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Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by atracksler, Aug 10, 2019.
What are your suggestions for neck radius sanding blocks? I'm looking in the 16-20" neighborhood...
Depends on what your needs are. Wood is fine if this is for occasional work, but if you're going to be using them often, go for a more expensive metal one.
Different lengths are for different uses. So you want want to get a few different ones depending on what you're doing (repay vs. fresh build).
Don't forget to pick up a good set of thick, metal radius gauges. Check your blocks for accuracy, especially if going cheaper, and doubly so if wood.
They're not very complex, there are guides to making your own if you have the tools.
I have a few StewMac ones and some old Universal Jems ones, great tools, but the StewMac are pretty expensive and I don't believe UJ is around anymore.
It would be my first one for an occasional build. I may just go with a wood one from amazon and see how it goes.
Please post a review of the Amazon blocks if you do end up using them. I'd be interested in using them on my next trip.
I ended up with a Stew Mac one, it was a good price on eBay.
I have two from amazon. A 6" long wood block with a 20" radius that I used for my first build. It works really well you just have to be super accurate when you are shaping the board so you get a consistent radius. The other one I have is about 10" long in a 16" radius this one works way better for doing the whole fret board. Mine were is great condition when they shipped. I believe they were both the timny ones from amazon. Either way, go with what Max said and verify it has the correct radius upon purchase. THe two I have are made of hardwood, im assuming hickory, but make sure yours are strong as well.
Also if you purchase wooden blocks, check to make sure they haven't twisted. you can do this by laying it face down on a flat surface and seeing if it rocks. all of my wooden blocks have some rock to them (lmii and stewmac). it's not ideal... makes it harder to get a consistent radius. I find I always have to alternate between the block and a long sanding beam. the beam keeps things flat along the length of the fretboard but wants to mess up the radius, the radius block keeps the radius but wants to mess up the flatness from font to back. if you alternate back and forth between the two you can get a half decently straight and accurate fretboard.
I built one of them sliding radius jigs this year. wouldn't go back to doing it with a block if you paid me to. much nicer, faster, easier, less stressfull, etc etc etc.
Wouldn't turning around the twisted block once in a while alleviate the issue?
I don't find it to work all that well... YMMV...