Jay Scott Guitar

Private guitar and bass lessons, jam camps, guitar building and repairs in West Chester, PA

Two Teles, Part 11

On the ash guitar, I decided to take a shot at rolling the edges of the fingerboard. Playing the pine guitar (completed late last summer, if you’re just joining me) showed me just how sharp those edges are, coming from the factory. Remarkable woodworking but a bit tough on my thumb when I wrap it over the neck.

I used a smooth steel rod, a bit more than a quarter-inch in diameter. It’s simple: you rub the side of the rod against the edge of the fretboard and crush the wood fibers a little (or a lot). I worked my way up one side and down the other, checking the way the light reflected off the edges, and holding the neck in playing position and wrapping my thumb over it. When it got comfortable, I stopped. I wasn’t worried about finish damage, because I can always wipe on more Tru-Oil and rub it out. I’d never done this to any of my factory guitars though, because I was worried about finish chips; they’d be much more annoying than the sharp edges, and I can’t fix that stuff.

I didn’t take pictures the first time, but I liked the result so much I decided to pop the neck off the pine guitar and do that one as well. I also wanted to file down a sharp corner up near the body joint on the bass side. It too was tough on my thumb; I have a tender thumb, I guess. The pictures in the gallery show how it all went. I also took the opportunity to oil the fingerboard. They come really dry from the factory, and rosewood can crack if it gets too dry, so I thought a little oil would help.

I used a socket from my wrench set this time and found it easier to control than the rod. The whole process takes only a few minutes and I really like the result. Still gonna leave my SG alone, though.