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dying a fingerboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by paradigm_shift, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    So I'm looking at getting a bass and converting it to fretless. Being a fretted bass I will have to fill in the fret slots.Is there any glues or puttys that will dye well? I guess im considering two ways of doing this.
    1) to dye the rosewood fingerboard (after removing metal frets) then installing fillers etc.

    2)To install the fillers, than dye it , but I fear that the Dye wont take to the glue.

    Whats good for dying rosewood? I want it black. An ebony colour even if the grains not going to match.I guess i will have to do an epoxy finish after regardless
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Use the leather dye they sell at Stew Mac.

    If I were you I'd fill the slots with veneer. Use superglue or yellow glue. I've done both. You're probably right that the glue won't take dye like the veneer/fingerboard but if you get the right thickness then the glue lines will be very tiny.
  3. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    veneers was one option. If i dyed a seperate piece of rosewood and then used that, it should still be visible in theory, bt not without looking hard?I think i may remove the frets dye it then add the veneers.One possible problem was the inlays, is it hard to remove them(just fret markers, circle on a bcrich neck) I guess i would either have to thin the neck(sanding gaps to flat) or look at a fill for them.I dont know how theyd take to dye...
  4. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    ok this wont work as refinishing the veneers would remove some of the fretboard dye no? so if I dye 1st then add veneers, then redye, would this be the best method?
  5. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    would indian inks work well? I've heard no mention of them anywhere..

    Sorry for the seemingly random adds to the thread, ideas just keep poping up
  6. bassksun


    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    India ink will need an emulsifier to do a good job. The Stew-Mac stuff is actually a leather dye. It is ink suspended in oil. Maybe India ink mixed in Linseed oil might work. Depending on what kind you get it may not be black...if it is cheap ink it will have a shift towards the blue end of the spectrum.
  7. bassksun


    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    No. IME. Fill, sand then dye. This way when you sand down the veneer filler you will also take the glue line. But your glue line should be so fine as to be transparent. I use the thickest CA glue that way it doesn't wick into the surrounding wood. Sand flush with a radius board and then stain.

    You will be building up the depth of stain evenly. Also don't forget to use a Pre-Stain conditioner. This will help even out your color. Blotchines sucks...:scowl:

    You will have lines showing through though simply because the grain of the veneer will run horizontally across the fb. Personally I think it looks cool.

    Good Luck
  8. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    Yeah i kinda like the idea of having the different grain in the same colour. Its there, but its not there. should be cool
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