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Oak flooring for fretboard

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by callasabra, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey guys,

    Anyone ever use oak flooring for a fretboard?
    I have some 2.5 x .75 in boards lying around and thought it would look nice. They are already finished and if I radiused the board I would have to refinish.
    Also since it is oak would I have to grain fill?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've built at least one complete neck/fretboard from oak (probably more... I just don't recall for sure). It should be no problem. It would probably be best to fill the grain since oak typically has quite deep grain... but you don't necessarily have to. I didn't and it feels fine to me.
     
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  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think Brian May's original guitar made by him and his dad used an oak lintel from their fireplace, complete with wormholes....
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Probably be very nice!
    White oak glues beautifully but red oak has some sort of acid content or something that makes it harder to glue.
    Leaned this building boats and forgot the details.
    It's probably white oak if it's older and good quality flooring, and if it's been around a while plus being flooring it's most certainly nicely dried.
     
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  5. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Red oak needs more filling, white not so much. White is used for oak barrels, they do not use red as the liquid would run out. I have used red and white for fretboards. White is easier but both work. I have not had a problem gluing red oak with Original Titebond.
     
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  6. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

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    Awesome, I think the boards I have are red oak. One piece would need grain filling, no question.

    Would you try to leave the finished surface or plane it off?
     
  7. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, Dacious is correct about Brian May's home-made Red Special. That's done more than a few performances. :p
     
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  8. Tdel10

    Tdel10 Tele-Meister

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    I'd start by running it through the planer, take it down to 1/4". Then let it re-acclimate, and check for straightness. Oak behaves pretty well, I doubt you'll have problems.

    Then slot, glue and finally radius. Then fill the grain and refinish
     
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  9. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

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    Why grain fill after installing frets? I know nothing about this so any instruction is appreciated.
     
  10. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I've made uke necks and sides out of red oak flooring and they've done fine.

    I fretted into some of that flooring years ago when I was practicing fret slotting; I just checked. Those frets are still snug; no string tension, but they've been through the ravages of my uninsulated basement for about ten years now.
     
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  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I've made 6 Necks and fretboards out of Red Oak. You need to have sharp tools and bits to work it, but turns out great. I just sand it good, use stain or dye on it and cover with Truoil. Use steel wool on the back of the neck. Fretboards turn out smooth.
     
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  12. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I filled the grain first before fretting. It would be harder to get a smooth finish after the frets are in.
     
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  13. Tdel10

    Tdel10 Tele-Meister

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    I didn't say that, that would make it awful hard to sand! I'd do all the woodworking, then fill finish and fret.
     
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  14. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    I like maple, but really aren't there a couple dozen American hardwoods that can make good fretboards?
     
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  15. fortj3

    fortj3 Tele-Meister

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    Proof that we'll be just fine without rosewood fretboards.
     
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