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#1
Would it be possible to use Aluminum, or maybe even Stainless steel as a fingerboard instead of wood?

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#2
possible, yes. sound good, probably not, but who know? if u wanna try it, i say go for it.
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#3
I think it would resonate to much... also machining it to fit all of the fret wire and actually getting it to fit would be a pain in the ass, not to mention heavy... but it would be interesting to seee
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#4
^thats why i would probly go with aluminum, cuz it would be much easier to work with and alot lighter.

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#8
My main concern is that it will give me problems when ajusting the truss rod.

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#9
Quote by orion91
My main concern is that it will give me problems when ajusting the truss rod.



If the fretboard is thick enough you shouldn't need a truss rod. Aluminum is stronger then steel pound for pound.
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#11
Flush-mounted screws would be better than glue. I don't know of any glues that will hold metal and wood together.

Draw up some complete dimensions with length, width, and taper of the fretboard, the location of each fret, supply them with some fret wire, and give all this to a competent machine shop. Aluminum is softer then stainless steel, so they should be able to mount stainless steel frets to an aluminum fretboard, and if you give the shop accurate measurement locations of each fret, they will be placed much more accurately than you would be able to using a hacksaw and a miter box.

If you aren't going to use a truss rod, you'll also have to have a slight "bow" manufactured into the fretboard, and you'll also have to have the shop "round off" the fretboard edges.

Like I said, a competent machine shop is more than capable of doing this, but it will cost you. The more precise and detailed your measurements the better your results will be.
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Last edited by CutlassSupreme at Jun 11, 2008,
#13
Was about to mention the same thing, Jim. A bunch of lesser, often European makers put aluminium necks on some of their guitars, didn't know kramer did...

But an aluminum fretboard, that I haven't heard of before.
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#14
the aluminum neck guitars were pretty nice instruments. sounded very different. its entirely possible to glue metal to wood, you just have to use gay **** like gorilla glue or something. sloting could be difficult, but im sure a machine shop with a CnC would be happy to let you use their stuff for a small fee.
#15
Make sure you don't grab the mic/opposite cable heads while you touch the neck/strings, though...
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#16
I think a cool way to attach an aluminium fret board would be to drill counter sunk holes in the places where dot inlays would usually be and rivot it on then fill in the rest of the gap with some sort of clear compound to make it smooth.
#17
Quote by EnyoAdonai
I think a cool way to attach an aluminium fret board would be to drill counter sunk holes in the places where dot inlays would usually be and rivot it on then fill in the rest of the gap with some sort of clear compound to make it smooth.



that is a possibility, cool idea, i sitll think bolting it in would be a pain, plus aluminum is more prominent to bend that wood is, so it would have to be secured very well on each side.
#18
Quote by LP Addict
that is a possibility, cool idea, i sitll think bolting it in would be a pain, plus aluminum is more prominent to bend that wood is, so it would have to be secured very well on each side.


I think it would look really cool. Not so sure how well it would go together though.

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#19
I'm back! I've done some investigating and this is what I've found!

The material that is used for the fretboard needs to have a close (preferably the same) coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE).

For example: if you bond an aluminium fretboard to a wooden neck at 8*C in the winter and the average temperature in the summer rises to 20*C then the fretboard (aluminium with a high CLTE) and the neck (wood with a relatively low CLTE) will cause the neck to bow out because the aluminium reacts so much more to the change in temperature than the wood.

This is why it makes sense to have a wooden neck with a wooden fretboard OR an aluminium neck with an aluminium fretboard.

So, you can choose what ever material you want for the fretboard, just make sure that its CLTE corresponds with that of the material being used in the neck.

I hope that's helpful
#20
Quote by Invader Jim
I saw a guitar with a glass fretboard on youtube once. It sounded very eerie. Kramer used to make guitars with aluminum necks. Dunno how they sounded.


Out of tune, probably.
#21
Be a man! Go for titanium! xD Lol... I wish. Sounds like a good idea for an Alu fretboard... Go 4 it (y)
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#24
This idea may be out there, but couldnt you make the neck, then mill it out a bit so some semblence of fret's were there? It would all be a 1 piece neck, no need to glue or anything.
#25
Quote by dustyboy316
This idea may be out there, but couldnt you make the neck, then mill it out a bit so some semblence of fret's were there? It would all be a 1 piece neck, no need to glue or anything.



Ive thought of that actually. Wouldnt be a bad Idea, but It would take alot more machining, time, and Aluminum, and that would be alot more money. Id also like to add that Im planning on making the body, and neck entirely out of fiber glass.

heres a design i drew up on the computer


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#27
Quote by LP Addict
just make a guitar out of one bigass piece of aluminum, ****.


That much aluminum would be quite expensive :p

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#29
ugh... ok for starters, the only stainless steel that rusts is 400 series and that cheap 18-8 crap they use for die stampings because it has a carbon content. 300 series like 303, 304, 316 and 316L do not rust. Aluminum, in an uncoated state will tarnish and corrode quickly. And forget Titanium - a piece large enough for a fretboard would cost a small fortune (plus, no suppliers will sell you anything that short - you usually have to purchase a 12 foot bar) plus titanium is a son of a bitch to cut - trust me, i've cut a lot of it. If you want to use an aluminum board, you'll have to get it hard coated which will withstand bending and stuff from the strings. hardcoat is expensive. you'd probably have the best luck cutting the fret slots to like .022" for .023" fretwire and just pressing/epoxying them in place...
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#30
Quote by LP Addict
yeah... but a custom made guitar is upwards of 8,000$...

it might as well be expensive because its going to be awesome.


Depends on whos makin the guitar :p my budget is bout $800-$1000, and just the aluminum alone would far out of that price range, not including all the machine work involved :/ But if I was a millionare Id make a solid Titanium Guitar haha, but anyways anymore comments or suggestions?

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#31
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
ugh... ok for starters, the only stainless steel that rusts is 400 series and that cheap 18-8 crap they use for die stampings because it has a carbon content. 300 series like 303, 304, 316 and 316L do not rust. Aluminum, in an uncoated state will tarnish and corrode quickly. And forget Titanium - a piece large enough for a fretboard would cost a small fortune (plus, no suppliers will sell you anything that short - you usually have to purchase a 12 foot bar) plus titanium is a son of a bitch to cut - trust me, i've cut a lot of it. If you want to use an aluminum board, you'll have to get it hard coated which will withstand bending and stuff from the strings. hardcoat is expensive. you'd probably have the best luck cutting the fret slots to like .022" for .023" fretwire and just pressing/epoxying them in place...


I'll trust you. You seem to know a lot more. Either way it seems pointless.
#32
but aluminum will oxidize and form a hard coating. im no metalwork expert, but wouldnt that protect it a lot?
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#33
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
ugh... ok for starters, the only stainless steel that rusts is 400 series and that cheap 18-8 crap they use for die stampings because it has a carbon content. 300 series like 303, 304, 316 and 316L do not rust. Aluminum, in an uncoated state will tarnish and corrode quickly. And forget Titanium - a piece large enough for a fretboard would cost a small fortune (plus, no suppliers will sell you anything that short - you usually have to purchase a 12 foot bar) plus titanium is a son of a bitch to cut - trust me, i've cut a lot of it. If you want to use an aluminum board, you'll have to get it hard coated which will withstand bending and stuff from the strings. hardcoat is expensive. you'd probably have the best luck cutting the fret slots to like .022" for .023" fretwire and just pressing/epoxying them in place...



Exactly. Titanium is, and has been out of the question for those reasons, and Im leaning more towards Stainless, because like u said, higher grades dont rust, and even if they do u can usually just get a rag, and some motor oil, and it would wipe right off.. Its also much stronger than aluminum , so I wouldnt have to wry bout it bending or bowing, but would be a bit more difficult to machine cuz of this...

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#34
Quote by Skar578
but aluminum will oxidize and form a hard coating. im no metalwork expert, but wouldnt that protect it a lot?


Yes. Oxidation on aluminum does in fact preserve is so to speak.

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#35
Actually you can buy titanium in thin sheet, almost like sheet metal. They use it to make airplane skins. And its not as expensive as you may think anymore. Titanium is becoming more widely used, so the price is slowly coming down. But you could get some thin titanium and make a cap for a wooden fretboard. That thin stuff is super easy to cut, real managable to work with, and it would look kinda cool.
#36
Another question I have is, Ive come across .025" Hacksaw blades. Would that be to big for fret slots??

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#37
dusty, I've been in metalworking for 14 years... this wood stuff is all new to me

303 is a softer stainless... 304 and 316 have more nickel and they will work harden faster on you. I wouldn't suggest cutting any of these materials without proper metalworking equipment, though. Yea, the oxidation creates a sort of protective shell around the aluminum but every time you bend a string you're going to scratch away the surface oxidation. Hard coating is a special surface anodize that's super slick... plus it looks cool

EDIT:
.025" would be too big unless you're going to epoxy them in place... you could always hit the sides of the saw on a stone or something like that to make the blade a little skinnier...
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#38
Quote by LuthierofTexas
Actually you can buy titanium in thin sheet, almost like sheet metal. They use it to make airplane skins. And its not as expensive as you may think anymore. Titanium is becoming more widely used, so the price is slowly coming down. But you could get some thin titanium and make a cap for a wooden fretboard. That thin stuff is super easy to cut, real managable to work with, and it would look kinda
cool.



Wat exactly do u mean by a "cap"?

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#39
Like conforming a thin sheet to the top of a regular wood fretboard and gluing it over the wood. You would either have to sand down the fretboard or raise the saddles to compensate for it, but you wouldnt have to get near as thick of a piece. Then, you could slot through it after the glue dried it down firmly and put fretwire back in it, as an added measure to help hold the edges down and also so you dont lose the ability to fret.
#40
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
dusty, I've been in metalworking for 14 years... this wood stuff is all new to me

303 is a softer stainless... 304 and 316 have more nickel and they will work harden faster on you. I wouldn't suggest cutting any of these materials without proper metalworking equipment, though. Yea, the oxidation creates a sort of protective shell around the aluminum but every time you bend a string you're going to scratch away the surface oxidation. Hard coating is a special surface anodize that's super slick... plus it looks cool

EDIT:
.025" would be too big unless you're going to epoxy them in place... you could always hit the sides of the saw on a stone or something like that to make the blade a little skinnier...


Would epoxy be a bad idea?

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