I've had a devil of a time tapering ebony and rosewood fingerboards.  No matter how sharp I set my plane, tear-out occur.

I'm searching for ideas for creating a jig that may work with my drum sander for a more precise taper.

Any ideas?

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Sorry, I'm being a bit redundant.  I posted on this a few years back. 

The slight taper over the body to the sound hole? Or the edge of the fingerboard?

have you tried a very high cutting angle? ( 10+ degree back bevel on a conventional plane or 45degree+ sharpening angle on a block plane?)


I was referencing the fingerboard thickness tapering from the nut end to the sound-hole. Necessary when using a flat solera.  A few years ago I was able to obtain a couple of ebony fingerboard blanks that were thickness sanded and tapered.  They worked out well.   Because that source dried up (don't know of any other suppliers), and since I've acquired a thickness sander and drill press, I was searching for a more elegant way of tapering the board myself. 

Looks like I need to hone my plane skills.  I have not tried using the high, cutting angle that you mention.  I need to do that.

I'd recommend making a tapered backing board out of mdf or plywood, attaching the fingerboard blank secure with double stick carpet tape, and sending it through the thickness sander. I've done this before with a spindle sander, an though I don't have any photos of my setup.

 Cameron- If you are trying to taper the finger board and you are plaining from the narrow to the wide part of the finger board you are likely to get some tare out -- try going from the wide part to the narrow part instead--

just my two cents--

Peace, Donald

If you are having trouble with tear-out, you can adjust the cutting angle by the way you sharpen your blade.  It IS possible to avoid all tear-out by being very careful with this.

At the bottom of this page are some illustrations worth a look:

 Our old pal, Brian Burns developed what he called "double bevel" sharpening and produced a booklet and fixture for the purpose.  I've seen him plane the most highly figured woods with absolutely no tear-out.  


Thanks Frank.

Off key question:

Just completed a classical guitar and am breaking in the strings.  The notation on all the strings sound good, except for the D or 4th string.  It sounds good ( no buzzing ), but sounds flat and buzzy when fretted in most of the positions.

Possible causes??   thanks

My first suspicion is the string - loose windings can be devastating to tone, and they happen a lot on skinny wound nylon strings.  Second would be the saddle, where it needs to have a good single point contact on its rounded top with decent break angle.  There are lots of other causes, of course:

I think you're right.  This is the first time I've used this brand of strings.  This morning I noticed that the 1st string, E, had broke.   I've noticed a few times in the past that you get what you pay for.  The aforementioned  string set was cheaper in price and probably in quality.   thanks for your responses.


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