I had the fretboard for Stu Fuchs new tenor all completed, shaped, thickness, frets attached, ready to go. Then Stu realized it would not allow some of his favorite high notes up there in "No man's land" Simple solution, I will make him a new fret board and use the original for another uke one day soon.
Here is the new fretboard with the slots freshly cut. It is stuck to this jig with double backed tape so I can sand a 12 foot radius into it's surface. Note that this will have a zero fret as does #100 that Stu played and liked so much.
The radius is created simply by sanding with this long sanding block. Time to get to work.
After twenty minutes of sanding you can see the radius. The fret wire must be bent also on a special tool. I ran over to George Thomas's workshop to borrow his fret bender. Great to have luthier friends.
Now to the table saw, and the band saw to cut the fretboard into shape. 1 1/2 inches at the nut, 1 6/8ths at the 14th fret just as Stu ordered.
And here is the old beside the new. I will be doing a little sculpting at the scoop of the new fretboard. Beside it you see the bent fretwork ready to be installed.
getting ready to drill the edge for the Paua Abalone side dots. First the exact location is located and marked with an awl to guide the tiny drill.
Now, with the location scored by the awl, the drill bit, in the finger drill will cut in the right spot, the exact center of this narrow edge of the fretboard. Too much pressure with the awl or the drill can result in a disastrous split in the wood. Not this time, everything went perfectly.