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Thread: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

  1. #1
    Harley Marty
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    Default Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Im considering purchasing a very basic model, nylon 3/4 guitar from China I think the postage is going to be dearer than the guitar. It will be 23 scale (may also get a 24 1/2as well), laminated of course. I want to slim the neck down a bit so I'm wondering whats the likelihood of being able to remove the fretboard? Maybe they frett straight into the neck on those really cheap ones.

  2. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Just cut it down in place with a mini grinder, frets and all, only takes a few minutes to do!

  3. #3
    Registered User MB-Octo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    I bought one of these (through Amazon US) to experiment on: https://tinyurl.com/v2hls6l
    It played fine, but the nut was wider than I liked (38mm), so I removed the neck binding & fingerboard (heat gun & thin blades), then narrowed & shaped the neck. The finger board was trimmed with a spindle sander & glued back on. Needs fret work, finish sanding, and perhaps some bridge work, but it'll be a fun shop-wall tenor. For reference: The scale length on these is ~21 1/2".
    Monte

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    Weber Custom Yellowstone Octave F

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  5. #4
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    I’m thinking of pulling off the fretboard & cutting out a V strip down the middle right down through the headstock to a point at the heel. Then glue it together & while the fretboard is off explore the possibility of installing a trussrod. If it works well enough I’ll try it on a high quality classical like a La Mancha. The fretboard can be ground into shape afterwards

  6. #5
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    I am not sure if I quite get that but won’t you have a steep taper and still have a wide saddle spacing?

  7. #6
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Yes to the taper but I only play on the first 9 frets. The saddle won’t matter I’ll string the middle 4

  8. #7
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Check out this thread that soliver started last Fall about the exact same thing. He pulled the fretboard, and describes how he thinned the neck: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...sical+tenor%27

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  10. #8
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Quote Originally Posted by mreidsma View Post
    Check out this thread that soliver started last Fall about the exact same thing. He pulled the fretboard, and describes how he thinned the neck: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...sical+tenor%27
    Yes I remember following that thread. It is similar to what I intend to do. My concern is do the $30 3/4 cheapies have a fretboard that I can remove, or should I spend $35 for a 4/4 to be sure but I won’t play it?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    I was going to ask why you don't just get a baritone uke, but maybe you intend to use steel strings?

  12. #10
    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    I converted a cheap yamaha jr2 to a tenor simply by thinning the neck down with the fretboard still in place. The thread is fairly recent and down the page a bit
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  13. #11
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Well the fretboard might come off it depends on what type of glue was used, you will need a hot air gun and a scraper to find out!

    I have cut down more necks than I can remember and to be honest it is really easy as long as you except it a a bit of a botch job!

    The problem is trying to touch up exposed wood and rematch it Is extremely difficult.

    So my easy method is to cut a 3/4 MDF template the exact size you want the finished fretboard to be, clamp it on to the neck on top of the fretboard and then with a 4 mini grinder run a very thin 2mm metal cutting disk down the edge... job done

    If you are carful over the soundboard, you can just cut half way through the fretboard and leave a thin piece in place, you will need to sand the neck into shape and mess around the headstock area.

    This is a simple and effective method that does no require removing the fretboard as the disk will cut wood and metal alike.
    Shaping and re finishing the neck is not so easy but if it is just for fun and you dont mind what it looks like, then the job is done .


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  15. #12
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    On a slightly different note, you should be able to find loads of second hand cheap classical guitars, eBay, charity shops, Facebook, carboot sales....
    The last time I asked my friends on Facebook if anyone had an old guitar I was flooded with offers...
    That is one of the good things about six string guitars ... there are billions of them out there with very little secondhand value!

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  17. #13
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Cheap & Cheerfull Tenor Conversion question

    Thanks for the imput folks. This will be an interesting exercise, I have a request in now for a 36" & 38" (23" & 24 1/2" scale) classical with cutaway, & a full size classical with truss rod (according to the specs). Three new guitars delivered for not much more than I would have to spend on the 2nd hand market.

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