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eubie
06-18-2016, 08:19 AM
I'm making a maple fretboard for a uke project.

I created two blanks, one just a solid maple blank at 6 mm thick and 50 mm wide.

For the second I cut three strips a tad over 2 mm wide, flipped the center strip over, and edge glued the three strips to make a blank that is 6 mm thick and about 65 mm wide.

My end goal is a flat fretboard, 37 mm at the nut, widening to 49 mm.

My thought is that if the fretboard ever feels the inclination to bow from end to end, the alternating grain of the multipart board will add stability in that dimension.

As you might guess, this is my first foray into crafting my own fretboard, so I'm experimenting with different ideas. Since there's no truss rod in the uke like there would be in a guitar, is the potential bowing of the fretboard ever a concern?

Would love to hear any and all thoughts, opinions and advice.

Thanks,
Steve

http://i.imgur.com/NHx7rLrl.jpg

Jim Hanks
06-18-2016, 09:36 AM
I'll be interested to hear from builders who actually know something. As a player/looker, I'll just say that I don't recall ever seeing a multi piece fretboard though multi piece necks are very common. This suggests that any bowing inclination is prevented by the neck and not the fretboard.

eubie
06-18-2016, 10:20 AM
...I don't recall ever seeing a multi piece fretboard though multi piece necks are very common. This suggests that any bowing inclination is prevented by the neck and not the fretboard.

That makes sense. And maybe the shorter length of the neck is what mitigates the need for a truss rod in a uke vs. a guitar.

Allen
06-18-2016, 10:29 AM
You are way overthinking this. Full stop.

There is only a fraction of string tension on a uke compared to a guitar and they simply don't need to be over engineered to withstand the same string tension.

At the very most you would want is a carbon fibre rod to stiffen a neck in something a bit softer like Spanish Cedar on a tenor or baritone uke, and even then it has much more to do with a perceived benefit on high end instruments than actually making any difference at all.

eubie
06-18-2016, 11:25 AM
There is only a fraction of string tension on a uke compared to a guitar and they simply don't need to be over engineered to withstand the same string tension.

I'm not concerned about string tension at all. My question was really whether the maple fret board itself might cause any issues. If the maple board develops a bow, would that be enough to deform the neck?

Also, I'm not really overthinking it that much. I just haven't made my own fret board before, and as I was making one for this project, these questions occurred to me, so I thought I would ask what other people think. And I made two versions of the fret board - one of each style - because I thought it would be fun to do it both ways and see what would come of it. I'm going to make at least two more fret boards for this project before I'm done because I want to try making one with a simple radius and one with a compound radius. Again, just for the fun of it.

-- se

BlackBearUkes
06-18-2016, 03:13 PM
Like others have said, the fretboard material or the number of pieces used in the fretboard shouldn't be a factor. If the neck bows, it won't be because of the fretboard material, it will be because the neck is too weak to take what pressure there is. Use a carbon fiber truss rod and you won't have any problems.

jcalkin
06-18-2016, 05:35 PM
I've made a number of multi-piece fretboards. Never had a problem. These are guitar fretboards. I'd expect no trouble with easier-going ukes.

mainger
06-19-2016, 01:01 AM
This is a nice example (making of):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgZse2112iE

eubie
06-19-2016, 06:30 AM
Great video, but you'd have to be an absolute artist with the bandsaw for those curved figures to come out looking good. You can't sand them smooth or you wreck the join.

Anyway, I'm going to stop worrying about the fret board deforming the neck and just think about what I might do with a laminated board from a creative perspective.

Thanks everyone!

ps: Happy Father's Day to ask the dads out there.