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Padauk As A Fingerboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Nov 21, 2003.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I was wondering if anyone's used padauk as a fingerboard, or if it is durable to hold up as one. Would it work for fretless as well?
     
  2. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Call Larry for a stabilized piece. I'm under the impression you can use ujst about any type of stabilized wood for a fingerboard. JP recently showed me a stabilized limba fb that he is using !
     
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  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    The Pedulla I used to have had a (fretted)padauk fretboard. The bass sounded good to me, and I noticed no wear in the 5 or so years I had it. My goal is to eventually get it back (it stayed in the family).
     
  5. joeviau

    joeviau

    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
    If I'm not mistaken, old Rickenbackers used padauk--it's also called vermillion.
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I believe that they did for certain periods, as you said, calling it vermillion. They also used bubinga and I think rosewood at different times.
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've only used it once for a fingerboard. I got the impression it was not the most durable wood for fretless, but it worked well as a fretted bass. Bloodwood might be better for fretless. It's certainly more dense than padauk.
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    has anyone noticed tha Padauk "bleeds" when sanding ?
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    If by "bleed" you mean "gets everywhere and will never come out", then yes.
     
  10. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    "bleeds" as in i just used some in a heel block and upon sanding discovered that the dust became embedded in the adjoing tiger maple...

    sorry for the ot post Bryan
     
  11. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Actually, it's not altogether off topic, since a padauk fingerboard is probably going to end up on a maple neck.

    Cocobolo is the same way, as far as bleeding during sanding, especially if you wet sand with oil. Padauk dust will ruin your clothing. Tiger maple is probably worse than regular old rock maple because the wavy grain means you get some end grain showing on all surfaces, and end grain will readily suck in fine dust.

    About the best you can do is try to keep your sandpaper clean when you move from padauk to the other wood(s), and possibly wash the bass with some acetone or naptha before finishing to see if you can get some of the dust out.
     
  12. freshbass

    freshbass

    Jul 17, 2004
    vermont
    I own a 65 P bass that I'm told is very rare. In fact my new luthier was just doing some fret work and called George Gruhn about it because he was surprised. George told him it's extremely rare. Rickenbacker's have Padauk fretboards. It's an L series w/ a pressed fingerboard made of Padauk. I always assumed it was brazilian rosewood. ALL I can tell you is it has a supple feel to it unlike any other Fender bass and the most amazing tone I've ever heard...very warm and full but cuts right through. I string it like all my basses w/ TI flats.
     
  13. I'm almost irrationally opposed to open-grained woods being used as fingerboards. That being said, Padauk is one of the most open-grained woods I have dealt with. It's not particularly durable, either. On the other hand, Bloodwood is wonderfully smooth and durable, and has a reasonably similar appearance. I would opt for Bloodwood for a red fingerboard.
     
  14. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    albuquerque, nm
    My lefay herr schwarz 5 had a padauk neck and board...great feel and tone...stayed in tune with no problems...
     
  15. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Nine year old thread... :)
     
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    :screwy:
    My Rics have Bubinga fretboards

    Zombies rising
     
  17. Brado

    Brado

    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    I would use it for a fretted fingerboard without hesitation. If for fretless, either do a good bit of acrylicizing/ maybe epoxy finish the board, or just go with bloodwood.
     



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