Tenor #1: Neck, Part VII


Tenor #1: Profiled Fingerboard
Originally uploaded by Usonian.
Although I saved about thirteen bucks by buying a rosewood guitar fretboard blank, I didn't appreciate how thick 1/4" would look on the relatively skinny tenor banjo neck. Next time I'll either spring for the 3/16" ebony from Stewmac, or see if I can find a 3/16" rosewood blank elsewhere.

Because the fingerboard is so thick, I decided to take a fair amount of additional wood off of the neck.

The nice thing about my shureform is that it removes wood quickly. The dangerous thing about my shureform is that it removes wood quickly.

Finally, I reached the point where it seemed like I really need the fingerboard in place before final shaping and sanding, so I took the plunge and cut the fingerboard to shape.

It looks like this will actually be an 18-fret tenor when all is said and done; my original calculations for the neck length were based on the position of the bridge on the 10 inch pot. It didn't occur to me to check the fret placement at that point, so it wasn't until I trimmed the fingerboard to size that I realized that there is just barely too little room for fret 19.

I'm not particularly upset... If I ever get proficient enough on tenor banjo that I actually need one with 19 frets, I will probably be happy to buy (or make) one.

Gluing the fingerboard on will be the scariest part of the operation so far. If the frets aren't absolutely perpendicular to the axis of the neck, playability will be seriously impaired.

For tonight, I will just bask in the satisfaction of how good the fretboard looks resting on the neck.