I have a neck I made and had originally put in dot inlays with a hand drill (blasphemy, i know). well, i had a friend who has a machine shop make me some radius blocks and i told him 3 times (even supplied a CNC program because I'm a CNC programmer/machinist by trade) that it needed to be a 12" radius and when he cut them he cut them with a 6" radius - i guess his brain was in diameter mode that day. so i had to sand the board down which completely ruined my dot inlays and because of the hand drill i used the existing marks were way off center and i didn't want to sand down any farther (even though i coulda... i guess i just went into severe panic mode) so now i decided to do trapezoid inlays on my now 12" radiused board.

the question i have is what method of mayhem do you guys use for keeping the router base square on the curved surface? the guys at stewmac said tape some shims on the edges of the board but i'm a little skeptical about that... not quite sure how well that would work... maybe i'm missing something... which is why i'm asking you guys. if you have any methods or suggestions please let me know

i've seen sites online regarding inlay but nobody ever mentions keeping the router base square to anything or any way of keeping it square... am i really missing something???
Most people route before radiusing the board, but use deep enough inlays to survive the sanding.

Sorry, that doesn't help you much! :P

You could make complementary block with a 16" radius to lay on the top, clamp from the sides, then route through the top layer of wood. .. having drawn a template onto it.
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
the guys at stewmac said tape some shims on the edges of the board but i'm a little skeptical about that...

What are you skeptical about?

This is exactly how you should do it. You just need to figure out the size and location of those shims, which depends on your router's baseplate dimensions and the size and position of the inlay. Try to find a spot for those shims where they'll always make contact with the router's baseplate no matter where you are routing.

You should do a "test run" with the router turned off and the bit retracted just enough that it won't touch the fretboard, but will still allow you to see where you'll be routing. Bring the router to the outer edges of the inlay and see if the shims will do their work without the baseplate falling out.

Takes a bit of fiddling, but works nicely once you're setup correctly.
i'm skeptical because i'm unsure of what thickness shim to use and if you place shims flat onto a curve the only contact you will make will be the points of the edges... any pictures or better details??? i'm just really worried i'm going to mess this up and i've got a lot of hours into this neck already
Just try it with your router turned off as I explained above. It's probably much easier than you think.
Yes using shims is the way to do it. And, you already have a thread about this. Shims will work just fine. Dude I made my whole guitar with a hand drill and it's all good...hehehe.
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why not just build a simple wood fixture to place the neck in (similar to a miter box) and have the router sit flat on that? you could clamp your neck into it and just go at it. then you don't have to attach any shims to the neck directly.
Øttər, I had the question tossed into a very long post just as a side bar. I just wanted to make a dedicated post based on this question because it's kind of important to me that I get this right.

rednwhiteblues, I was thinking about doing something like that... i'll see what I come up with.

The irony is I can program million dollar CNC machines capable of up to 12 axes of movement but double stick tape and wood shims are an enigma to me
Quote by Øttər
Dude I made my whole guitar with a hand drill and it's all good...hehehe.

do you have pics of this hand drill frankenstein?