Hambone et al.: Fingerboard beginning to separate from neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ChenNuts44, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    I wish I had a digital camera handy to show you the specifics, but here goes:

    I picked up my bass one day and immediately noticed a buzzing when the open strings began to vibrate. I played the open strings...it buzzed on the G. I listened for the source. It was coming from close to the nut. I also observed that only the open G would buzz, not any fretted notes.

    Sure enough, the first fret on the G side was incredibly close to the string. After a minute, I noticed that the fingerboard itself had begun separating from the neck at the nut, and only on the G side, which of course raised the fret(s).

    (I'll provide pics if/when a camera becomes available)

    Now, the question:

    What would you do?

    edit: 5-string Ibanez ATK, wenge neck, unsure of fingerboard, natural ash body
  2. It happens. You can take it in to a repairman or try to fix it yourself. Not too difficult but it takes care to do it right. It would involve first testing to see that the seperation can be closed back up with clamping pressure. If it can then you will be "wicking" in an adhesive and clamping it until set. It would require the clamps, something to conform the fretboard as a caul, adhesive (I won't say what kind right now ;) ) a glue hypo and some patience. It's about a 3 on a scale of 5 for a decent repairman.

    I had to do a similar repair to JoeAtlanta's Yammy. An accidental knock of the headstock against a post not only seperated the fretboard from the neck, it split the neck below and parallel to the fretboard! An incredible occurence in a 5 piece neck-thru. At any rate, that's how it was fixed - by wicking in an adhesive into the cracks and then using a combination of cantileverage and clamp, I pulled everything together. It came out pretty well considering we just wanted to get it playing again and not have to do a refinish. Here's some pics for perusal

  3. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    I think I'll give it a go. Worst case, it comes loose again, right? Thanks for the info. :)
  4. Since that's decided, I'll tell you that I used water thin and gel CA glue to close up the break. First, I taped off the crack to keep the glue from coming out the sides because I intended to introduce the adhesive from the end of the fretboard. Then I wicked in the thin stuff to get it down as far in the crack as I could. I was careful to not put too much in and possibly get it in the trussrod slot. The final step was to close off the crack with the gel CA to sort of fill the broken out finish. It was clamped up overnight and there haven't been any problems to this day.

    If your seperation is only on one side, you could put the CA in from that side and keep away from the trussrod slot completely.

    Good Luck!