My new Fretboard / Inlay radiusing tool

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dougk, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    I'm just about ready to knock a bunch of Banshee (firebirds) fretboard pearl down, something I hate doing. I normally use a radius sanding block, starting with 80 grit and work my way up doing it all by hand. Unlike a Daylighter where I can fit the neck on my 12" radius' platen on my belt sander to knock the pearl down, Banshee's I have to do completely by hand.

    I have to give credit where its due, this was Dad's idea. Take a cheap Harbor Freight body shop stroke sander, ditch its platen and put on a 12" radius' platen. Since the sander only goes straight front to back, it should keep a consistent radius. At least enough to finish by hand with a hand block and 220.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It works FANTASTIC!! Saves me a bunch of time and sore muscles. Since the FB's are already radius off the CNC all I'm really doing is trying to knock the pearl down (easy on dots, PITA on blocks) to the right radius and clean up any machine marks. From there I'll go back to higher grits by hand with more radius blocks I've made.

    Very simple, total cost is about 30 bucks. If I was REALLY smart, I'd build quick connects and a half dozen radius blocks to keep the right papers preloaded. Hmmm

    -d
     
    JakeM, ExNihilo, xsouldriverx and 8 others like this.
  2. gtr-tek

    gtr-tek Fumble Fingers Premium Member

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    That's a great idea! Thank your dad for us.
     
  3. Fletch

    Fletch V.I.P. Member

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    Wow! Guess where my next Harbor Freight 15% off coupon is going... do you think you could radius a flat fretboard with it as well?


    Fletch
     
  4. MRJ5

    MRJ5 Premium Member

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    I don't know why not!

    :hmm: If I had a dollar for every fretboard I have radiused with a radius sanding block by hand...I'd have about enough to buy one of these straight line sanders.

    May have to head on over to Harbor Freight myself!

    Great idea Doug dad! :thumb:
     
  5. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Senior Member

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    Harbor Freight here I come.
     
  6. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    Exactly, it'll do a flat board no sweat. I think I'd be tempted to put a couple of guides on a bench on the side to keep the sander pointed straight.

    I think I'm going to make a couple tweaks, I'm going to epoxy the studs from the platen in to place then switch to wing nuts to hold it to the sander. Then I can just make up a dozen or so plattens of various radii and grits of paper and swap them out in about 30 seconds. :naughty::thumb:
     
  7. jworle01

    jworle01 Senior Member

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  8. Fletch

    Fletch V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for the coupon. I just checked the site, it's on sale for $29, marked down from $39 now.

    Fletch
     
  9. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    Cheap crap cheap! You know honestly HF is great for things like this. Not a super high use tool for me so I don't mind the 29 bucks :laugh2:

    SWEET!
     
  10. MRJ5

    MRJ5 Premium Member

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    Just happened to pass by Harbor Freight. $32.01 out the door. :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    Thats the one! :laugh2: I wonder if i'll get credit from HF for creating a mini sales spike :laugh2:

    btw I used 5/8 beach to make my radius platen out of. Worked GREAT!
     
  12. Fletch

    Fletch V.I.P. Member

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    How did you put the radius in it?

    Fletch
     
  13. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    I made the platen on my CNC. You might have to google tricks for making your own. If you get absolutely stuck I can probably knock a pair of them out for you.
     
  14. boogieongtr

    boogieongtr MLP Vendor

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    Great tip. I have one on order. Now I need to make a 12 degree platen. I bet if you made a dozen of them you would sell them in a heartbeat. I'd be down for one. Thanks for this post...
     
  15. Fletch

    Fletch V.I.P. Member

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    Yes, I agree with Jim. I'd pay for one as well...


    Fletch
     
  16. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    I'll see if can knock some out this weekend. You'll have to supply your own longer bolts though.
     
  17. jworle01

    jworle01 Senior Member

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    Hey Doug,
    I would love to buy one if it is not too much trouble or $ ... If not I am sure I can figure something out.
     
  18. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    I think its going to depend on how much beech or other stable hardwood scrap I have laying around :laugh2:
     
  19. SG Lou

    SG Lou Senior Member

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    Well Bud,
    If your gonna knock out a few 12 degree platens then i'll take one as well.

    I was also thinking, you can probably retro-fit a Stew-Mac long 12" radius block?
     
  20. dougk

    dougk Senior Member

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    12" might be to short, the center-center on the bolt spacing is 13" iirc. I make the platens 20" so that it covers the entire fretboard to help keep it level.

    I think I can do a pair for 35 shipped USPS flatrate here in the US (shipping is 10 dollars of that). Sound fair?
     

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