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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by josiah goldfish, Jan 21, 2012.
Is it possible to replace a fingerboard on a double bass? If so, how's it done?
Yes, it is possible to replace a fingerboard on a DB- it's a bit of work though, and it is not at all easy or inexpensive.
If you are asking if YOU can do it- that would depend on your woodworking/luthiery skills and your access to the proper tools and materials.
Simply putting a good fingerboard back onto a bass from which it has become removed is tricky- I speak from experience. Tricky, but "do-able"- ymmv and all that.
But if you are talking about starting from scratch and shaping and installing a fingerboard from a blank- that is really, really, really DIFFICULT!!! I (personally) would leave a job like that to a pro.
definitely a "DIY Guide"...but here's a quick video I shot one day in the shop...
Upton Bass: Removing a Fingerboard on a Hawkes Double Bass - YouTube
Cool! Thanks for the video, must be so cool working at a db shop!
Just out of curiosity, why would you want to replace your fingerboard? A luthier can always reshape a quality ebony or rosewood board unless it's a very old one that has been worked on too many times. After watching the Upton video I reckon it's one of the hardest thing to remove a fb and I would never attempt it for sure. Few months ago my fingerboard came off by itself one night because of the humidity and probably because it wasn't attached on properly in the first place! In the middle of the night it sounded like a gunshot!! Because the nearest luthier is a 1000miles away I had to re glue the board. It took me a whole week to work up the courage luckily a good friend master luthier in Europe walked me through the process on Skype. Had to get proper hide glue, I was shown how to prepare it and how to attach it without the board slipping, making sure that the displaced hide glue cleaned off immediately! If you dont have luthier clamps to do the proper job improvising can get dangerous accidental indentations dont come out and one could end up with more work than at the start! I had no clamps so the next best thing was to use a strong rope tightly rapped the whole length of the neck! It worked and after 48 hours and some cleaning and oiling it looks beautiful and 6 months later still unaffected by humidity and heat! One thing is for sure this is a job better left to a luthier!
I'm not replacing a fb now, I thought I'd be getting an old one off a friend with a seriously messed up fb but he decided to hang on to it