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fingerboard question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by erikwhitton, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    hello - i have search dozens of threads here but not found the answer to my specific question.

    i bought an old Kay C1 with what i believe to be a rosewood fingerboard. the board has a slight indentation under the A and D strings caused by the strings being puched into the wood. The indentation runs apprx 5-6 inches from the A# and D# up the board. the indentation is maybe 1/16th - 1/8th inch deep.

    I am wondering if it would be ok for me to gently sand these smooth with the rest of the board.

    Most of the threads here strongly suggest leaving any fingerboard work to the pros, but this is not a re-plane and I do have wood working abilities.

    So - any thoughts?

    Also - is this a typical issue with URB's?

  2. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    ok that's what i thought. thanks ed!
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    If you start off with a well planed board and then create these lower position grooves they are now low spots longitudinally speaking. If you just sand or plane these areas then you will be opening up a hornet's nest. The entire board needs to be dressed proportionally. It isn't something I would reccomend for anyone who wasn't at least an entry level luthier. Soundpost skills are needed here incase the post falls and you will need a decent knowledge of general set-up.
  4. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    gotcha thanks. i'm calling a luthier this afternoon about it (thanks sam for the contact and a chance to feel how nice your bass plays!)

    jeff if i still lived on LI I would definitely take it to you for a super set up.

  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    My pleasure to put your face to your e-voice . . . thanks for visiting The Moose Dropping. I am SO lucky to play with guys like David Wells, Tony Gaboury and Steve Grover. And last night I sure did not deserve to be up there, either.

    EW, you seem to be on the right path. Take some lessons . . . find some folks to play with . . . have fun . . .
  6. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    hey sam - you're nuts. your bass playing stood out IMO. The other guys had the "deer in the headlights" look, and didn't seem to be on top of the changes as you were (while also zipping up and down the board making some pretty lines).

    so i was inspired by playing your bass for a moment that I got home, carved a new bridge and sanded smooth my fingerboard (had a few rough spots - there's a post somewhere on here about it). I know people here told me not to do it, but i called your guys in Gorham and they would not agree to do the work. SO - i was kinda frustrated, but I've also worked with wood before and I knew it was minor stuff (the fingerboard that is) and i'm glad i did it. it is a lot easier to finger the B, Bd, etc on my A string.

    The bridge is still a work in progress, but im getting there. it is already a major improvement from the last bridge, which BTW was the original from 1956. Again, i called a guy local about fitting a bridge but he wanted $350-400 and that seems oh i don't know RIDICULOUS.

    But i got my action down from about 1.25" to .3 inches and evened out the action so I can bow the D without rubbing the G and all in all I'm very pleased and proud of my work - even if it did eat up my whole weekend.

    I also spoke to Gerhard Graml and I will be setting up lessons with him once I get in touch with Portland Conservatory - he does not teach privately.

    And I'm hoping for an audition with the Piners this week!

    keep me posted on your upcoming shows, BTW I saw you on public access playing somewhere..:p

    oh and THANKS!