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bookmatched fretboard?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by crisscrosscrash, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    Looking for some expertise!

    I got started with making a sort of thinline that will end up being home to a pair of Lollar P90s that have been sitting in a drawer for over a year (and probably a Bigsby too). I found a long, reasonably priced, 4 inch wide piece of macasser ebony at the local supplier, and with some resawing, ended up with this top (on a cherry body), and enough material left for two fretboards....

    As you can see in the second pic - the lines of the individual fretboards won't line up well with the top, as it it... but if they were bookmatched to make one fretboard it would look pretty seamless and cool from stem to stern... the question is: is there any reason to not do this? I googled "bookmatched fretboards" and didn't find much aside from fretless instruments, which makes me think there's a reason for the lack of them. Any one think it will cause some sort of trouble that I want to avoid? (The neck will have a dual action truss, will that be a problem?)

    Advice much appreciated!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Is the wood quartersawn? I'll guess no from looking at it.

    I personally would avoid it, as I bet you'd see a seam when the wood moves ,but I generally try to keep joints to a minimum too.

    It took me a while to find this example I recall seeing in a book, but here is a "The Les Paul"...notice the fretboard. Of course they use quartersawn fretboards too.


    * Combination ebony/rosewood fingerboard with ornate Abalone block inlays
    * Black/rosewood/black/rosewood bound peghead and fingerboard with

    http://dennischandler.com/the-les-paul-1/
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Book matching will look fantastic.

    The only thing is the glue line will not swell with the wood so there will be a seam later; only a small cosmetic issue. The book matching process should make for a more stable fretboard and limit its effect on the neck moving. Perhaps you can cut a thin strip of the black as a center stripe at the book match seam that would set the whole thing off in a great way.

    I'd go with a simple dot inlay at the 12th fret and only side dots for the player. One build I used a 1/2in copper pipe scrap for a 12th fret marker in a walnut fingerboard and then put an inlay of a different wood inside; with yours you could center the ring across the board and use black ebony inside while the book matched fretboard flows around it. One ring to rule them all; as they say ;)


    [​IMG]
     
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  4. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    If u put the truss rod in from the back, then why not.

    I personally would not do it if the trussrod is directly under the fret board. - but I am known for having trust issues with wood and glue lines - and a good glueline being stronger than the wood itself :D
     
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  5. mudimba

    mudimba Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I think you have to bookmatch it, even if there is some risk. If you don't, every time you look at that guitar you are going to wonder if you could have pulled it off. The matched light streaks turn it from a beautiful guitar to a stunning one.
     
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  6. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

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    Get some 0,5mm veneer, bookmatch your fretboard, slap the veneer on the back of it, that'll give it some meat against the truss rod. Then proceed as usual.
     
  7. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    Good idea! Thanks.
     
  8. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    What mete said ;)
     
  9. emoney

    emoney Tele-Afflicted

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    I, for one, would pass, only because I'd be afraid of movement along that seem this time next year.
    I'm OCD, so it would drive me nuts, but that's just me. Personally, I think that body would really
    stand out if the Ebony was blackened on the fretboard. With all those frets and possible inlays,
    it detracts from the beauty of wood, but they're important to a guitar. "Less is more", in my opinion,
    when it comes to FB grain.
     
  10. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Friend of Leo's

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    I've seen some laminated fretboards, and the idea interests me, but I haven't tried it yet. There is no reason not to, there are some custom builders who do it a lot, I think it's mostly a tradition and cosmetics thing.
     
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  11. HairyChapter

    HairyChapter TDPRI Member

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    I wouldn't know about the fretboard and bookmatching but I just had to compliment you on an absolutely beautiful guitar.. Bookmatch or not it's gonna turn heads..
     
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  12. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice looking guitar! That cap is awesome!
     
  13. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone - I'm gonna go for the bookmatching, and see what happens... I'll post an update when the neck starts coming together!

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

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    I'm in the camp that believes it will work just fine. Even without a veneer at the bottom. And of course, it will look great.
    For rosewood, cocobolo, and those oily woods, I'd say to give the edges a wipe down with acetone before gluing, but ebony is not all that oily, so I wouldn't even worry about that.

    The only thing I would do differently from your picture is to cut away some more of the light wood in the center. Otherwise the two-tone effect will be mostly cut away when you cut out the outline for the fingerboard, right?
     
  15. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    As long as your joinery is good , there is no reason not to do this aside of the extra work it entails .
    Search Howard Klepper .
     
  16. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    What's the neck wood? An ebony or maple fretboard with the bookmatched ME on the headstock (with the light edge thinned down, as mtorn suggested) would also do the trick....
     
  17. HenryD

    HenryD Tele-Meister

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    I've seen a few high end bass makers that have bookmatched fretboards with different woods all together. Usually maple for the e and a strings and rosewood for d and g.

    I think you'll be ok as long as the joint is tight. Should look awesome
     
  18. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Tele-Holic

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    I have a few guitars with Macasser ebony, I love it, not sure why it's not used more.

    As far as booking matching, sounds like a great idea, you might want to pin it down to the neck to keep it from opening up at the seam?
     
  19. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    I wish I'd read this before I went ahead with the glue up! I think you're right - and I've got black on both sides, but around the 9th fret it almost disappears on the bass side. Oh well... still looks pretty cool, with frets and strings it'll be so busy I'll probably stop noticing!

    Quick mockup:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I made a couple of p90 covers out of leftover cherry from the body... still need to sand them, (one is ay fatter than the other, I need to get it down to size) but you get the idea...

    [​IMG]

    And bound the F-hole today with more scraps. So much wood on this guitar...

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    Updated: this guitar is finished! It looks a bit like a candy bar, but the Lollar p90s sound really sweet. The bookmatched fretboard didn't work out exactly as I imagined, but it's pretty original looking I guess (and it feels fantastic). I wish I hadn't done that 12th fret inlay... oh well.

    I finished it in Minwax Tung Oil Finish -- the ebony still has spot that just won't build over (after countless coats). I think I'm just going to leave it though. I tried shellac, which DID seem to cover the dry spots, but it looked "plasticky" to me, so I sanded it back and went with Minwax. The finish took well to the cherry on the body and pickups covers, and perfectly on the mahogany neck.

    Some pics below... When I get a chance I'll upload a sound test as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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