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Darkening a R/wood fretboard to Ebony

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MAGUS®, Mar 29, 2005.


  1. MAGUS®

    MAGUS®

    Dec 23, 2004
    UK
    Is it possible to darken by staining, a Rosewood fretboard ?
    I've never really dug the Rosewood colour, but really love the deep black of Ebony.
    What do luthiers use for staining anyway - and is an Ebony like black finish possible, and can it then be highly polished smooth like Ebony ?

    Thx !
     
  2. Yes. They sell the stain at StewMacdonald. OR at wood finishing shops. It's purpose made for staining actual ebony, but should work on rosewood just fine...

    You can maintain a lustre on the board, but Ebony is a much denser tighter grained wood. You can stain rosewood, but it will still look "grainier".
     
  3. MAGUS®

    MAGUS®

    Dec 23, 2004
    UK
    Thx bud.

    I'm sure we must have that stuff over here. Yup i know what you mean about the difference in tightness of the grain.
    But it wouldnt be cheap to have the fretboard replaced, so the staining is the cheap option.
    The grain difference i'll have to live with i guess :)
     
  4. I did up an inexpensive rosewood fretboard on my SX P this way with the Fiebings Black Oil Dye (by the way, Tandy Leather Company has this in stock in their stores - there may even be these stores in the UK). After the initial dying, I went back over it with Watco Teak oil and that took the oil deeper into the wood. After about 30 minutes, I applied more dye and repeated the process. Once the oil and dye dried and hardened up, the graininess was greatly decreased, the color was bottomless pit black and it had a sheen that looked great. If you were real good at telling your wood species from the grain texture alone, you might have called it rosewood but I doubt that most folks would have made the connection.

    If you do this to a fretless board, there's nothing better than to use steel wool in the application of the oil. The little slurry that comes up from the abrasion helps fill some of the smaller impressions and it smooths things up nicely.
     
  5. MAGUS®

    MAGUS®

    Dec 23, 2004
    UK
    Thx for the advice bud.

    I'm glad someone has already tried it and got good results. :cool: