Building the Fretboard Off the Neck?

Q&A Woodworking Forum IndexCategory: Guitar MakingBuilding the Fretboard Off the Neck?
Brian asked 9 months ago

There are some builders that make their fretboards off of the neck until the very last step and finally glue them together.

Is it better to build the neck the traditional way or build the fretboard and neck as two different pieces and then bring them together?

1 Answers
Westfarthing Woodworks answered 9 months ago

I build my guitars with the fretboard and neck separate, and I think that it makes the process a lot easier for several reasons.

First, then you have multiple pieces, you have a lower chance of ruining an entire part because you made a mistake on one piece.

For example, if you damage the neck beyond repair, and the fretboard is attached, you lose both. Even though the fretboard is not the problem, it goes down with the ship just the same.

Anther advantage is that you have more room to work with smaller pieces that are separate from each other. You can get the fretboard really close to your tools without the neck in the way.

Where this is a real advantage is sanding the ends of the frets flush to the fretboard before beveling them. You can simply use the belt sander, and without the neck in the way it works perfectly.

Finally, having multiple pieces to work with always gives you something to do. When one piece is drying, or you are waiting on a part, you can just go to the other piece and keep working.

I like to keep my guitar in pieces for as long as possible, because I always have something I can do to keep the process going. My guitars are built faster, and I never have to wait.

Happy building.

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