Bocote Fingerboard Coating

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by gbarcus, Feb 20, 2014.


  1. gbarcus

    gbarcus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    So I've had this bocote fingerboard laying around for about 2 years now and figured it was high time I used it.
    It's pretty heavy, so I decided to make a couple of fingerboards out of it.
    Question is what is a good coating to protect the wood. It's pretty oily as is, but would like at least something to keep the dust and grime from getting into the pores.
    Wondering if someone has used an oil such as finishing oil. Worried that the natural oil in the wood will clash with it and leave the board sticky.

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  2. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    I used a similar looking board from Youngblood on a bass last year. Hit it with some boiled linseed oil a couple times a year and that's all you should need.

    Lonnybass
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    yeah whatever you'd normally use for a fingerboard would be fine.
  4. CustomTech

    CustomTech

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    bocote darkens very quickly. there will be a huge difference in just a weeks time after youve finished sanding the board. using boiled linseed oil will make the board extremely dark over time to where it will take much away from the distinction in the grain. bocote is very oily, it really dosent need a finish on it, but if you did choose to, id stick to an oil that dosent really darken, like tung, or tru oil.
  5. gbarcus

    gbarcus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Cool, Thanks Guys!
    Yeah it darkens a lot. I was pretty surprised when I resawed the board how bright it looked compared to the outside. Too bad it won't say that way.
  6. Big B.

    Big B.

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I like tru oil for fingerboards but it does darken bocote a bit. This board looked a lot like yours when it was raw.

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  7. TurkeypillSLEEP

    TurkeypillSLEEP Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis
    +5 to all. I love Bocote and wish more basses were made with bocote boards.
  8. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    My board darkened on its own after about a week...the boiled linseed oil gave it a nice warm sheen but didn't really darken the color much beyond what it looked like after being exposed to the air. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing :)

    Lonnybass
  9. CustomTech

    CustomTech

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    a week after i built these, they were a LOT darker, now they are very dark. no finish whatsoever. ill try to take a pic of them as they sit now.....

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  10. CustomTech

    CustomTech

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    and heres how the boards darkened..... also a neck thru 1 piece bocote, extremely darkened, its old......there is no oil or anything on the 2 necks. i did run some of that fast fret stick on the one with no inlays shortly after it was made, and you can see that darkened it even more and it stayed that way.....it sucks that bocote darkens the way it does shortly after milling, because it looks so much nicer when its bright....

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