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fretless fingerboard woods...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by taviswardlaw, May 21, 2005.


  1. okay... so i'm building a fretless soon (fingers crossed) and i'm just contemplating shying away from the ebony fingerboard... so what other options do i really have that are tough enough for the task?

    I could go with Jabuto... not sure how it sounds though

    woods like wenge/bubinga/bloodwood... are they up too it?

    don't wanna go down the road of maple... it'd just get real dirty way to quick... and walnuts really too soft probably isn't it?

    hmmm... any thoughts?
     
  2. check out the gallery hardwoods forum, there's a lot of info there. Basically with acrylized (stabilized) woods you could use almost any wood, even spalted.
     
  3. oh thanks... will do
    cheers
    :D
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I think wenge is a little bit porous for a fretless board. If you finish it, then that would be okay.

    Bubinga and bloodwood are pretty tough woods. Hey, I had a Fender J special with a fretless rosewood board. It was fine - it may have worn a touch quicker, but it was not a serious issue. I'd think bubinga and bloodwood would be fine choices.
     
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Bubinga and Wenge are the 2 I use the most.t Cocobolo, Bocote, Purpleheart, Rosewood........
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've seen on the web that bloodwood has a janka of 2900. That's pretty hard.
     
  7. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Cliff Bordwell has used bloodwood for a fretless FB and said that it gave a nice growl. I'm giving serious thought to using it as the material for the fingerboard for my second build. That is, if I ever finish the first :p

    I've got a few pieces that I was testing for marimba keys, and it had great tone/sustain, and produced an amazing finish.
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have some bloodwood fingerboards I just have never used them. I haven't foundthe right color body wood to try them with.
     
  9. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I don't suppose you've considered graphite? I've been quite pleased with the Moses neck I'm using. Supposedly it will never wear, even with roundwound strings. And I like the tone, too--kind of reminds me of the way maple necks sound on this particular bass.

    Anyway, just a thought.
     
  10. hmmm... I think i'll be going with the acrylised option, sounds great. I'm not really sure about graphite, i've never really enjoyed the tone... It just sounds artificial to me. and the feel in your hands just ain't right. But that's just me... call me an old fashioned 18 year old if you must :p