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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got some inlaid fretboards, and I am planning to use them for building some necks, I notice that they are thicker than a normal electric guitar fretboard, I have to make them thinner.
what is the best way to thin them, in a way to get a perfectly flat even bottom? I can't run it through a planer because it is already inlaid, slotted, and radiused.

And how do you do this if there is a little twist or warp in it(if the bottom doesnt sit flat on a level surface, causing a corner to be higher than the rest) ?

what should the maximum and minimum thickness of fretboard for an electric guitar be?
 

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Why do you think you have to make them thinner? Within reason, you can accomodate the thickness when you build the neck. You may need to raise your bridge and pickups slightly (I am assuming these boards aren't ridiculously thick).

The best tool for that job is the jointer. You can run them over the jointer and take smooth, even cuts off the bottom until it is the thickness you want. If you are careful, and keep the board down on the bed at the knives, you will be able to handle the twist too (but keep your fingers away from that blade!).

If you can't find a jointer to use, you will have to resort to something like a hand plane or a whole lot of sanding.

You can also do it with something like a drum sander. You have to set up a fence to hold the board vertical and the correct distance from the drum. Then slowly shove the board past the drum and it will be sanded to the right thickness. (Curve the fence to match the radius.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the boards are like twice as thick as the one I measured on my ibanez guitar.....so, its got to be thinned or it will be one thick neck to play on, which is not what I want.

I think out of the ways you mentioned.......the drum sander is the safest way, I do have a jointer but i dont want to risk my fingers getting hurt.

I also have a router table that I can use as a jointer, that might be a little safer than the jointer, I have to see if i have a long flush trim bit to cover the width of the neck though.

I think i will try the drum sander method....as I feel the safest with rotating drum sanders, than with rotating knives and sharp bits.


Another thing I thought of, is using doublesided tape to attach to a long radiused sanding block, and then sand the bottom on a level surface, or even using the jointer like that(much safer).
 
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