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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Goes to show that shopping/hunting   for the right/ adequate  piece of wood , is just  an important knowledge base as building is.

Hi, I agree Pick. Why would I put all that thought, time and effort into building an instrument with unsuitable timber.

I have been to my local [130 km away] Bunnings hardware store and only bought timber once out of three visits. I go through the whole rack and only pick the good 1/4 sawn Tassie Oak for my CBG necks, and only then if it is straight. Its the same cost as the crap.

If one is cutting fret slots an 1/8" deep the slots are either whaaay too deep or the fret wire has unusually high tang. My Evo [gold] fret wire has a tang of 1/16"  and my regular wire is a bit more than that, but nowhere near an 1/8".

Cheers Taff

"melon tapping " i call it  ;-)

Umm, no comment.;)

Warehouse 13??

well i dont know if anyone has mentioned this but i thought the solution was obvious.

just laminate 2 pieces of the 1/8" and make a 1/4" fretboard. if you step it then you can have lid relief above the neck without having to cut into it. 

the red part is the first 1/8 the yellow is the second and the big black box the Cigar box..( not to scale in the slightest....lol) . the lid can now vibrate without cutting the neck...

That'll work too.

Yes, that’s a nice trick! Keeps the neck thick through the body and saves all the work of removing stock under the sound board.

Even if you were to use a 1/4” fretboard, I’d rather thin a short bit of fretboard than the whole run of neck under the soundboard. Good technique.

I will cut the fret slots to about 3/32" for a flat fretboard. If I'm going to have a radius fretboard, then I'll cut the slots 1/8" to 5/32" deep.

You need to have the slot cut at least a 1/32" deeper than the fret tang. That allows the fret to firmly seat into the board instead of bottoming out and rebounding upwards slightly. Another thing about fret slots that aren't cut deep enough, is the wood contracting or swelling with temperature/moisture changes. If the slots are a little deeper, the frets are less likely to raise up with those changes.

A 1/8" fretboard with a bunch of 3/32" slots will be more likely to crack in the slots with temperature/moisture changes. So a 1/4" fretted finger board is ideal. Some big name guitar companies have started using 5/16"/8mm finger boards.

That’s true. Even if the top 1/8” is glued to another 1/8” layer or right to the neck, the fret slots will weaken it. You could get done cracking or loose frets.
Hi, here's the steps I take to ensure a strong stable fretted fingerboard, I hope it helps. This is based on many (hundreds of fretting and refret jobs, I should say l do not glue on 3-4 string CBG's with a narrow fingerboard.
I used the method on my first guitar built in 1976, and those frets are original and still seating perfectly.

Fingerboard 1/4"
Good 1/4 sawn blank for stability
Slots correct size for tang
Run a bead of glue along bottom of fret tang (I use titebond)
Tap fret into slot (glue fills the void under the fret tang strengthening that area)
Every 4 or 5 frets I clamp a caul on top of the frets until the glue sets.
And so on
When nipping the ends I place a finger on to top the fret so I detect a loose fret as it will sort of rattle in the slot when cut, but this is rare.
For what it's worth.
Cheers Taff

I have used several from Rockler with great success. Cherry and a few other hardwoods. All have been solid and straight.


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