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If you started with a premade fingerboard blank, which was already cut to the correct length of 270 mm and those cuts are clean, you can skip this chapter altogether.

If you on the other hand made your blank from a raw piece of ebony, you will need to trim its ends with the following shooting board. This board differs from the common one by the adjustable stop, which allows you to plane objects of other than perfectly rectangular shape.

Making the mini shooting board

For the finished shooting board see Fig. 1.
  1. Get two pieces of wood, one 150 x 150 x 15 mm, the other 100 x 150 x 15 mm.
  2. These two are then glued one on to of the other.
  3. Two holes "a" and "b" are drilled through.
  4. The top is a piece of wood cut to the dimensions of 100 x 30 x 15 mm, with its top rounded off to form the stop.
  5. The stop is then screwed to the body at "a" a marker is passed from the bottom side through the opening "b" to mark the position of this hole on the stop.
  6. Drill though the stop at the marked position and at the two extremes "b1" and "b2" as well. Connect the holes using a suitable scroll gouge.
  7. Put a bolt through hole "b" and screw the stop tight with a winged nut.

Trimming the fingerboard ends
  1. Make a line where you want the end to be and create two chamfers on both sides of the fingerboard, as in Fig. 2. This is to reduce the danger of chipping.
  1. Set the shooting board to the right angle and start shooting the upper end first.

    Ebony is both very hard and prone to chipping. The block plane must be set to make the thinnest shavings possible. If chipping still occurs, you can always use a block of wood with sandpaper glued to it instead of a plane.
  1. Do the same with the other end. The final fingerboard length is 270 mm.

Category: Neck and scroll