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cocobolo for a finger board ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by godoze, Nov 1, 2002.


  1. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    just as i was raiding my uncle's shop for the ebony i
    was going to use for my fretless fingerboard, he suggested (he's a cabinet maker) that i might think of using cocobolo. He tells that that it is as hard or harder than ebony. He has a gorgeous piece of cocobolo stock that I could probably get 5 fingerboards out of.

    I just don't know if the coco is the way to go. Being an upright player also and having gone thru several uprights i know that 99.9% have ebony boards.
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Cocobolo is hard, stiff, and dense. I think a good piece of gaboon ebony will generally be more durable than cocobolo, but personally, I would not hesitate to use cocobolo for a fretless bass.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Not being a luthier, take my input FWIW --- but I've seen numerous, very fine, basses and guitars with cocobolo fingerboards after Brazilian rosewood became a protected specie.

    Matt (FBB Custom, above), Rob Allen, Garz Guitars, Brubaker, READ, Matt Pulcinella, and Bone are all bass luthiers who have made fine looking cocobolo fretboards for electric basses.

    Here's a link to a nice pic of coco fretboard made by dhuff, (luthier and TB member), -
    [​IMG]

    I guess the trick is the oils and sealing the wood. The luthier who is making my bass with a Nicaraguan cocobolo body top has had a hell of a time trying to seal and finish it without the oils screwing up his hard work.
     
  4. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Cocobolo works and looks great:
     
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Greg - Hope you didn't feel slighted because I didn't mention your fine work in my original post. I've seen your website and your instruments look very fine, (PLUS, you're a bassist brethren!!!). We appreciate all the luthiers who take time to participate here on TB.

    That coco `board you posted is so fine it is indistinguishable to me from this very nice `board made of the legendary Brazilian, link is below.... (actually, I think your cocobolo or any Central American coco looks better than Brazilian rosewood) -

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jontom

    Jontom

    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    They all look De-lovely to me!!!:)
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Cocobolo frequently has the spiderweb figure that Brazilian is known for. But cocobolo has more reds and oranges. I love the stuff.

    Let's not forget that the original poster is making a fretless board. Durability is much more of a concern for fretless. That said, people use morado, and cocobolo is generally harder and denser than morado.
     
  8. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Rickbass - it takes quite a bit to make me feel slighted. Thanks for the compliments. As far as a fretless cocobolo fingerboard some people might be put off by the high figure in an unlined fretless situation. That's the only drawback I can think of and it would be a personal preferance thing. But, really, what isn't?