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Message started by Don_Orgeman on Feb 6th, 2008 at 12:56pm

Title: Fingerboard Taper
Post by Don_Orgeman on Feb 6th, 2008 at 12:56pm
I had planned on cutting the taper on my fingerboard using a shooting board on my table saw as suggested in the Hana Lima book.  After waiting two weeks for the toggle clamps to arrive from Harbor Freight, I decided to try a different approach.

Yesterday I cut a 2 inch wide strip of 1/4 inch thick plexiglas slightly longer than the fingerboard.  I then covered the surface with masking tape and marked and scribed a centerline and lines for the nut and 12th fret.  I then drew in the edge taper lines, and cut close to but outside the lines with my band saw.  A little rubbing of the edges on 80 grit sandpaper on my table saw top with the plexiglass against the fence trimmed the cut to a nice smooth line at the correct taper.

Adding carpet tape to the to each side of the centerline on the jig (keeping the centerline visible) and trimming the excess tape from the edges I attached the jig to the bottom of the fingerboard making sure the scribe lines matched the centerline and nut line.

Using my router attached to a router table, and using a flush trim bit with the bearing between the router and the cutters, I trimmed the fingerboard to shape.  It worked great.

I like the router template because I can see if everything is lined up accurately by observing the amount of fingerboard that overhangs each side and can see if I need to make slight adjustments before cutting.  This jig also works great for marking the outside edges of the fingerboard on the neck top, eliminating the need for measuring and marking the top -- all you need is the centerline on the neck.

As luck would have it the toggle clamps arrived today.  Oh well -- I'll find another use for them.  I'll probably use them on a shooting board to taper the sides for future ukes.

I throw this idea out so others can use it if they like this approach.  There are always several ways to get to the end rusults you want.  That's what is so fascinating about instrument making.  I hope this helps others.


Title: Re: Fingerboard Taper
Post by lefty on Feb 6th, 2008 at 7:44pm
Good job Don,
 Whatever works.  Thanks for sharing.


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