I know its a tough job to do Dans Book told me that but could someone give me a detailed how too for a scalloped board. please name all the tools, measurements, and whatever will help me do it right the first time.

Ian Supplee

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I use little round rasps and sandpaper on different round sticks. It takes time but it's not hard. Draw the scalloping limit around each fret, pay attention to evenness of your work. Scalloping depth has to be estimated depending on the neck's thickness, the fretboard's thickness, the desired effect. I don't think you can do it perfect on first time, as everything in lutherie and general life, but it can be an okay job. Warn your clients about change in tuning problems, sound changes, etc.

I use a calliper to measure scalloping depth.

 I can't figer out why you would want to scallop the board for anyway most pepole think the frets are to hi now.

I'm with you, Bill. I may be showing my ignorance but I always equated scalloping with worn out fingerboards. 

 It was  a style back years ago, I know. There was a guy I knew in Winnipeg that went nuts for it and ruined 12 axes getting them all done.  There is no accounting for what some customers need/want. 

my one customer wanted it and i told him it would cost extra. And i agree with you all its a risky and pluse i think it makes the neck weak but again i can only reccomend not force lol.

You can also gracefully elect to send him to someone else to have this work done.

If it's a bolt-on neck, suggest a factory scalloped replacement neck.

If it's a set neck, I personally wouldn't do it as it will completely devalue the guitar as this is a very non-reversible mod.

Also, I know of no one that will guarantee the effect of their scalloping work or the longevity of the modified neck.

Something to consider: 90% (empirical data) of the folks who had their FB's scalloped have had new conventional necks reinstalled.  Everyone (15 year old shredders & 13 year old metalheads) wants them but afterwards, nobody likes them.

Scalloped FB's & Floyd Rose trems: The two most stupid trends of the last 35 years.  Just my POV (: Too many fine instruments have been ruined with those mod's.

Best of luck Ian

well my view from setting up floyds is that its a pain but who knows they may make newer or better. but from what dan said in his book i wouldnt be able to play a scallouped i use heavy gauge strings [ guilty i was inspired by SRV but also i feel they have a more fuller tone]. Thanks guys.

 Paul, did Brass nuts, saddles and bridge pins make it onto that list?  Ian, have you decided to do this work for a customer?

Absolutely Kerry (:  Including the 1lb. brass sustain block under the bridge of my '78 Ibanez Artist. 

At least saddles, bridges & pins could be replaced with traditional material.

Take care Kerry (-:

i told him it was gonna be a little spendy and he is one of those guys who soon as the word spendy comes into play he backs out.

I'm with you on this Paul.

I have no interest in performing either of those procedures, and I let the customer know that.

I have had a few customers opt for much larger frets as an alternative to scalloping. It gives them a good bit of the effect without having to radically alter their playing style. Most folks fail to realize just how much they will have to change their style to really make scalloping work for them.

When it comes to Floyd installations, I try to advise them to find another guitar that already has one. After so many years on the market, you can find locking trems factory installed on just about any type of guitar ever made. I've got the templates floating around the shop somewhere, I just see no need to use 'em. Oh and I guess I'm a still bit bitter over all of the horror stories I heard about perfectly good vintage guitars getting butchered in the late '70s/early '80s.

That type of work just doesn't float my boat though I can understand the attraction for both of these mods, especially the Floyd. If you're a shredder/whammy guy the Floyds a piece of machinery it pays to get familiar with. In the hands of someone like Jeff Beck they can be transcendental!

I've always associated scalloped fingerboards with mullets and 80's shred-playing. No desire to butcher an otherwise fine guitar by weakening the neck. I've turned that sort of work away, assigning it to the category of slapping volume pots on Martins, etc :)


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