Fretboard radius sander on the cheap

So making a radius is not easy for the... tool challenged. That is, if you don't have the right tools and we all don't at one time or another. So I devised a clever tool to sand down a fretboard to the radius I wanted.

I picked this idea up from watching some luthiers sand down the fretboards on a Youtube video. They had a long block with an interior radius and sand paper in and ran the fretboard over it. Ok, I don't have that tool, but I do have a sanding block. Well, a length of 1x2 poplar.

I thought about it and then came up with and idea that uses tape layered in a fashion so that there was more tape on the ends than in the middle. The block is flat but the tape creates the 'radius' Since the sandpaper smooths out the ridges, the final fretboard looks REALLY great (pic to come).


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  • take a look at the last post I did. I am now using something like the radius sanding block as that.



  • Hey Guys, please forgive my ignorance but Im not getting the concept. If there is tape on the edges of the block with sandpaper in the middle how does the sanding block not make a U-shape on the neck?...looks like you are getting the opposite desired effect, Im just not following. I realize Im overlooking something obvious...thanks!
  • Here is another good idea

    You might even find a scrap piece of ply that is curved already OR you can use some pressboard.
  • DAMN, I just realized this. One could use [a better made version] not only to create a radius but to level frets with fine sandpaper! Kinda like those in the StewMac site.

  • Good question! REAL good question. I assume for depth. Answer is yes. That is, not too much but you need to be aware that the center is higher (slightly) than the edges. Cut accordingly.

    If you have a slotting jig that sits on the fretboard, you can rock it and get the depth even.

    Also, you can add more tape to make a tighter radius as well, you can make the block wider (mine was a spur of the moment build, but you folks get the idea.)

    Shawn mentioned making a positive (convex) block or use a radiused fretboard and sanding another (larger, longer, better) block. Brilliant!


    Diane in Chicago said:
    Wow! It works like a charm! I'm doing that from now on!

    But then you have to adjust your fret slots a bit, yes?
  • Wow! It works like a charm! I'm doing that from now on!

    But then you have to adjust your fret slots a bit, yes?
  • PICS of the sanded fretboard.

  • Badda Bing!

    Shawn said:
    Thats brillent must do that myself. Now that you have the radius on the fretboard cover it with sand paper and radius another block. Kind of like making a mold with the fretboard
  • Lot better if I can spell 'radius'.

  • Wow! so simple even I might give that a try!
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