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Walnut Fretboard?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RDW, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. RDW


    Feb 5, 2008
    I have a nice piece of maple and a nice piece of walnut - both jointed and planed - to use in building a neck for a Stingray-style body with a Fender neck pocket.

    My plan is to split the maple (flatsawn) and glue-in a strip of walnut (opposite grain, or quartersawn) ) for stability. I will have more than enough walnut left to use for the fretboard, but do not see walnut often used for this purpose.

    So, questions:

    Is there a reason walnut is not typically used for fretboards?

    If I decide to use the walnut, what do I need to be aware of in terms of potential pitfalls?

  2. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    Well, some say it should nut be used in that application because it is slightly softer, but i have seen it done on fretted fingerboards and do great. Espically if it is quartersawn, if you can orient it like that, but i don't know if qs wood is more important in the neck or the fingerboard. A flatsawn piece with interesting grain is an eye catcher as far as fingerboards go, imo. Go ahead, but it might be in your interest to try an epoxy or hard poly finish on the fingerboard so it doesn't get damaged Also, glue in the frets for good measure. Walnut can be flexible, which is great for things like carving and steam bending, but it probably is not the most reliable wood for holding in frets on its own. Should be sweet. For some reason, I am not a fan of rosewood or ebony fingerboards in most cases, and i like to see other woods come into play, so i am interested in seeing this.

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