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Re-Planing Cost

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Keala, Apr 9, 2010.


  1. Keala

    Keala

    Apr 9, 2010
    Just got a used 1946 Kay M-1.
    There is wear on the fretboard from the strings which is causing buzzing.

    What's an average cost of having the fretboard re-planed?
    Would it be cheaper to just have a new fretboard installed?

    Thanks
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Getting my Kay fingerboard re-planed was around a couple hundred, IIRC, but that was more than a decade ago.

    New fingerboard would be much more expensive, and it has to be planed at the end of the operation anyway. In my view, better to see if there's still enough wood left to get it re-planed once, and if it ever needs it again, go for a new board. That was my luthier's advice to me, anyway.

    By the way, "fingerboard" not "fretboard." :D Some folks around here are persnickety about that.
     
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Some terminology in the double bass world -

    Fingerboard, not fretboard
    Dressed, not planed (although planing may be part of the process)

    Cost for getting your board dressed will probably depend on the length of time your luthier spends on it. I've spent $3-400 on mine at various times. A bass luthier will let you know if the condition of the board warrants dressing (thick enough) or if you would be better off with a new board. It will probably depend on the extent of the problem, too.

    I recently spent $950 for a beautiful new ebony board. Prices will vary. Find a good bass luthier for this job.
     
  4. bigolbassguy

    bigolbassguy

    Feb 13, 2010
    Billings, MT
    Before you run out and get your board redressed - how high is the action? Do you have an adjustable bridge?
     
  5. Keala

    Keala

    Apr 9, 2010
    Thanks for the correct terminology gang. I'm new to upright bass.
    Still learning how to play it.

    Yes, I do have an adjustable bridge.
    The action is about a half inch at the lower end of the fingerboard. :)
     
  6. bigolbassguy

    bigolbassguy

    Feb 13, 2010
    Billings, MT
    That sounds like it's pretty high. If it's buzzing at that height - I think you're on the right track. Nice score, btw. I'd love to see some pictures of it. Got any?
     
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    "String height," not "action." :)
     
  8. bigolbassguy

    bigolbassguy

    Feb 13, 2010
    Billings, MT
    lol
     
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    LOL, I've been pwned! :D
     
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    :eyebrow:, not :)
     
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    LOL! :D
     
  12. :D Actually, were were all aesned.
     
  13. Keala

    Keala

    Apr 9, 2010
    Here's a couple of pics of my Kay as requested.

    KayBottom.

    1946Kay.
     
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Nah, we posted at the same time and you beat me to it. :eek:
     
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Kaela, that Kay looks to be in really nice shape. The obligatory adjustable bridge is already there, which will save you a few bucks. Nice choice.
     
  16. William Hoffman

    William Hoffman Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2009
    Lodi, California
    LOL using bass guitar language always provokes a reaction here!

    but, substantively, having the FB dressed might be unnecessary overkill.

    when i went to my luthier with a newly acquired used bass with a buzz-hole on the G string at Ab above the D, to my surprize he recommended that i not have the whole board redressed. he said use some 180 and then in a second go 250 wt sandpaper across the board to smooth out some of the critical spots. a DIY job. if that doesn't solve the problem, then go for the full fingerboard dressing.

    isn't that called a redress?
     
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I agree, and any reputable luthier would first evaluate the board and then try to redress (;)) any localized problems, provided that could be accomplished so that the proper overall relief, camber, etc. would be intact. In fact, unlike William Hoffman, I'd be surprised if, based on a buzz in one location, a luthier would suggest redressing the entire board. In all fairness, maybe it was more to his relief (pun intended) than his surprise. If a localized tweak could be done, then the cost should be rather minimal-- so minimal that it would hardly be worth it to DIY, assuming that the bass was already at the shop.
     
  18. bigolbassguy

    bigolbassguy

    Feb 13, 2010
    Billings, MT
    Congrats. That's a really nice-looking/well maintained bass. You could probably have the buzzes planed out while you wait. An experienced luthier can do the job pretty quickly, and you wouldn't have to worry about making a dent in the fingerboard. It can be tricky to DIY.

    Also, your bridge looks like it is brand new. From what I can see, it's looks like the string heights:rollno: are pretty low. Less than 1/2 inch on the E-side. Are the adjusters bottomed out?

    2 Q's.

    1. can you please measure the height of each string at the end of the fingerboard (in mm - from the fingerboard to the bottom of the string).

    2. Is your adjustable bridge as low as it can go?
     
  19. Keala

    Keala

    Apr 9, 2010
    The origianal bridge was really warped so I had to replace it with this new adjustable one. The guy at the shop also set the action so I just left it as is. I'll send a pic of it soon.

    The E and A string are about 10mm from the lower end of the fingerboard, and the D and A string about 9mm. :)
     
  20. Keala

    Keala

    Apr 9, 2010
    Bridge2.

    Fingerboard.
     

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