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Can I remove the ridge on old Kay fingerboard?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bick, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. Bick

    Bick

    Jun 2, 2005
    Hey folks I recently purchased an old 57 Kay C1 with the original fingerboard. Before repairing and setting up the bass, should I plane down the sharp ridge on the fingerboard the A string? I have been recommended to remove it. I am a fiddle player and fixer upper of sorts, and have little experience with a bass. Why did they even put such a bevel there in the first place, and by the way, will it devalue the instrument if removed? Thanks for any response on this matter. John
     
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  3. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    I have never heard of a Kay with a bevelled fingerboard. This is probably a replacement fingerboard. It's probably just fine the way it is. You more than likely won't notice any difference between a bevelled and round fingerboard when you play it.
     
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    FYI-- my 1966 Kay C-1 came from the factory withe a bevelled fingerboard.
     
  5. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    I'm amazed, I've been playing for almost 50 years, and have spanked for Kays than I can count, and I've never seen one with a bevel.

    To answer your question, John, fingerboards are expendable. To take the bevel off, or even replace the fingerboard should have no effect on the value of the instrument.
     
  6. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    SWITZERLAND
    My 52 Kay M1 has a bevelled fingerboard too, and so do have the Kays of 3 friends of mine, my fingerboard is suposed to be the original one, interesting to know which models have the round board, time to go to Kaybass.com

    NUNO
     
  7. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    SWITZERLAND
    From Kaybass.com;
    "Kay fingerboards all had a flat on the E side and were not rounded."

    NUNO
     
  8. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    It's been over 30 years since I've played a Kay. Maybe I'm having a "senior moment". :confused:
     
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    It's a way of giving the E string a little more room to vibrate. I think that it really works, and as far a playability, there's no real difference.

    I actually think it may be a little easier to stop the E string in 2nd and 3rd position with the beveled board, especially with your 4th finger. It just seems to set up better to the ergonomics of my hand. But it makes no significant difference.
     
  10. Bick

    Bick

    Jun 2, 2005
    At least while I own this bass, it will be used for bluegrass. I presume by your replies, that it should be fine the way it is. That's good news. The old piece needs the neck reglued....loose in the block....and some cleanup. It will be more of a winter project I think. Too busy going to bluegrass festivals right now!
     
  11. And you're playing it that way? I gotta believe that's gonna make a bad situation worse. If I were you I'd get the neck reset ASAP. Between festivals.
    Regarding the fingerboard 'ridge', I'd leave it alone. Any wood you remove will reduce the stiffness of an already- thin neck.
     
  12. Bick

    Bick

    Jun 2, 2005
    No, No I am not playing the bass....I am a jam session fiddler at every festival I can make. Today I spent a little time cleaning layers of dirt off the old bass, as I acquired it from an estate sale and it had been mothballed for years. Upon further inspection, the neck is loose from the bouts and back only. ...very loose! It must still be glued to the block....I tried gentle force to pull it out of the mortise with no luck. The back is loose in the lower bouts, and I can see inside that a portion of the lining is missing from the lower bout on one side. I will need to remove the back completely to fix the lining, since it is already loose from both end blocks this should be no problem? I have removed fiddle tops and was wondering what I needed to know different about basses. Any ideas on the neck/block repair would be great too.
    John Bick
     
  13. The repairs you are considering should only be done with hide glue. Have you worked with hide glue before? Do you have dozens of spool clamps? How are you planning to clamp the back to the ribs when you reglue it?
    You're doing the right thing by doing some homework before jumping into the project. At the risk of drawing fire, I'm gonna suggest you might want to consider investing in a copy of Chuck Traeger's book.
     
  14. Bick

    Bick

    Jun 2, 2005
    I only use hide glue for any fiddle repairs I have done...I am a firm believer in that! As for my spool clamps, they are far too small. I do have a friend locally that is a guitar builder and another "bass" friend who has offered to loan me a book on bass repair...and lend a helping hand. Between the two of them feel I have plenty of tools and help, but I wanted any info I can gather before I start.