Rolled Neck edges like Fender Am Std Strat


I really like the feel of the rolled neck edges on theFender AM Std Strat.  Can Warmoth provide this?  Does it need to be done before the frets are put in?

I'd like to scrape the edges of an existing guitar; but I'm worried that the fret ends will stick out; and feel like railroad tracks.  Has anyone done this?

typically the fretboard edges are 'rolled' after the frets are installed, their ends trimmed, the frets levelled and crowned, and the ends detailed. this operation would be performed prior to shooting a finish on the neck/fretboard, but can be done later for necks with a fretboard that does not have a sprayed finish on it

usually you would utilize several grits of sandpaper in increasing fineness, but I know that some of the high production shops use a 'rubberized sanding stick' to accomplish this speedily in a single step

I believe that W doesn't typically round edges due to the inconsistency in player preferences for what the perfect rolled edge radius should be. talk to your rep when you order your neck to see what options they have available and at what price

all the best,

Someone (Gregg maybe?) described how to roll a finished fingerboard using the shaft of a screwdriver or similar.  Search around, I'm sure you can find it.
As long as its a very minor rounding then the screwdriver type thing will work.  Anything more than that and you'll end up with fret ends sticking out that'll need to be dressed. 

My gut reaction is that Warmoth will probably not do that kind of thing outside of a completely custom neck (if at all).  I consider it to be part of a deluxe setup, but it never hurts to ask.  :icon_thumright:
dbw said:
Someone (Gregg maybe?) described how to roll a finished fingerboard using the shaft of a screwdriver or similar.  Search around, I'm sure you can find it.

you have to be really careful doing this, and know the limits of the finish and its thickness. if you apply too much pressure in too cold of an environment you run the risk of hairline cracking (or worse) the finish ... something you may not notice for several years of light playing

it is far better to radius/roll/soften the edges prior to finishing the neck. far, far better

all the best,

I was planning on creating a radius tool and scraping the edges.  Something like a 1/16 to 5/64 radius.  I may have to go check out a a new Am Std Strat again to see what radius Fender uses; and what the transition to the fret ends look like.
but why reinvent the wheel when standard practice is to use sandpaper?

is there a reason why this is insufficient for the task, and you instead prefer to significantly overspend and over complicate the process? just curious

I sure wouldn't want wood that is "rolled" in between each fret, but reverting to a sharp edge underneath each fret. I've always had to dress Warmoth fret ends to get the hemispherical shape I prefer, and that does more to speed up the neck than anything. My Mustang needed the entire fretboard rolled, so I did that with abrasives on a long straightedge that did the edge and frets together and then I really had to further shape the fret ends. The biggest concern is how much clearance the strings have to the edge, the vintage-style Strat bridge width of 2 3/16" (or more) doesn't give you much room to play with. Warmoth used to offer necks with extra-wide fingerboards, I dearly wish I'd bough some before they went away. :-\

will this tool work ?
this is good for beveling the fret ends, but it is not intended to roll the fretboard edge

once you have beveled the fret ends you still have a lot of work to do to finish the detailing job correctly

for the record, I personally round the fretboard edge before I press in the frets. I find I can get a more consistent edge this way, and I can get there significantly faster to boot. after pressing the frets I utilize something like the StewMac tool, and then use a set of various files to dress the end of each fret before lefelling the frets (if needed) and polishing them. this method requires a slightly different fret end dressing style than you would have if you rolled the fretboard edges after pressing in the frets, but I prefer the smoother feel it achieves

all the best,

I ordered and received a 1 3/4" wide Strat neck from Warmoth, it works fine. I too have an American Strat and thought the Warmoth neck was way too crisp and the fret ends too sharp an angle. Before I finished it I took a couple coffee stir sticks from Starbucks and glued some 200 or 320 sand paper on them to make narrow sanding sticks that I could gently roll the wood edge going with the grain between the frets until it was as round as I wanted it. I took my Dremel tool with a sanding stone and gently ground off a bit of the fret at the angle I wanted. I made a little fret isolation deal like what StewMac sells just in case I slipped, which I didn't. I then took a fine, small triangle shaped file and eased the frets ends down to their final shape. You'd never dig into the wood as obviously the steel fret prevents that. I finished it off with a fine sanding sponge along the edge that finished the wood and polished the frets. It really came out fine, pretty much just like the Fender neck. I have a few coats on the neck so I could assemble it and play it. I'll finish up the final coats, polishing and finish polish the frets next spring.
Patrick from Davis said:


Good thread!  For some reason, It didn't pop up in my previous search.  This gives me confidence to sand the edges of my current Strat; and do the same for my current build.  I think the sanding block is the way to go.  It will sand the fret edges along with the fingerboard.  Since I don't do frets...yet, I'll have Warmoth install the frets, and I'll "roll" the edges and re-dress the fret ends after the fact.
The word "rolled" seems extremist to me, actually - that wire-hair edge is really all I ever take off. It's like putting maybe a 1/32" radius on there, certainly no more "rolled" than the diameter of a skinny A or a fat D string. I don't see any practical reason to make it rounder than that, I just want them to stop biting me. :evil4: