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stability of bloodwood vs. ebony for fretless fingerboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cheapimitation, Oct 9, 2010.


  1. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    Anyone know if there is any significant difference between the two? Either would be mated to a maple neck.
     
  2. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    IME my experience a good piece of straight grained bloodwood is actually more dimensionally stable than most Ebony. Either would make a very good board for a fretless IMO.
     
  3. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I love using bloodwood for fretless boards, and have never had any trouble with one in the 9 years I've been using bloodwood.
     
    kkaarrll likes this.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Bloodwood has been very very good to me but I haven't been using it as long as Shawn..t
     
    kkaarrll likes this.
  5. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Bloodwood?

    Build421.jpg

    ;)
     
  6. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Thinking Mikey needs a spokeshave or a safety for that drawknife...hehehe. As always the more humorous take from Cinci...kind of like Skyline.
     
  7. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    Now all you need is some sweat and tears to really put yourself into that build. :)

    I picked up some Bloodwood yesterday for a couple of fretboards. At least one of them is going to be fretless.

    IMG_3761.jpg
     
  8. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Man, that's just sexy...
     
  9. OHSPyro89

    OHSPyro89

    Jun 21, 2009
    I really do enjoy bloodwood myself, for the most part. I enjoy the fact that it can be polished to a mirror shine, it's great stuff.

    I haven't seen any really stripey stuff like that before, most of mine has been fairly solid colored.

    I love the smell of bloodwood, but I'm sure we've all heard the horror stories of people using the stuff. I had a lymph node swell up and I had to get removed because of the stuff.
     
  10. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Wipe that stuff down with mineral spirits before you glue it - otherwise you could have some real adhesion problems!

    Lonnybass
     
  11. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Really? I've never experienced adhesion issues with bloodwood, and I use it in about 80% of my necks. It's not particularly oily, certainly not as much as, say, cocobolo.
     
  12. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Maybe you are just luckier than I am! ;) What kind of glue are you using in your shop? I've done bloodwood boards with both TB2 and Gorilla - in my experience the TB2 seems to be somewhat hit or miss for a tight joint for unless the board is wiped down well. Hasn't been an issue with Gorilla, but I try to avoid using the stuff if at all possible!

    Lonnybass
     
  13. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Original tb never an issue.
     
  14. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I'll take Tom for the win.

    PU glue is not allowed in my shop and nothing but TBI is allowed for laminates.
     
  15. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Mike/Tom-

    How has TB1 compared vs TB2 for the laminates? Interesting. Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Lonnybass
     
  16. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    TBIII moved on me during a build and has since been banished from the shop. TBI has performed flawlessly during my 20 years of use.

    TBII has some modifiers to improve water resistance. There are some builders here that use it, and I do as well - just on bird feeders and other outdoor projects.
     
  17. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Birdfeeders, I love it. I'm getting down near the bottom of the current bottle of TB2 so I'll be sure to replace it with TB1 and see how it does.

    Lonnybass
     
  18. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I would be more worried about ebony on maple, than bloodwood.

    Gaboon ebony gives up moisture so slowly compared to maple... The fingerboard on the bass in my sig has some checking around the upper frets, and I've talked to other people who've had similar issues.
     
  19. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    That would be from improperly dried Ebony. Ebony that is taken to 0% and then reconstituted will be stable in service. Ebony that is sold wet will rarely receive the proper drying postmarket.
     
  20. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    +1 - also, TB original FTW
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 6, 2021

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