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Finishing Fingerboards

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Demens, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Hey, just thought I would make a quick post that I'm sure most any of you could answer quickly... I have heard various things about finishing fretless fingerboards, and a lot of people I have talked to say it is not neccessary, while others say it is.

    So, I was wondering what fingerboards required a finish for fretless, and which didnt.

    (I know the type of strings probably matter... so lets just say using roundwounds).
  2. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    I'm no fingerboard expert, but a soft wood like rosewood should have some sort of hard finish on it to protect it. Flatwounds will create less wear than rounds, maybe enough so that a finish isn't so necessary. Harder woods like ebony need no finishing. Finishing also brightens up the sound, and harder surface=more mwah typically.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I just completed my first fretless and left the ebony fb unfinished. I did insert veneer in the slots for fretlines, and used many layers of CA glue in the process, followed each time by radius block sanding, so they are nice and stable. In the future I may go with an epoxy finish on it depending on how it wears. Right now I'm using rotosound tapewounds, so they won't wear as much as roundwounds.
  4. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Alright, cool, thanks for the info guys.

    I was actually thinking about doing a piccolo bass for my next project, so that shouldn't be too hard on a fretless.