Fretboard shrinkage


Junior Member
Hello folks.
I read an article recently about fretboard shrinkage on acoustic guitars.  It results in frets that protrude past the end of the fretboard and cracks in the fretboard.

Has anyone noticed this phenomenon with Warmoth necks or electric guitars in general?  I am a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to guitars and am always finding something new to worry about.  This week it is fretboard shrinkage.

Thanks, David
I have observed fretboard shrinkage many times on many makes of guitars.
It appears to be most common with oriental guitars...probably due to inadequate miosture control at the factory.
In the UK, most properly made instruments swell slighltly...the fret edges disappear!

Ebony appears to have a life of its own and can grow and shrink alarmingly.
Gibsons with ebony boards and binding can end up with quite large gaps at either end of the frets.

I haven't observed any problems with any of the Warmoths I've worked on or built  :icon_thumright:
NonsenseTele said:
This "shortening effect" is commum on Ebony?? ???

uhm.... only on freshly cut ebony. ebony boards that had the time to dry for years wont shrink or change. well, just minimal.
Frightened turtle!  That is too funny.  I think there is no better analogy.  If you look up "analogy" in the dictionary there should be a picture... well maybe not a picture.
My 1990 Fender Strat fret-board (rosewood) shrunk quite a bit. I think it's done now...
I've got two Gibsons - a Lester and a ES, that are bound at the neck, and both show a lot of changes with humidity.  Both are rosewood.  Other rosewood boards seem to not move at all - and one of those is on the "other" ES.
How do you notice the change?  Is it the frets protruding from the edges?  Do you see fretboard cracks?

Also, does keeping the board oiled help?
I see shrinkage but mostly see expansion.  What I see is the wood pushing the binding away from the end of the fret, and that leaves a little gap.

There is ... a secret formula regarding a certain oil, when thinned by a specified amount with a certain... naturally occuring non-petrolium solvent.... that does in fact stabilize fretboards pretty well.  Wish I could say more, but I have been sworn to secrecy until the product is released.  BTW, it works pretty well, smell nice, feels nice, lasts next to forever with recoats needed about once a year for the first four years, and never again after that.