Discoloration in Ebony Fretboard.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by WillBuckingham, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    After reading all the threads about cleaning fingerboards, fretboards, and frets, I decided to use #0000 steel wool on my Pedulla's ebony fretboard. It worked great and the bass looks immeasurably better.

    The board has some rust-colored stains (I assume its from rust that has come off my strings and ingrained itself in the ebony) that I couldn't get out with his method, though. The stains are most pronounced by the low (bigger) strings and non-existent by the highest string. I use roundwound steel strings.

    This is a five-year-old bass that has gotten a lot of playing and little maintenence or cleaning, any advice?
  2. are you absolutely sure its not natural colour variation in the ebony, most ebony isnt pure black. Or it could be a rosewood board that has been stained black and it wearing off under the thick strings. You can buy ebonising dye from www.stew-mac.com to blacken ebony
  3. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hmm, you might be right. It's definitely Ebony, I just don't remember those colors always being there.
  4. Will, I bet that Wez is right. You've probably cleaned it well enough to remove the darkening oils, dirt, and conditioiners that would make the lighter streaks in the ebony quite a bit darker. And Wez is also on the right track with the dye. It's called Fiebings Professional Oil Dye and it's the blackest thing since coal. It's what everyone uses to make a streaky maccassar ebony appear like the higher quality and rarer deep black gaboon ebony. Be sure to mask off the back of your neck because this will dye the maple too!
  5. I personally prefer a streaky ebony fretboard, macasser is my favorite. If i see a pure black one i know thats its probably dyed, actually i do have 1 guitar with a pure black fretboard and i know that wasn't dyed cause i didnt dye it. Most has gray or brown tones/ streaks.

    Too black and it looks like plastic anyway and i dont want that.
  6. The last neck I ordered from Warmoth was a dotless fretted with an ebony board. They did a great job of selecting the wood - an absolutely midnight black fretboard except for a 2" long feather shaped gray streak at the 3rd fret under the E string that needed dyeing to match up. So not all FB's are totally dyed!
  7. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I also got a smokin' ebony board from Warmoth. They are pretty good about wood selection, I don't think they normally dye their ebony.