Cutting the nut slot and truss access. This month, we continue with day three of our build and go face up to do some routing. For those following along
This step requires that I rout the fretboard radius. As a workaround, pre-slotted and radiused fretboards can be sourced from various suppliers, or you can rearrange the procedure to fit your needs. I approach the radius with a .500” ball nose cutter.
A quick review of fretboard radii is in order: 7.25” or 9.5” for vintage to modern Fender, 10” or 12” for Gibson and modern Fender, and 16” or 20” for shred guitars. Additionally, compound radii such as 9.5” at the nut to a 16” at the 22nd fret are a possibility. Compound radius fretboards are further evidence that if you can draw it, a CNC can cut it.
The nut width is 1.687” and the butt width is 2.250”. Finally, I cut the radius on a shaper table with a 12” radius cutter. For some operations a CNC will be faster, but that ultimately depends on the operation, tool capacity, machinery and the mind.
I use a .125” end mill for a Fender-style nut slot, up to a .187” width for a Gibson-style nut, in addition to opening up the adjusting area for the truss rod, which is then covered up with the headstock veneer.
Additionally, you can opt for something like a zero fret, which utilizes a fret slot and fret at the 0.000” origin, making open strings sound the same as fretted notes.
Neck Perimeter and Headstock
Next up is cutting the neck perimeter and headstock. A pin router would work here if you don’t have a CNC, but requires devising a key pattern to guide the router pin where you want the cut. Since this is a tremolo model, I also need to route the tremolo recess at this time to utilize the installed cutter as much as possible.
Here I fly cut the surface of the body to a final thickness of 1.780” using a 1” end mill. It wraps around the end of the fretboard, where I look for a .375” height offset from the end top center of the fretboard radius to the top surface of the body. This measurement works well for standard Tele or Strat tremolo bridges.
For fret slotting I use a .023” end mill; other diameters can be used for harder or softer woods, or if your fret wire has a wide or narrow tang. With my approach, I don’t slot through the side of the fretboard; the slot stops shy at about the thickness of a bound neck, .045”. This requires me to use a fret that has been nibbed. The advantage here is that you don’t see the fret slot from the side, fret sprout is rarely an issue and it sure looks pretty. Also, while in this position, I use the same cutter to stab center holes on the headstock for tuner locations.
I use a .250” end mill and drill my fretboard face dots and my bridge pivot posts. If you were planning on using rear loaded electronics, you could now cut your face control holes.
That does it for this month; next month we’re going face down for rear routing operations.
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Fine Tuned Instruments LLC, home of his “b3” instruments.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Fender honors the indie-legend with signature pickups and accessories.
Fender announces the J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster Pickups, an ode to one of alternative music’s most prolific shredders. Throughout Dinosaur Jr’s twelve album discography and his rich solo career, Mascis has established himself as one of guitar playing’s most tone-savvy and ferocious players.
At the heart of his genre-defining, nearly four decades-long legacy is the Fender Jazzmaster. Not only does the bold and angular design of the Jazzmaster lend itself to a player as subversive as Mascis, but there is no instrument that sounds quite like it. That is, until now.
Compared to the tones on the Fender J Mascis Signature Telecaster and the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Mascis notes,“The new pickups have a sweeter more vintage sound,” and as his hopes for what people might feel when they test out the new pickups, J Mascis adds, “I hope they feel like playing their guitar, ideally they could make a song that could be my new favorite record!”
Key Features Include:
- Neck Pickup: 7.27K and Bridge Pickup: 7.31K DC Resistance
- Neck Pickup: 3.6 Henries, Bridge Pickup: 3.7 Henries Inductance
- Enamel-coated magnet wire delivers warm vintage-style tones
- Alnico 2 rod magnets for warm, sweet output
- Flush-mount pole pieces produce even string response
- Installation hardware include
Exploring the J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster Pickup Set | Artist Signature Series | Fender
The pickups are being released as part of a larger collection of signature J Mascis Accessories which include J Mascis Magenta Flower Strap, J Mascis Yellow Burst Strap, J Mascis Coiled Instrument Cable and J Mascis Dinosaur Jr. Pick Tin.
For more information, please visit fender.com.
Charvel unveils its new collab with guitarist Marco Sfogli.
Charvel unveils its new collaboration with PFM and Icefish guitarist Marco Sfogli. To pay homage to a guitarist whose sonic capabilities seem to know no bounds, Charvel has sought out to create a signature instrument as limitless as the player who inspired it. A pair of active EMG SA single-coils in the middle and neck positions effortlessly evoke classic Stratocaster bell tones, while an EMG ‘89 bridge humbucker provides a powerful bite. The signature model’s bolt-on maple neck has received a unique “caramelized” heat and drying treatment that imbues the wood with a warmth and comfort that is usually unique to expensive vintage instruments.
- Alder body with quilted maple top
- Scalloped lower back bout and cut heel
- Bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement, 22 jumbo frets, and Luminlay side dot inlays.
- EMG SA single-coil neck and middle pickups, EMG ‘89 humbucking bridge pickup.
- Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo bridge system
- Five-way blade pickup selector, tone control, and volume control with push/pull coil splitting capabilities for the bridge pickup.
Marco Sfogli Presents His Signature Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HSS FR QM
- Signature S1-style guitar designed in collaboration with Marco Sfogli
- Classic alder body with an unmistakable California sound
- Quilt maple top for added tonal depth and a premium look
- For more information, please visit charvel.com.
A highly versatile sonic tool, the pedal can deliver a broad range of tones – everything from mild, wonderfully organic overdrive to medium-gain crunch with a richly satisfying midrange kick.
The pedal is a collaboration between Shnobel Tone and guitarist, songwriter, composer, and record producer Frank Simes. Based in Hollywood, Simes‘ long list of credits includes work with A-list artists such as Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Warren Zevon, RodStewart, Roger Waters, Roger Daltrey, and Martha Davis from The Motels. Additionally, Simes was the musical director for The Who for many years.
Its touch sensitivity makes it a perfect choice for guitarists who rely on precise right-hand technique, and it cleans up nicely when you roll back your guitar's volume knob.
Frank Simes Overdrive features include:
- Three knobs: Volume, Gain, and Tone controls
- True bypass foot switch
- Top mounted power and in/out jacks
- Hand-built with through-hole components
- Crinkle-coated diecast aluminum enclosure, dimensions 4.7 x 3.7 Inches
- Standard 9v center negative power – no battery compartment
Frank Simes Signature Overdrive
Shnobel Tone’s Frank Simes Overdrive has a suggested retail price and MAP of $249.
For more information, please visit shnobeltone.com.