Finally – It is time to glue the fretboard onto the guitar neck. These steps are nearly the same for both Acoustic Guitars, Classical Guitars, Ukulele’s and Electric Guitars. Prior to doing this you do want to make sure that you completed the steps in the article, Fitting the Fretboard.
It wouldn’t hurt to once again, place the fretboard into position and check all of the alignment information to make sure everything is perfect.
Tools and Materials:
Wood Cauls to protect the neck:
Wood Fretboard Caul:
(8) 6″ Medium duty C Clamps
(8) 4″ x 8″ Bessey Regular Duty Tradesman
Before We Start:
If your fretboard is to bound and you haven’t done this step yet, do so now. Also if you have a truss rod, it should be covered with either tape or wood as explained in the article on How to Install a Truss Rod.
Assemble The Proper Tools and Materials:
As with most tasks in the art of guitar building, you do want to have everything ‘ready to go’, as we are dealing with glue setting up in a relatively short amount of time.
Place the guitar on a padded workbench and have your cauls and clamps ready in the order they will be used.
Spread glue on the surface of the neck and the fretboard and use a tool, such as a thin piece of plastic (like an old credit card), to evenly distribute the glue over the gluing surfaces.
Place the fretboard into place over the registration pegs and press down with hand pressure to ‘seat’ the fretboard.
Install the fretboard caul to protect the fretboard against clamping pressure. So the same with the clamp to be used at the center of the neck. Place a wood caul at the underside of the neck and apply a slight amount of pressure on the clamp to ‘snug’ it up.
Now add a clamp with cauls on either side of the central clamp and snug them up as well. You can get a wide mouthed clamp directly over the guitar heel to clamp the fretboard where it joins the neck.
If you neck is not a removable type (i.e. a bolt-on neck), you can now clamp the fretboard on the guitar top plate as well. This can be done with smaller clamps with jaw protectors and cauls to protect the interior of the guitar and the note braces. (Note that after clamping you should clean the glue squeeze out over the guitar top.)
Next progressively tighten each clamp until you have each of them very tight.
Set aside and let dry overnight. The next morning release the clamping pressures progressively and cleanup the glue squeeze out.