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I'm about to start on my 3rd CBG. The first was a fretted acoustic/electric and a great success, but someone bought it from me almost right away. My second was a tinkering project that was slide Coffee Can Resonator and sounds much like a banjo. I'm still experimenting with that one to explore different components.
My 3rd build is a Casa Torano acoustic/electric (piezo) with brass fittings that is going to be my personal to display and practice on. On this I have a question. Is there an Ideal thickness for the fret board? I'm using 1/4" Cocobolo on a 3/4" X 1-1/2" Poplar neck. It just seems too thick but I don't want to start shaving it (the fretboard) down before I get some input.
I've used 1X2 oak for my necks, 3/4"X1-1/2" actual measurement and 1/4" oak for the finger boards and it seems to work out good. I think that is pretty much standard practice.
I've used 1/4" before too. That seems to work out ok for a CBG. The reason it seems thick is because they're not radiused. Radiusing would make the edges thinner, so the fingerboard would appear thinner. The neck is narrow enough that radiusing is not necessary.
You could experiment with making it thinner, but I would not personally do it unless I had a way of keeping it very flat - i.e., a power planer or a very large hand plane. Then a long straight edge to check it against.
When I'm making fingerboard blanks, I try to slice them to a 1/4-inch, which gets me two out of a piece of 1x. You can definitely make them thinner (I have) but then you tend to run dangerously short on space for adding side dots. Also, the thicker (higher) fboard allows for a little more wiggle room at the bridge/saddle, especially helpful if you are integrating a piezo into the bridge.
Thanx Everyone. 1/4" does seem to make it easier, since most of the exotics and the big box boys all carry this size and short of planing and radius, nothing needs to be done! I'll be posting my finished build pretty soon, I'm working on the saddle (Cocobolo), bridge & nut (both bone) and laying out the frets. Strange, I don't know how to play, but I love the sound they make. I just seem to get lost in the woodworking. It's definitely a labor of love!
Yep. 1/4": is the way to go!