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fingerboard mod

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by billio, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. billio

    billio Bass Head

    Guys, if I'm not going to ever bow my bass, can I sand the bevel down and just have a radiused fingerboard? Will it make any difference to the playability?
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The usual process is to plane the bevel out using a block plane or similar cutting tool, then sand the facets into a smooth radiused board. However, this sounds easier than it is... take it to a experienced technician/luthier... not a simple do-it-yourself job.

    By the way, pizz and arco players use both bevelled and non-bevelled fingerboards...
  3. Jeff Sahs planed my fingerboard, rounding the bevel at the same time. Did a fine job, & I still sound awful w/a bow(absolutely not his or the bass' fault).
  4. billio

    billio Bass Head

    Compared to what I could find locally, I'm probably the best luthier I know - I'm in Saudi Arabia so it might have to be a DIY job!
    Thanks anyway... :)
  5. Why do you want to remove the bevel? Having had both beveled and non- beveled boards, I can't imagine why that would be necessary.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Won't you have to have the bridge similarly arced?

    EJ - most of the time I see this done, it's cats coming over from BG, the bevel feels funny so they get it removed.

    SAW DE BILLY-O - after you been playing for awhile it kind of doesn't matter, as DONO says he generally doesn't notice if there's a bevel or not. You just play.
  7. billio

    billio Bass Head

    Yeah, I assumed that the bridge would have to be done too. I thought the bevel was mainly there to give "room" for the strings to be bowed and was therefore basically unnecessary if I wasn't going to use the bow. If I removed it, it would no doubt feel more "natural" coming from playing BG to it. You're right tho, I'll get used to it.

    Anyway, it's too damned hot to do anything right now - 48C today (about 118F)!!!
  8. Oilybill, I don't think I'd be too quick to be taking a plane to that board if I wuz you. If you're new to double bass, it's gonna feel big and wierd bevel or no bevel. Right now you have something that's playable that feels a little strange. If you go planing the bevel off the board without really knowing what you're doing you could end up with something that feels really strange that isn't playable.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, but it's a dry heat....sorry, subtle liquor joke.
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    You can bow the beast bevel or not.

    If you change the fingerboard profile then the bridge is gonna have to be adapted to the new profile.

    I'd leave it alone. You've got better things to do!
  11. Save yourself the trouble, because the bevel is usually preferred for pizzacato over arco, anyway.

    I came from EBG two years ago and my first DB had the bevel. My second, obtained this year does not. They do feel different, but the bevel is not the most noticeable difference. I think if you had 2 identical basses with the bevel the only difference, blind folded it would be hard to tell them apart with the left hand. The plucking fingers might feel it missing a little more.
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Really? I notice no appreciable difference.
  13. billio

    billio Bass Head

    ...humour, I get it....

  14. I'm here through Wednesday....try the veal.
  15. No, but seriously, ladies and gentlemen...
  16. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
  17. oystein


    Sep 15, 2001
    Norway, Leikong
  18. What the hell do ya mean by that?? :eyebrow:
  19. oystein


    Sep 15, 2001
    Norway, Leikong
    Would you like me to elaborate? :)
  20. ..as opposed to Jeff's decades of experience as a luthier.

    I think that's what he means, Paul.

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