#1
I'm thinking I can use a Dremel with a cylindrical abrasive bit that's the right size. I'll have to experiment to find the best bit size and technique.

How would one normally scallop frets though?

I'm also going to see what YouTube can teach me, but the more information the better.
#2
Do a lot of practicing on strips of wood that have nothing to do with a guitar first.

The best way to do this is to find a Dremel contour sander (not currently in production, but a lot of them out there for sale, used). There are varying degrees of width and roundness that are perfect for fitting between frets as they get closer together.



There are a number of issues when doing this. One is that any inlays will also be sanded down (and sometimes through), and you have to be careful not to get TOO close to the frets themselves, or their tangs won't have any wood to gain purchase. You also need to figure out how to sand to the same depth with each fret (you'll go through to the truss rod if you're not careful). A lot of folks don't bother scalloping frets lower than about the 12th fret (IOW, leave the cowboy chord area down toward the nut alone) and will only do the top 8-12 frets. That makes sense given what you're playing in each area of the neck.
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 13, 2016,
#3
dspellman


This is the best quality reply I've ever received. This is exactly the knowledge I'm looking to absorb. I can't thank you enough man, I'm serious.

I was pretty much going to start with a Dremel and experiment with bits.

I can probably make a relatively simple belt driven machine that does the whole neck at the same time. I could make it out of wood, metal axels and sand paper and power it with a drill. If I come up with a design plan I'll share it with you.

I'm going to look for a contour sander like you were saying, but to get the cost down I'll have to find a way to accelerate the process without sacrificing quality. I'm going to learn the modern traditional method first though, but I'm still going to try and design a way of doing the whole neck at the same time.
Last edited by NorthstrumGuita at Nov 13, 2016,
#5
Quote by NorthstrumGuita


I'm going to look for a contour sander like you were saying, but to get the cost down I'll have to find a way to accelerate the process without sacrificing quality. I'm going to learn the modern traditional method first though, but I'm still going to try and design a way of doing the whole neck at the same time.


That's what CNC machines are all about. You can even do multiple necks at once. Look up X Carve CNC machines for a starting point. https://www.inventables.com/technologies/x-carve

You can find the Dremels (usually) on your local Craigslist (here's one in Santa Barbara for $50):

http://santabarbara.craigslist.org/tls/5826522812.html
#6
I've got a guitar with a DIY scalloped fretboard (didn't do myself) and don't overdo it. Mine is way overdone and while it offers no downside to playability or stability, it's ugly as sin. Remember that you cannot add material once you've taken it away (or it's very hard to do so), yet you can always take away more should you need to.
#7
dspellman

I'll check out the CNC machine but it wouldn't be that hard to rig something up myself, but the CNC machine does sound like a good investment.

If I was in the area I'd snag that up for sure. I'm nowhere near there though. I'm going to have to rely on eBay or something.
#8
I K0nijn I I definitely agree with you on that. I think a scalloped fretboard looks like shit. I remember the first time I saw one I thought it was worn down from playing hahaha