Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Osage Orange

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lbanks, Jun 19, 2004.


  1. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Has anyone used Osage Orange for a fretboard?
     
  2. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    im sure it can be done but the stuff tends to crack when it hardens and is hard as teak wood. Ive seen old stumps and such and the stuff turns real dark when it ages. People used them for fence posts and bows. Guess you'd have to find an aged piece cause i wouldn't recommend using a green one.
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The stuff is hard to find clear in sizes even big enough for a fingerboard. You'll probably want quartersawn if you can get it. I've never seen a piece around here (not native to new england) that I found suitable, though I have tried.
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I'm having an electric cello made from it. the blank is crystal clear.
     
  6. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I've got this Wishy which has Osage Orange fretboard. Feels rough and I wonder should it be finished.[​IMG]
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    sand it first with 80 grit, then 100 grit, then 150, then 220, then 320, then 400, then 600, then 800. by then it will be as smooth as glass.

    iif you want, after the 320 phase, lightly, very lightly dampen the fb and then use a propane torch to dry the board. this will be dry the board and raise the grain- sand again with 320 and this will help seal it.
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    you could also smooth it over with some slow drying CA glue. Then do the finish sanding. An unusual Wish bass shape by the way.......t
     
  9. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    I do this, but I start at 220.
     
  10. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    This sounds like the plan, thanks. The whole bass need to be sanded and refinished. I'll do this if I decide to keep it. I've got more pic of it on the TB gallery if anyone want to look and thanks for the tips.
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Do it to the whole bass... you will not be dissapointed.. Just BE CAREFUL with the torch or you can scortch the material.
     
  12. My recommendation would be to NOT use the open flame of a torch but use a heat gun. They can generate 1200 degree's and that should be enough. ;)
     
  13. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I have used a torch for 20 years with total success. To each his own...
     
  14. Then perhaps a further explanation of the technique and a more detailed warning is warranted. 20 years of experience in anything will give results NO rookie would ever achieve.

    I always keep these things in mind when I suggest difficult, detailed, or unreversable processes here on these boards. There are many newbies here that take what we have to offer with complete trust. That's good in some cases but in others, a little knowledge is very dangerous.
     
  15. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    good point Alan. i hear ya on that.

    Here is the technique that I use. I first lightly- very lightly dampen the material. This helps raise the grain and fibers that are still loose. Then I use the torch to dry the wood -never letting the flame touch the wood. Then sand again and again and mirror like results can be acheived.

    do not try on a nice piece of wood the first time ! and always be careful and have a fire extinguisher in your shop.
     
  16. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Ok, I'm sufficiently paranoid! I think I'll hire a luthier to do it...