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Fretboard Radius Jig: Electronic Version

Fretboard Radius Jig: Electronic Version
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  • Units in Stock: 100
  • Manufactured by: Georgia Luthier Supply

Starting at: $18.99

Many luthiers find that placing the proper radius, both evenly or consistently into the fretboard one of the most difficult tasks of the build. Even with radius blocks there is endless sanding, on very hard wood, with mixed results. Since almost all electric guitars and most acoustic instruments require a fretboard with some degree of radius, this is a task we face with just about every guitar that is made.

Also, some of the more sophisticated electric and bass guitars require a compound radius, which is a constantly changing radius dimension from the nut to the body. How do you do that with sanding blocks, without making a mess of your expensive fretboard?

I have been working on a solution for a jig to place an even, very consistent radius' on the fretboard, both quickly and precisely, and the GLS Fretboard Radius Jig is the result of years of trial and error.

Here is how it works:

Prepare the fretboard: Start by cutting it about 1/2"+ longer than necessary. Taper the fretboard and sand the back (the side that glues to the neck. Cut the fretboard thickness slightly thicker than the depth to the crown (about 1/32" is enough) and cut the Fret Channels in the fretboard.

Load the Fretboard in the Jig: Place double-stick tape on the backside to prevent the thin fretboard from bowing in the middle. Next, secure the fretboard to the top of the pendulum of the jig, being careful to exactly center the fretboard. Clamp the fretboard with the (2) end cleats on the jig.

Select The Proper Radius: The jig allows very simple adjustment for radius selection. Just place the axis point dowel in the proper radius hole and you are all set. Want a compound radius? Place the dowels in different locations on each side of the jig and you will get a precisely cut compound radius.

Let the Cutting Begin: Set the sliding router base on the jig. Adjust the router bit depth to contact the fretboard with the pendulum centered and slide the router to the nut side of the fretboard. Start the router. Next, with one hand slowly move the sliding base toward the opposite end of the fretboard, while at the same time move the pendulum back and forth. This is what puts the radius on the board. The key is to move the base slowly for the most even cuts. This takes only 3 or 4 minutes.

The result is a perfect fretboard with a extremely precise radius cut. Just trim the fretboard to length and sand the fretboard very lightly to remove and minor inconsistencies from the bit.

Fretboard Radius Jig Plans:

Unless otherwise specified, ALL plans are sold as electronic downloads. As soon as you complete your plan purchase with us, you will automatically be given a download link to access your plans. Learn why we sell our plans in an electronic version.

Plans include very detailed drawings giving you all of the detail you will need to build this jig with ease.

You can cut a radius of almost any dimension you like with this jig. Besides the standard radius cuts we have on the drawing you can make your own custom radius cuts as well - even varying the compound radius.

Here are the standard radius cuts setup on the jig:
  • 7.25" (184.15mm) Vintage Strat
  • 9.5" (241.30mm) Modern Strat & Tele
  • 12" (304.80mm) Most Gibson Electric & Acoustic Guitars
  • 16" (406.4mm) Martin Acoustic Guitars
Maximum fretboard width for the jig is approximately 82mm or 3-1/4" when using a 3/4" (19mm) bit.

 All Plans Are in Both Millimeters AND Inches/Fractional Inches:

All Building Plans are available in both millimeter measurements and inches/fractional inches. Both are clearly shown in an over/under the dimension line style, so you can pick which measurement system you would like to use, or use both!

CNC Files:

We are now offering our popular Guitar Side Bending Machine in DWG and DXF file formats. For more information about this option, click HERE. Simply click the checkbox below and the files will be included immediately with your download. Note that these files do not include the guitar form inserts.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 09 January, 2014.