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Polyurethane for fingerboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by El Spearo, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I'm de-fretting and re-finishing the neck in a bass, and today I picked this up from the bargain bin.

    Question is, would it be ok to finish the fingerboard?

    Thanks all!
  2. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Whats your fretboard made of? If its rosewood or ebony no finish is needed and finish is undesireable. If its maple, then finish is needed.

    I'm not familiar with that brand so I cant say if its maple fretboard suitable.
  3. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    It is rosewood. So I should just oil it or wax it? Why is it not desirable on rosewood? Sorry about all the Qs, I'm a bit of a noob. Thanks!
  4. merlinlutherie


    Jun 18, 2009
    Rosewood is a quite dense and stable wood so finishing is not needed to protect it from strings and normal humidity changes.

    Applying Lemon oil with a rag is a good way to keep it in shape.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Note that there is nothing wrong with finishing rosewood. It is what Rickenbacker do.
  6. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Ok, thanks all for your responses. Reason I wanted to finish it was because I really like the mwah sound, and I read somewhere that you need rounds to get it. I also read that rounds tend to be a bit aggressive on the fingerboard, so I figured finishing it in poly would be an option
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Fist off, most polyurethane is tough but not hard. The preferred finish on a fingerboard is hard. Some epoxies are good and Cyanoacrylate is great.

    You don't need round wounds for mwah. My fretless has Thomastik Jazz flats on it and it has almost too much mwah.

    And though round wounds are harder on the fingerboard than flats, if a board has decent quality rosewood, it will take years of playing before the rosewood is significantly worn. Even then a fingerboard dressing will be all that's required to put it back in shape.
  8. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Well it's a cheap bass anyway, so I'll stick to just oiling it. Thanks for the help guys!

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