varies along the length of the fretboard? In which case a moulding plane would not work, apart from roughing out (for which, as you say, a normal plane will do fine).
 

M_Chavez

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I wouldn't use one personally for
a) The fear of tearout - especially if shaping the fretboard after it's been glued onto an almost completed guitar. Disaster waiting to happen imho.
b) Sharpening would be a nightmare.

I'd say acoustic & electric guitar luthiers are quite progressive and would prefer a router jig for this (there were a few commercially made ones kicking about). Classicals, thankfully, have flat fretboards 8)
 

thetyreman

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you all make vaild points, it was one of those heat of the moment ideas, sounds like it wouldn't be a good idea at all.
 

Ttrees

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You could make a scraper plane, less of a challenge to hone, but still tricky or needing some jiggery.
Plenty of folks have a router jig for fretboard profiles instead.
 

richarddownunder

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thetyreman":3izejd57 said:
I was thinking today about making a special plane, a moulding plane just for making guitar fretboard radius shapes, it'd have the advantage of planing not sanding so possibly create a nicer final surface, surely it'd be quicker than the current methods of using a block of wood with sandpaper on it, very specialist but as far as I know I've never seen one,

thoughts?
The way I do it (but I'm no expert!!) is plane an approximate radius with a #5 then finish it off with a radius sanding block (or 2 blocks if you want different raduises along the fretboard) all of which doesn't really take long and gives a nice finish of you use fine enough paper.
 

Jarno

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One of my DIY basses has a cocobolo fretboard, and I immediately thought about that when seeing the thread title. Not so much fun, I think, grain running everywhere, scary with tearout and all.
Scraping might work, and might even be nicer than sanding though.
 
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