Replacing Fretboard

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Paisley
Posts: 626
Joined: 05 Jun 2012, 23:47
Location: Melbourne

Replacing Fretboard

Post by Paisley » 07 Feb 2018, 08:40

I've been after a 5 String Fretless for a while now, since having to let my last one go (became difficult for me to play because of my CTS).

I've now found a Bass that has the potential to work really well for me, in fact the neck is almost identical to one of my main 5 Strings. However it's been defretted, which is not really my preference as I prefer an unlined Neck. I can live with it, but I was just wondering if anyone here has had an entire fretboard (or in this case, fingerboard) replaced before? What sort of costs are we talking, & how successful was it?
BASSES: Spector; Fender; Yamaha; G&L; Alembic; Ibanez; Jerry Jones; Danelectro; Rickenbacker; Ergo; ESP; Kraken; DeArmond.
AMPS: Acoustic; Ashdown; Ampeg; Eden; Epifani; Markbass

basshack
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 10:14
Location: Melbourne Victoria

Re: Replacing Fretboard

Post by basshack » 07 Feb 2018, 09:19

Are you a little bit handy with wood-working tools? Doesn't really matter because David and Rob can walk with you through the job at MSGM. New fingerboard is between $70 and $100, check out http://luthierssupplies.com.au for their range of boards, or the guys have stock of maple etc. Couple of hours to remove the old board, 4 to make and attach the new one, finish applied and set up another 2 hours, lets say $200 - $250. Dealing with the addiction afterwards.... well that's the real problem.
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slashin_velvet
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Re: Replacing Fretboard

Post by slashin_velvet » 07 Feb 2018, 09:37

Paisley wrote:
07 Feb 2018, 08:40
I've been after a 5 String Fretless for a while now, since having to let my last one go (became difficult for me to play because of my CTS).

I've now found a Bass that has the potential to work really well for me, in fact the neck is almost identical to one of my main 5 Strings. However it's been defretted, which is not really my preference as I prefer an unlined Neck. I can live with it, but I was just wondering if anyone here has had an entire fretboard (or in this case, fingerboard) replaced before? What sort of costs are we talking, & how successful was it?
I'd suggest it will depend on the neck and wood used for the fretboard, as well as a glue used.

If you didnt need to keep the old board, then I'd suggest just whipping out a router and whittling it down to nothing rather than spending time with scrapers, and heat guns to lift up the board - even moreso if you dont know what glue they used and may damage the board by heating it anyway.

Once the board is off, remove the truss rod, let the neck settle, sand off the residual glue (keep it flat and remove as little timber as possible). Chuck on a new board, trim to size. Mark out the dot positions you want on the side and you're done.

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Paisley
Posts: 626
Joined: 05 Jun 2012, 23:47
Location: Melbourne

Re: Replacing Fretboard

Post by Paisley » 07 Feb 2018, 09:52

Thanks for the replies guys. :thumbup:

That link is great; the Ebony board looks like the ticket, as long as it's wide enough to accommodate a 5 string neck. I'm probably the worlds worst woodworker, so I'll happily hand the tools over to someone who knows what they're doing! :lol:

Cheers!
BASSES: Spector; Fender; Yamaha; G&L; Alembic; Ibanez; Jerry Jones; Danelectro; Rickenbacker; Ergo; ESP; Kraken; DeArmond.
AMPS: Acoustic; Ashdown; Ampeg; Eden; Epifani; Markbass

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drbass
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Location: Doreen, Victoria
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Re: Replacing Fretboard

Post by drbass » 07 Feb 2018, 10:00

David and Rob are probably the safest bet around here.

Otherwise: do the router routine (as suggested by Davin). I would probably leave the tinniest bit of the old board in place and glue the new one on top. Then it's simply a matter of sanding the whole lot down to the right height (and "straightness") to make sure it works with the bridge.

Have fun.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

basshack
Posts: 4575
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 10:14
Location: Melbourne Victoria

Re: Replacing Fretboard

Post by basshack » 07 Feb 2018, 11:31

I routed my first fretboard off and it didn't go well. I was a novice and know better now but I wasn't as careful or planned as I should of have been.

The fret board has to be level, as does the neck it's sitting on. You have to have something to guide the router on that isn't the board if they are not and you have to be careful just how deep each cut is. If the truss rod isn't glued in and still under tension it makes for an interesting experience when the force on the board, by the rod, is greater than the strength of the thickness of the board left. The things you learn by doing it wrong.
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