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Scalloping the guitar fretboard - possibly also renovation of the instrument

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Mark, thanks. While sanding the fretboard after filing, the finest grit was 240. As this is just an experiment, trying to remove all the file marks isn't that much needed. Maybe later, if necessary.

Side marker holes were filled with rosewood dust and instant glue(cyanoacrylate). Then holes for the 6mm fret markers were made, by using printed jigs like this:


Fret markers are turned out of maple, as I already had some leftover bits at hand. They were glued with the same instant glue.

Instead of dyeing the fretboard black, as was mentioned earlier, perhaps the acetone treatment could do. Comparison:

I wouldn't use acetone for fretboards, that have any sort of plastic parts in them, though.

So, next comes the fun part: fretwork.

Today the guitar was prepared for the fretwork. To start hunting the buzzing frets, capo was attached to the first fret, as the saddle has a different radius, than the fretboard(actually, in this case, frets):


Then lowering the bridge, as low as needed, to bring out the string buzz on different frets. So far, it's not as bad, as I expected. I like super low action, so it's crucial to get them(frets) leveled anyway.

First impressions of using the scalloped fretboard(no fretwork done yet): It definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, but even at this early point, I like it.

Some pros and cons noticed(personal preference):

+ string bending fingers don't rub against the fretboard
+ makes the upper fretboard somehow more 'accessible', allowing easier, crazy bendings also

- might take some practice to get used to
- fingers could 'dig' deeper between the strings more easily, when compared to the ordinary fretboard

I'm going ahead of myself again, but I think the rest of the guitar is now worth of restoring, although the body seems like there were bunch of rats excavating:




Not much progress today, as I had to do some arrangements to free enough table space. Also I've been looking for different techniques to do the fretwork.

In the project guitar, the string buzz seems to be concentrated mostly to high E string. Perhaps the first thing to try is a 'spot' -leveling, with the strings on.

Idea for that came from Stewmac video, where Dan Erlewine uses a diamond coated spot file. Particularly I liked the part, where he showed a very early version of it, that was just a wooden stick, with small piece of file glued to it.

I have noticed after the scalloping, that the fret ends appear to stick out more, when playing through the fretboard, so they need to be rounded.

Another thing is, that one may not necessarily desire of having a full Yngvie Malmsteen -style scalloping, which I have done. Obviously there are a lot of other ways to make a partial, or 'milder' scalloping.     

An example of that could be the Richie Blackmore signature model, that has a 'progressive' scalloping.

Spot leveling wasn't enough, so longer aluminum piece with 240 grit sandpaper was used to even out frets from 11 to 22:


String buzz is now gone, although, when the strings are set very low, even moderate pluck makes them buzz, no matter how much leveling is done. Simple cure for that is to raise them enough to suit one's playing style.

I'm surprised, of how different the guitar feels(in a good way) already. Next thing to do, is crowning of the sanded parts of the frets. Then rounding the ends of them.

And then, to the involved hardware.


--- Quote from: sorveltaja on October 01, 2020, 09:46:44 PM ---Spot leveling wasn't enough, so longer aluminum piece with 240 grit sandpaper was used to even out frets from 11 to 22:
--- End quote ---
So have you ever seen a fret file?  --  Lew


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