Raised block inlay on a new bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RoboChrist, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    I noticed this on a Fender '75 reissue I was playing at the store. And it only seems to happen to maple fingerboards with black blocks.

    Basically if i run my fingernail across the inlay at the first position I can feel a separation between the block and the surrounding wood. It's very subtle but it's there.

    How bad is this? I really like the bass and the neck is perfectly straight and I would have bought it outright if it hadn't been for this one issue. Should I stay away?
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Is it a separation and raised?

  3. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Separation and raised by less than .010" and only at the first position. All the others are smooth.
  4. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    That's probably because the first position block inlay is the biggest one in the series.

    Which means that it's the stability of the inlay material not the maple fingerboard that is the issue.

    Not sure what the inlay wood is. If it's actual ebony, that is fairly unstable wood (the Gabon more than the Macassar).

    I would say, let the finish on the FB be your guide. Being a maple FB, there is probably a pretty good finish coating on there. If the raised block is not causing any noticeable distress to the coating, you're probably going to be OK.

    So if you can feel that the block is raised but you can't see any separation, either between the maple and the inlay wood or lines or cracks in the finish film, it may not be a giant problem.

    First position, you've got the nut right there, the raised block shouldn't cause any tone problems when you fret the strings.

    I might be concerned about what happens in the middle of winter, when the neck bows forward and the FB compresses the block inlays. You might get more raising then.
  5. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the coating isn't covering it, because it feels too sharp. Honestly it's something you would never notice if you didn't check it by touch, but still....