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Scalloping the guitar fretboard - possibly also renovation of the instrument

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Lew, yes I have seen, but currently don't have one. Maybe at some point, as one diy-guitar, that I built in the past, needs awful lot of fret leveling(or even whole new fretboard).
More about that, perhaps, after the ongoing project is finished.

Frets are now crowned, and polished. For crowning, I used a triangle file, that has smoothed 'safe edges'. I have actual crowning file also, but it's way too coarse, leaving deep scratches.

But yeah, so far I've been having a good time, when making improvements to that guitar. Next thing is to find out, what kind of nut to use.

As the string posts of the tuning machines have some slack in them(need to take a look, if they could be modified, to make them firmer), I thought of putting a locking nut in, but nah, it would require fine tuners on the other end of the strings(like on Floyd Rose). Besides, it has too big footprint to fit:

I'm not a fan of ordinary nuts, that have grooves in them for the strings. Other kind, that caught my attention, is a Fender roller nut.

To test the concept, I'll order some 3mm bearing balls.

Obviously one has to remove wood from the end of the fretboard, to align the ball's centers to the 'zero fret' -point. 

What comes to the roller nut, today some drawing, based on photos of the original one, like this:


What I've found out so far, by looking at the Fender's installation manual, that there is a retainer cage to keep the balls from falling out, when changing the string(s).
Black/dark parts above the balls are rubber dampers, to mute the string vibrations between the nut and tuning machines.

Somewhat confusing is, that in the manual, the balls are called as ball bearings. The way I see it, the balls should act as linear bearings, moving back and forth, when the string tension varies(by string bending, or by using a whammy bar).

Simplified version of the roller nut:

Ball pairs are aligned so, that the strings(in red) follow the fretboard's 400mm radius:

I have already printed the above model, but it'll have to wait, until the ordered 3mm bearing balls arrive.

Forthcoming ideas:

- to find out, what kind of mechanisms are used in the locking tuning machines, to convert ordinary ones, well - to locking tuners
- also to find out, what sort of tremolos there are, that are 'surface mounted', instead of 'through the body' -ones.

It looks like the balls are fixed; just hard, smooth surfaces.  And cool looking ;-)

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

Yes, brilliant and simple concept. From what I've been reading on the net about users experiences, they are largely positive.

When taking a closer look, of how the locking tuning machines work, they probably have their uses, but it's just a screw through the string post, to clamp the string. Similar 'locking' action could be achieved by winding the string so, that it 'locks' itself to prevent slipping.

In the meantime, also the flat mounted tremolos were looked at. One, that stands out from the crowd, is the Stetsbar tremolo. It's operating principle seems to be rather simple:

It appears to have linear ball bearings in it, as the bridge and string retainers move back an forth. Most critical part, though, is the spring tensioning system, that returns the bridge to its exact position, after the tremolo bar is used.

The way the springs work, isn't so obvious to me at this point, even when looking at the patent pictures. Reading the details in the patent text makes me yawn, as it's always formal, instead of being informative.

But after all, that's what leaves plenty of room for experimenting.

First test version of the roller nut:

It uses 3mm bearing balls. To prevent them from falling out, while fiddling, I tried different offsets, to find the press-fit tightness. To get them out again, one has to destroy the nut, though.

I haven't removed wood from the end of the fretboard yet. To be absolutely sure, that the roller nut is worth it, first I'm going to make the tuning machine's posts as 'play-free', as I can.

After that follows abusive string bending session(s). Bridge has already rollers in it, so there shouldn't be too sticky points for the strings, but we'll see.


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