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How much does the fingerboard wood matter on a coated fretless?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Will_White, May 4, 2015.


  1. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm thinking of building a fretless bass and I was wondering if the fingerboard wood mattered on a frettless with an epoxy coated board, and also if I could cut the nut right into the end of the finger board (fretless equivelent of a zero fret?) or would it have to be slightly higher?
     
  2. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Colorado
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    It would need to be slightly higher. My opinion is that the fingerboard wood does matter in regards to wear and tear - softer woods will not be protected sufficiently by epoxy to hold up to round wounds for example.
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    It would depend on the thickness of the epoxy. I have done a few with Maple and even one with Spalted Koa that held up to rounds.
     
  4. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    What about walnut, with a fairly thick coating?
     
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I would think it should be fine.
     
  6. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I have used Black walnut as a fretless fingerboard with a polyester surfboard resin coating, and had no trouble.
     
  7. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Colorado
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    Nice!
     
  8. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Hardness and grain pattern should be considered.. Even if coated in epoxy how well is it going to hold up the truss rod pushing the opposite side of it? Neck structure is most important.. I wouldn't be too scared to use most straight grain hardwoods when coated and fretless. No wear issues or fret tang problems to contend with.
     

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