Fretboard Wisdom Needed

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by LapseGuitar, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. LapseGuitar

    LapseGuitar New Member

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    May 2, 2019
    In short, I'm new to the process of building guitars and currently attempting to build a electric 8 string. I'm hoping to hear what all you experienced builders use as a process once you have the frets freshly installed on your fingerboard. In what order do you:
    • Level Frets
    • Crown Frets
    • Install Nut
    • Cut nut slots
    • File Fret ends
    • Bevel Frets
    • Install Inlays
    • Attach Neck to Body(it is going to be a Bolt-On)
    • Set Action
    • Adjust Truss Rod
    • Set Intonation
    Obviously some processes have a forced order,and I'm forgetting to put some steps in. I'd like to hear what you more experienced builders have as a process. No such thing as too much information here. Thanks so much!
  2. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Probably will hear some different answers, here's mine:

    I start with a shaped fretboard, but not radiused
    Run it through my slotting jig
    Install dots/inlays etc
    Glue it to the neck then shape neck to my fretboard
    Carve the neck - wait a week for everything to settle or shift
    Radius the fretboard with beam sander - any shifting from above step will be taken out here
    Re-slot the fretboard with a depth stop to follow the contour so I'm not cutting any deep than I need to from the previous step
    Cut frets - slot the tangs on a jig
    Press in several at a time, with a super small amount of super glue dabbed on the tang
    Bevel frets
    Level frets
    Crown the frets
    Use fret corner file to take the sharp edges off
    Tape fretboard and polish frets - starting at 400 grit, working up to 1000, then on to micro mesh pads from 1500 - 12000
    I don't cut a nut slot in the fret board but instead sandwich it between the fretboard and headstock laminate - will make a rough version of a nut here
    Test action height before committing to bridge installation/placement
    Then install bridge
    Then place pickups on string centerlines

    Hope that helps, just kinda spewed that out but basically what I've been doing each build.
    LapseGuitar likes this.
  3. LapseGuitar

    LapseGuitar New Member

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    May 2, 2019
    Helps a ton KR250. Thanks for the info! Love hearing everyone's process.
  4. adrianb

    adrianb Regular

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    Oct 10, 2018
    I would say installing the nut and cutting nut slots (which includes adjusting the overall height of the nut and depth of its slots) should come after fret leveling and crowning.
    LapseGuitar likes this.

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