fretless fingerboard query

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Stewmc5222, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. I'm no luthier, but I am insatiably curious, so please bear with me for what could turn out to be insipid questions...

    I've seen maple used in fretless fingerboards (notably on Stanley Sheldon's pic inside the Frampton Comes Alive LP) and I was wondering what anyone's thoughts are on using it in this way.

    Also, I've seen wenge used for the 'boards in fretted basses and I was wondering if it's possible to use it for a fretless instrument?

    Again, I hope I don't come across as ignoarntly as I fear, but the art and craft of luthiery just amaze me. Thanks for the time,

    from the low end,

  2. *bump*
    i too would like to have these questions answered
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Sure, you can use either. Neither is as durable as ebony, and maple will show dirt and gunk pretty quick. Wenge is also pretty porous.

    As such, anyone considering getting a fretless with wenge or maple as a fingerboard ought to consider some kind of hard-setting coating, like epoxy or diamondkote.
  4. I realize that the fingerboard is not the major tone generator in the luthiery equation, but would either wood affect the overall sound of the instrument?

    thanks again for the time and patience with my questions!

    from the low end,

  5. Stew:
    I have a fretless w/ a wenge fingerboard. To preserve the board, Sheldon coated it w/ epoxy , just like mentioned above.
    I suspect depending on the thickness of the epoxy, you'll either have a more high end brighter tone or if you have a thin coating prolly a woodier tone. Just a guess on my end
  6. very cool! thanks, Frank. while I'd love a definitive answer one way or another, I feel some what satisfied knowing that there have BEEN both wenge and maple fretlesses made.

    keep it groovin',

    from the low end,