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Fretless boards...hmm

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassjamm, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. bassjamm


    Mar 22, 2006
    Hi all!

    I've just given RIM basses a deposit for a Marseer lined fretless 6er, and i was wondering...are there any light woods that are any good for fretless boards? For instance...has anyone used Palemoon Ebony?

    Failing that, what other woods could i choose from?


    p.s. Robbie at RIM is helping me out on this one, i just thought i'd do a bit of research for myself. Thanks
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    If you are going to epoxy coat it you could use just about anything..t
  3. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    and if you're going to order it acrylic impregnated, you can even use spalted woods

    I have a gorgeous slab of Tulipwood (not Tulip Poplar) that will eventually find its way into a fretless when I can locate a top that works well with the extreme figuring this board has.

    all the best,

  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Yeah, I think Tulipwood and Pale Mun ebony would be fine on a fretless. The Tulipwood (dalbergia frutescens) would be about rosewood-ish in durability and Pale Mun maybe a little more durable but slightly less than black ebony. The Pale Mun might be a bit busy for an unlined board if you spend any time looking down at where your hand is.
  5. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I've been thinking lately that a fretless Satine (Bloodwood) board ought to be pretty.
  6. MattMPG

    MattMPG Matt Pulcinella Guitars

    Apr 6, 2006
    How about a stabilzed wood? You can stabilize maple and make it feel like ebony. Check out Gallery Hardwoods' site.

    I use stabilized macassar ebony for fretlesses.

    Matt Pulcinella
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001

    Welcome to TB! I've always liked your basses. Hope enjoy your TB experience.
  8. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Just to get clear, by 'light' do you mean light in weight or light in color/appearance?
    Guess there'll be another RIM thread upcoming quite soon :)
  9. bassjamm


    Mar 22, 2006
    Light in colour/appearance!!!

    I'm going for a darker top, but something fairly extreme, like a highly figured Redwood burl or buckeye burl...or i can get my hands on a nice piece of Afzeila...but i think the burls are a little more up my street!!! So i'd like something that will go nicely with a darker busy wood...and if possible, i think the contrast of a light (in appearance) wood, would be pretty cool!!

    What are stabilized woods?
  10. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    go check out the subforum in the sponsored section for larry davis. he's a good man and will stablise almost any wood you order from him if you ask for it.

    you can get much much more information there, but its basically impregnating the wood with acrylic in a giant vacuum chamber. makes any wood feel like glass. and much more durable.

    i think pale moon is the nicest wood ive ever seen.
  11. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    stabillized spalted fingerboards make me drool uncontrolably.
    But that's just me. :D
  12. Denyle Guitars

    Denyle Guitars

    Nov 30, 2005
    I'm a huge fan of ipe for fretless figerboards. I use it often for multi-lam necks also. You can polish it like ebony and it takes oil well. Bill Gates' home is supposedly loaded with it. OTOH, If you're planning to epoxy or stabilize the wood, I'd suggest something more visually interesting.
  13. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Here's another light coloured wood idea: See if you can find some purpleheart sapwood. Personally I think it looks even better if you bookmatch it so you have purple edges around the sapwood, but to each their own.

  14. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    How about palisander rosewood?
  15. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    PM ebony is an excellent fboard wood.
    I played brian b's oracle with it and it was a cross between
    katalox and a rosewood if that makes any sense at all?!?
    its dense but open, fine grained but not too dense.
    its most similar to madagascar ebony in feel I guess is the main bullet point of this presentation.
  16. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    mmmmmmm ... stabilized maple from Gallery Hardwoods



    just arrived today :hyper: one slab will find its way into a 4-string fretless ... the other two are wide enough for a 6-string, but as of yet are not scheduled for a specific bass.

    all the best,

  17. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Now just a minute here Rodent. Are you expecting us to believe that that wood is flat?
  18. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    yessir - flat as can be

    and I should note that this is not wetted in any fashion, just the bare dry wood as it arrived from Larry. I'll have to update the images after I get a shot with a little naphtha wiped on it ... YEOWSA

    (and yes, I am glad that klocwerk doesn't know exactly where I live!)

    all the best,

  19. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Well, that simplifies things!

    Avenbok. A.k.a hornbeam, IIRC.

    Boring as plain maple, until you come closer... The most intreaguing light greenish grain pattern will come out. Quite less prone to yellowing than maple, stays white/green/grey for years. Hard enough and wear resistant (frequently used as bearing material in the old days).

    It's a twisting and 'clover growing' tree, so choose your planks with some care. It has to be dry... ('Clover growing': the cross section of a trunk has a shape similar to a four leaf flower.)

    To see an example, go to my website, the about page, and folow the link at the bottom. Bad pics, but something.
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    those are some killer boards!

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