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replacement fingerboard for engelhardt

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Stan Haskins, Nov 27, 2005.


  1. Stan Haskins

    Stan Haskins

    Nov 17, 2005
    NY and Miami
    Hey all -

    I know this topic has come up before regarding luthiers replacing fingerboards - my apologies of I'm being redundant.

    I've got an Engelhardt (the cheap one with the "ebonized" fingerboard/tailpiece) and I'm using it to experiment with doing some of my own work on it whle I try to save up for an upgrade. I've recently fit one of Bob's adjustable bridges onto it, and now I want to see what I can do about the fingerboard, which acquired a nasty "pit" on tour a few years ago.

    Would anyone recommend trying to replace and plane a fingerboard myself? I'm willing to try ebony, rosewood, or the newer graphite material.

    Barring that, is it possible to do a decent job planing and refinishing one of these "ebonized pieces of doodoo?

    Thanks for the advice -
    Stan
     
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    What is your experience with fine woodworking?
     
  3. Stan Haskins

    Stan Haskins

    Nov 17, 2005
    NY and Miami
    None - I'm trying to learn as I go.
     
  4. Stan Haskins

    Stan Haskins

    Nov 17, 2005
    NY and Miami
    I guess that means it's not a good idea, huh? How about refinishing the ebonized fingerboard?
     
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Fingerboard planing is not a do-it-yourself project.

    You need to be comfortable with block planes, scrapers, and how to sharpen them. Different strings require a different scoop or camber in the fingerboard. I don't want to discourage your desire to learn fine woodworking, but this particular job would be better suited for a luthier with experience in upright bass setup.
     
  6. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm an experienced fretted instrument luthier. I make most of my daily bread from it. I'm very familiar with planes and scrapers and the like. Regardless, Nnick cuts my DB fingerboards for me. He's way better at it and I could never catch up with his learning curve. It's worth every penny he asks for his work.

    I'd find someone who has the education and experience and let them do it.

    If you want to be a Double Bass luthier then go study and apprentice for it; otherwise I'd
    spend my time learning to be a better bassist. You'll play way better for it.
     
  7. Bob sells ebony fingerboard upgrades from the Engelhardt factory, which, I assume, are more or less a direct replacement.

    I'm sure there would still be a good amout of futzing to do, but if you're determined to D.I.Y., it might put you a step closer.