Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

Forum Ringside => Tech => Topic started by: 7thSon on February 08, 2010, 10:26:28 PM

Title: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: 7thSon on February 08, 2010, 10:26:28 PM
Hi guys, I'm going to use up some of my quota of stupid questions.

Before giving my guitar to the tech for it's initial setup, I'm hoping to scallop my fretboard (to ease playing with tendonitis / help me learn to play with a soft touch). Does this mean that a Re-Fret won't be possible in the future so I should have it done now? (with Stainless) 

It's an Epiphone LP Custom with a bound fretboard, will the binding cause problems for the scalloping?

Also what would be recommended to finish the fretboard with?

Any tips on how to protect the body while I scallop? (beyond just being careful!)

I was thinking of doing a Malmsteen style full scallop (with jumbo fretwire if I do get the Re-Fret now) so that my fingers never make contact with the fretboard, but I was wondering why people say Blackmore style scalloped necks are easier for chording? With Barre chords isnt your index supposed to go behind the fret? So how does an unscalloped section infront of the fret help? Or is it just because the Blackmore style scallops are shallower on the bottom strings/frets so your fingers still hit the fretboard before you go out of tune?

As for fitting my pickups which I'm planning to do myself, how powerful a soldering iron should I get? (bearing in mind in the future I also hope to re-wire the guitar & mod my amp).

OK one more for good measure...should I not worry about replacing pots & tone caps until I re-wire it all in the future (i.e when I can actually play), or while I'm doing the pickups will I already be 'in there' and better off getting it out of the way now?

Actually one more... Is it rude for me to ask the tech change the frets, then me do the scalloping before giving it back to him to finish the job & set up the guitar? Scalloping is expensive right?

Thanks!  :D
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: WezV on February 08, 2010, 10:36:14 PM
my advice would be to practice scalloping on a cheap neck before taking any tools near a guitar you care about
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: 7thSon on February 08, 2010, 10:41:31 PM
How cheap a neck are we talking? I only have the one guitar, so would have to buy one, dont know if that would be cost effective compared to just paying for the tech to do the scalloping.

I was thinking I would just go by hand slowly and carefully!
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: choucas09 on February 09, 2010, 01:50:07 AM
 I'm a long term sufferer of tendonitis and I had my Gordon Smith refretted with the biggest frets available in an effort to achieve what you're seeking. It didn't really help at all and I ruined the best playing guitar I've ever had. Luckily I morphed it into a slide guitar so all was not lost. I suggest you try, if possible, such a set up before you leap.
 I've never really overcome the RSI problem, but the right balance of practice and rest is the best possible formula.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: WezV on February 09, 2010, 07:12:43 AM
exactly, you only have one guitar and scalloping could ruin it - you can usually pick up cheapies on ebay
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: hunter on February 09, 2010, 08:15:56 AM

Scalopping a RW board on a guitar with binding by someone who has 0 experience in this field sounds like a very bad plan to me. I don't even know if the binding could be kept, but at least it would mean significant extra effort, even for a trained luthier.

My advise would be to would leave it.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Afghan Dave on February 09, 2010, 09:16:21 AM

Scalopping a RW board on a guitar with binding by someone who has 0 experience in this field sounds like a very bad plan to me. I don't even know if the binding could be kept, but at least it would mean significant extra effort, even for a trained luthier.

My advise would be to would leave it.

100% agree. Don't do it. This is a bad idea.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: 7thSon on February 09, 2010, 03:33:12 PM
Interesting points guys, appreciate the frankness.

Setting aside the binding for the moment, when talking about ruining the neck what does that mean exactly? Just changing the tone / feel of the neck doesn't seem like a huge problem to me as I've got no frame of reference anyways, especially if it means me being able to play the guitar. Or are you talking about actually making the neck unplayable due to intonation / stability problems or something like that?

I guess i'll try the jumbo fretwire on its own first though and do a practice on a cheap neck before deciding.

damn though choucas...that doesn't sound good!  :( Can't you get a cortisone injection?
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: HTH AMPS on February 09, 2010, 09:16:26 PM
I empathise with your situation being an arthritis sufferer - I too find that the drugs help, but that being sensible and knowing my limits allows me to keep playing.  Part of that involves resting too, so before a gig I won't play the day before so I'm rested.   Cortisone injections are only a temporary relief, I find anyway, and wear off in 6+ weeks.

As for your guitar, trying to scallop it when you're not sure of what you're doing is most certainly a bad idea.  Ask the tech who's doing the refret how much it will cost.  Also, why does it need refretting with stainless steel frets?

My concern would be ruining the neck and the binding coming away from the neck.  Also, you could damage the frets.

Will scalloping really make the guitar that much easier to play? - what gauge string do you use currently? - some light gauge strings should help.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: DimeZakk on February 10, 2010, 12:54:08 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong but I think you can't scallop a Les Paul fretboard!
Not because of the binding, that could be removed and reattached afterwards, but the huge block inlays of the Les Paul neck make it impossible...
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: FELINEGUITARS on February 10, 2010, 01:19:23 AM
OK - I'll throw the cat amongst the pigeons here
I rather enjoy a scalloped neck - but prefer it from the 13th fret upwards
I also love huge fretwire like Dunlop 6000 and it has changed my playing technique somewhat
But in conjunction with the huge feretwire I love a beautifully levelled fretboard (which obviously I achieve when I do a refret) and I love a great fret dress and low action.

I feel that a decent refret with big wire and a beautifully prepped fingerboard may do as much for your ease of playing as far as RSI goes - Scalloping is great but it really only gives you a chance to get a bitr more fingertip behind a string and allows more control as a result (there is a little change in tone too)

Now as far as damaging a guitar with inlays and binding goes - I agree with all the other guys
the inlays on an Epi are mother of plastic /pearloid and only about 1mm deep
Scalloping through the middle of them will go through to the wood underneath
If you are scalloping an inlaid board - you have to remove inlays , deepen the route for them and reinstall deeper so that you can carve into the inlay wiothout going through - very tricky
The binding is another consideration
It always look a bit cr@p when it has scalloped dips in and there is other risk of damaging it and pulling it away from the fingerboard when filing the scallop into the wood.

Proceed with caution on such a guitar.

Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Supernaught on February 11, 2010, 11:49:12 AM
when talking about ruining the neck what does that mean exactly?

This:

(http://www.agileguitarforum.com/uploader/files/ScallopNightmare.jpg)

or not quite so bad, but still a mess:

(http://www.randyciak.com/guitar/bad_scallop_job_1.jpg)


Good luck with it anyhow.  :)
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Afghan Dave on February 11, 2010, 03:31:43 PM
After all this good advice...

If you do it, PLEASE post pictures as we can all do with a laugh.

You have been warned.  :P
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: HTH AMPS on February 11, 2010, 07:35:02 PM
one thing you might remember is that the skills that the likes of Jonathan (Feline) and Wez V posses have been honed over many years, this really is a job for the pros.

out of curiosity, how much would a scalloped neck job cost? (Wez, Jonathan).
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: FELINEGUITARS on February 12, 2010, 10:49:13 AM
one thing you might remember is that the skills that the likes of Jonathan (Feline) and Wez V posses have been honed over many years, this really is a job for the pros.

out of curiosity, how much would a scalloped neck job cost? (Wez, Jonathan).

I would usually quote out at about 10 per fret to do
A whole board will take most of a day non stop - it's a time consuming job

Here is a partial one that I did on one of our customs - I set the dots in deeper to cope with the scallop
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v662/felineguitars/CUSTOM%20BUILT/PICT0016.jpg)
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: HTH AMPS on February 12, 2010, 11:15:07 AM
one thing you might remember is that the skills that the likes of Jonathan (Feline) and Wez V posses have been honed over many years, this really is a job for the pros.

out of curiosity, how much would a scalloped neck job cost? (Wez, Jonathan).

I would usually quote out at about 10 per fret to do
A whole board will take most of a day non stop - it's a time consuming job

Here is a partial one that I did on one of our customs - I set the dots in deeper to cope with the scallop
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v662/felineguitars/CUSTOM%20BUILT/PICT0016.jpg)

now thats what I'm talking about - tasty work.

Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Afghan Dave on February 12, 2010, 11:26:01 AM
Jon asked me to do that for him after I got my Dremmel....  :P

I always love the look of Jon's mirror like finish on his frets. Lovely stuff.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: gwEm on February 12, 2010, 12:14:27 PM
Jon asked me to do that for him after I got my Dremmel....  :P

I always love the look of Jon's mirror like finish on his frets. Lovely stuff.

the best thing about Jon's work is hes quite open about how he does it - measure three times, take it slowly, good tools, tidy workshop, quality materials. nevertheless that picture is quite something!
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: FELINEGUITARS on February 12, 2010, 12:56:47 PM
Jon asked me to do that for him after I got my Dremmel....  :P

I always love the look of Jon's mirror like finish on his frets. Lovely stuff.

Keep away from my guitars with your "dremel of death"

Actually I use a Dremel with a flex-shaft and a drum sander for part of the process
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: WezV on February 12, 2010, 04:22:32 PM
i agree with jon - 10 per fret

i also like the partial scallops - for mine i use a rattail file to rough them in and sanding sticks to finish off (dowel with sandpaper attached)

i tend to go a bit deeper on the treble than the bass
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: 7thSon on February 16, 2010, 11:41:52 PM
Cheers to feline and co for weighing in as well, I'm definitely going to leave the scalloping for now and have a luthier refret it with tall fretwire (EVO 'gold' FW55090). I guess just playing with constant awareness of my finger pressure I should be fine and i'm going to be playing very little anyways until my arms are healed.

Just curious though, are the inlays really necessary? After a while don't you get a feel for where you are without needing to look?

Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Will on February 17, 2010, 12:37:28 PM
When I was getting bad pains in my left hand, it seemed that low and fat frets helped. You still have to have a soft touch, but the fretboard stops you from gripping excessively.
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: FELINEGUITARS on February 17, 2010, 02:03:56 PM
Cheers to feline and co for weighing in as well, I'm definitely going to leave the scalloping for now and have a luthier refret it with tall fretwire (EVO 'gold' FW55090).


Is Nigel / Leicestershire Luthier doing that for you ?
He is the only person who has mentioned the EVO Gold wire to me in the past
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: 7thSon on February 18, 2010, 07:35:44 PM
No it's not him, though I did initially find out about the EVO fretwire from his website when googling for info about stainless frets.

The refret/setup will be done by Terry Chapman @ www.tjcguitars.com
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: FELINEGUITARS on February 18, 2010, 08:13:41 PM
Wow - I'm wondering if it's Terry Chapman that used to have a shop In Bucklesbury Hitchin about 20-25 years ago...
Used to import and sell Paul C's (now Chandler USA) bodies and necks....

If it is I applied for a job with him as a trainee back in 1987.........didn't get a job , but obviously I stuck with it!
Title: Re: Some questions about scalloping
Post by: Philly Q on February 18, 2010, 09:00:53 PM
Wow - I'm wondering if it's Terry Chapman that used to have a shop In Bucklesbury Hitchin about 20-25 years ago...
Used to import and sell Paul C's (now Chandler USA) bodies and necks....

If it is I applied for a job with him as a trainee back in 1987.........didn't get a job , but obviously I stuck with it!

Not as good as your story, but I do have a guitar with a neck and body from that very shop.