I popped into Rockler the other day, they’re a tool and supplies store for woodworking. I found and bought a few 1/8”x2”x24” pieces of exotic hardwood. I figured these would be really nice for fretboards and only 1/2 the thickness of the 1/4” stock that is often used.

Has anyone used these before? Thoughts?

Thanks, Scott

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I wouldn't try and radius any fret boards that thin, you won't have any fretboard on the sides. And I hope they're true, not much material to finish sand if you need to.

Fret boards do more than just hold the frets, they had strength to the neck, and when you fret a string, the fret acts as the nut and from what I've read, it contributes to the sound as well.

Not that thin fret boards haven't been done, just not widely advised from what I've read over the years.

they would however make great box building material if you make your own.

Hi Scotty, yes as Richard says, plus the fingerboard adds mass to the neck, which on a CBG 3 stringer would not normally have a truss rod fitted, so would help keep the neck flat. Mass in the neck can help create more sustain from the strings in the body.

For a good buzz free fingerboard its good to start with  a very flat f/board before fretting, thicker stock allows for any reworking needed in this regard.

If your neck is stiff and straight a 1/8 f/board would work, but I would suggest slotting and fretting it after gluing to the neck. I also find that the 1/4 f/b gives me a better bridge height. 

Cheers Taff

I should clarify, I wouldn’t dream of trying to install frets in these until they’re glued. And I had no intention of trying to radius it.

These are remarkably straight, true, and smooth. There’s not much you’d need to do other than finish sand it once it’s glued on.

I did add a 1/4” fretboard to one of my guitars recently, and I really liked the girth and heft it added. The whole guitar just felt better in my hands. I’d say it sounded a bit nicer too. Ive also used 1/4” stock on the back of a neck where it passes through the body to reinforce it, especially since it was notched for the box lid.

Fretless slide, glue-on-top frets like tooth picks, bobby pins, cotter pins, zip ties, or glue another  1/8 in different wood to the underside for fret slot cutting and a neat color contrast.

I like the idea of glueing in another thin piece in contrasting color!


I’m using a cherry neck so I picked up a nice light colored piece of maple. Here are some pics of it with Bolivian roswewood and wenge, and another with a simple piece of 1/4” walnut.

My vote is for the walnut

Might be the safest/most boring choice but there’s no denying how good it looks when it’s finished.
I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve decided to go with a single piece 1/4” walnut fretboard. It will look great and it’s sure to work just fine. I’ll experiment with the 1/8@ stuff on my next guitar that I build for myself.

Thanks to everyone for weighing in and sharing their opinions.


You see fender guitars with no separate fret board, So the thickness, 1/8", in and of itself should not be a problem if it is pre glued to the neck. Just make he rest of the neck thicker.

On one of my builds, the neck will be just under the top. My fretboard will cover part of the box top so I was looking at either cutting back some of the fretboard thickness to transition to the box top(1/4" to 1/8") or cutting through the top and risk leaving a noticeable gap around the fretboard. None of the hardware lumber centers had 1/8" thick wood pieces other than Plywood, so I'm going to check some of the hobby stores for some suitable 1/8" wood to put between the fretboard and neck from the box to the nut. Thanks for giving me the idea.

Doesn't matter how long or how short of a time you've been building guitars, there's something you can learn or find a new option/way of doing things everyday. If you can't learn anymore, it's because your not willing too. 


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