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QUestion about ebony

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MichaelScott, Apr 5, 2006.


  1. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott

    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Hey guys, I used the search function but didn't see the answer to my question so here it goes:

    I am thinking about getting a neck made that will have an ebony fingerboard as well as ebony in the neck. Yes, I realize this will be heavy and expensive.

    I heard from someone that ebony respons very poorly to humidity and temperature change. And with too much ebony in the neck I might have to make constant adjustments. Does anyone know if this is the case?

    Thanks!
     
  2. not sure, but i know its not that strong of wood...

    at least not mine on my upright (oh boy, here i go again)

    its realitively easy to bend the arced fingerboard down...its about (or at least) a quarter inch thick... wait... probably 3/8" or 1/2"

    any reasons for ebony? or just to do it?

    I mean, you will be fighting neckdive like no tommorow... and to be honest, i dont know what could be done..

    but, someone else probably knows a heckalota more than me on this subject anywho
     
  3. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    the more dense a wood the harder a hit it takes with temperature and especially humidity change.
    you'll notice on 80%+ of fretted basses with ebony fboards (and guitars too) that the frets ends will rise every now and again and will need filing (at least for the first year )
    I had a gibson nighthawk guitar and it had that plastic fboard binding and it wass all sorts of cracked around the fret ends and everyone else who had one knew that it was kind of standard with ebony boards.
    I also have has the clearcoat on several basses bubble up around the fret ends due to swelling/shrinking.

    I dont know if you'll have a problem with an entire neck in ebony but I have had lots of exp with ebony fretboards and they do move alot.
    same as flame maple necks (they move alot too- not stiff enough.)
    m.02$
     
  4. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    Are you sure that your fingerboard isn't dyed rosewood BassMan? Ebony shouldn't have much give at all. People do occasionally add ebony stringers to a neck instead of carbon fiber. Alembic has made quite a few basses this way. Plus, it looks wicked with a maple contrast.
     
  5. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    Warmoth makes Macassar Ebony necks, and to my knowledge, it's
    more stable than black ebony.
    Personnaly, I wouldn't make a black ebony neck, for some reason I
    don't trust it as much as macassar. I also personnaly think that
    macassar looks nicer. :smug:

    I wouldn't have bad dreams at night about a macassar neck
    warping. I WOULD have bad dreams about everything else
    happening to it though...
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    He only said that he would have ebony "in the neck". If it's just a component then neck dive might not be an issue.

    Ebony should be one of the stiffer woods you encounter. Dyed woods like pearwood are a possibility on URBs. One difficulty with black ebony is sourcing quartersawn and even reading the endgrain to see what you've got can be difficult.

    Ebony does shrink and swell with the humidity. Moreso than other woods, even. It's not unworkable. It doesn't stop most people, Alembic included, from using it.
     
  7. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott

    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    This is kind of what I am thinking. Thanks for the feedback guys!
     
  8. Suhr won't use Ebony for those reasons, and he knows his s**t!
     

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