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Fingerboard coating wear vs. expanding wood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by spade2you, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. So, I recently got my first polyester coated fingerboard. Just today I was playing it and sliding around noticing a kriiiiiing sound in a few places. The bass doesn't buzz until I slide up the fingerboard. It's less than a year old, so could the bird's eye maple fingerboard be expanding in spots, too? The tech at the store really didn't know weather to make heads or tails out of anything, other than the refin or leveling to such a perfect extent was beyond his training.

    Any thoughts?
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I do know that I have seen a polyester-sealed fingerboard, which was slightly scalloped because the ebony FB shrank back more than the white wood or plastic of the fretlines. The result was that there was noticeably less "mwah" when playing on the lines as opposed to in between them.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Did you make any other changes at the same time, like changing strings, or adjusting the truss rod?

    Did you measure the moisture content of your fingerboard before the polyster coating was applied? Has the relative humidity in your region changed significantly before, during, or after the application process?

    Are your neck and fingerboard now completely encapsulated in finish, or are there spots (like the back of the neck) where it is unfinished? A newly sealed fingerboard could lead to (hopefully temporary) differential expansion and contraction as a function of moisture gain or loss.

    How long ago was the coating applied? Has the outgassing ceased and the moisture content reached equilibrium yet?

    What do you see when you inspect the fingerboard with a straight edge and an inspection lamp tangent to its surface?
  4. Heh, I can answer that I didn't build the bass, so I don't know most of the details.

    I believe the bass was made in the spring then sent to Dolan's guys for a thick 'ol coating. I believe they started finishing the fingerboard about 2-3 weeks after the bass was built.

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