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is this possible?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theonewhoslaps, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. theonewhoslaps


    Jan 6, 2012
    Im thinking of making a new bass, and i just love koa. Would it be form the fretboard and frets out of the koa? like all from the same block of wood, instead of using ebony or rosewood or somethin. Your thoughts on this?
  2. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Yes, it's possible, but expect your frets to last just a handful of minutes.

    There is a reason why even nylon strung classical guitars have metal frets. Sometimes convention is made to be broken, but at most other times it is because years of collective wisdom have already arrived at the best solution.
  3. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    You weren't really asking if you can make wood frets were you?

    It read to me like he's asking if the KOA can be used for everything that would normally be wood.
    All one piece.

    The cool thing about wood is there are very few lines that you can not cross.
    Sky is the limit in a lot of cases, especially with the hard woods.

    So I'd probably ask different questions. Like,

    Would it be practice? Should a said practical :D

    Would it be heavy or light?

    Would it last long?

    Would it be rigid enough?

    Is KOA good for a Fret board as far as sound resonation?
  4. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Reminds me of this, I think Brazilian rosewood is sooo sexy and wanted to know if an entire bass could be built out of it.

    However I found that it would be way too heavy.

    But looking at this makes it sooo hard to not pursue it.



  5. It will eliminate fret buzz. Hell it will eliminate the frets.
  6. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I have heard of wooden frets before. I have even heard a CD with a bass with wooden frets. I am thinking it was a Farrington Guitars bass.
  7. solderjunkie


    Jan 27, 2008
    Nashville TN
    I'd build it without strap buttons and play it sitting down :bassist:
  8. theonewhoslaps


    Jan 6, 2012
    I didn't mean make wood frets, I meant instead of laying down ebony and putting the metal frets on that, I just make the neck one solid piece of koa and have the frets on top. By chance do any of y'all know how much koa costs?
  9. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Pretty pricey. Also, it has a lot of silica in it, which is hard on cutters. Great looking wood, though.

    Good luck finding it, though. Looks like it's not sold in many places on Mainland US, although I did find some Hawaiian suppliers.


    If you can't find any here, you might consider Claro Walnut- it can have similar grain, but darker color.
  10. sharp8874


    Jan 10, 2011
  11. Koa necks? No prob, but might be pricy. Warmoth noted that it's not used for fretboards, but there's no reason listed. I think I've only seen one koa fingerboard and it was made from stabilized (probably with some sort of resin or acrylic) koa.
  12. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    If I get to where I can afford an entire J Bass made from beautiful old growth Brazilian Rosewood.
    I'll be sitting and playing my sweet looking Rosewood bass.
  13. ShiftyShift


    Mar 12, 2012
    Too heavy? Pshah, my custom bass weighs 30.5 pounds (Body is 22 lbs, neck is 5 and hardware and accesories are 3.5)
    Feels like a featherweight :D

    And to contribute to the OP:
    You COULD glue frets to the top of the fretboard, not sure if it would be any less damaging than setting them though. I'm not really 100 % sure what your question is in the first place, so I'm not sure if thats the answer you're looking for.
  14. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Well this makes me feel more hopeful that it can be done and dealt with.

    30.5 good gracious!!!!!!
  15. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Koa is not conidered a good wood fro fretboards. use rosewood, ebony, wenge or maqple for your fretboard. Koa necks are doable and carvin offers them. Id highly reccomend the five peice rather then one peice for strength and stability. All koa is not a good choice imo for neck and body. Koa top on mahogany body and five peice maple and koa neck with rosewood or ebony fretboard could be nice choice imo. Wood choices for necks and bodies including tops for bodies should be made for reasons of sound rather then looks. Is a musical instrument not coffee table.
  16. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    Unless he wants a coffee table with some sweet lows :bag:
  17. Mmm. Time for a rear-mounted skunk stripe type truss rod installation. Remember to post pics of the build!
  18. DSC01156.
  19. theonewhoslaps


    Jan 6, 2012
    I don't think it will be like I wanted it to, since I've been seeing everywhere how expensive a nice piece of koa is. Instead I might make a one piece koa body, or a body of maybe mahogany or maple or walnut with a koa front and back, with most likely a Moses graphite neck
  20. Check out Status and Modulus. Quality tends to be higher and more consistent than Moses.

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