1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Your Thoughts on Richlite?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by gpasq, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,499
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    I always wanted to try one of those graphite replacement necks, but never did because they were expensive. They also seemed easier to find 20 years ago.
     
  2. Bulldog87

    Bulldog87 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,725
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    I have a Martin acoustic with it. I was acceptor at first, but this is one of the best sounding goats I've ever played. I've had several others comment the same. It plays smooth and feels right on this guitar.

    At first it was just a mental block from me.
     
  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    54,841
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    How well does Richlite age?
     
  4. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,235
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    In this day and age you'd think they could come up with something eco-friendly, sustainable, biodegradable even. It's what every industry seems to be looking for.

    How about wood?
     
  5. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    19,211
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Compared to richlite? I think richlite is made from recycled cellulose products (paper) that would normally be refuse. Harvesting more wood involves much more non-eco-friendly practices. At least from the info I've seen, richlite is touted as being a good alternative to wood.

    Biodegradable is only a concern for disposable items. I'd be curious how many guitars actually occupy
    our landfills...:)
     
  6. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,246
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    The only thing I would be worried about is the longevity as others have said. I will admit I am a solid wood purest when it comes to acoustics though.
     
  7. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,607
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    Or made in Bad Light.
    Hard to get the details right.
     
  8. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,607
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    Composition
    The composition of Richlite is cellulose fiber and phenolic resin (a type of polymer) which is combined and baked for a smooth hard surface. The natural fibers are made from plant, animal and mineral sources. However most natural fibers are predominantly cellulose structure made up of continuous hydrogen and oxygen bonds.

    • [​IMG]
      Atomic structure of a cellulose strand
    Production
    1. Cellulose derived from tree pulp is turned into large rolls of paper.
    2. The paper is then soaked in Phenolic resin and goes up to a heating chamber to be dried out before being rolled back up.
    3. Then hundreds of these sheets are laid on top of each other and with the use of compression molding the stack is compacted.
    Because of the resin's thermoset properties the resulting cooled material is hard.

    Applications
    It was used for the Boeing 747 for their air tables, hydroforming dyes, vacuum chuck faces, work holders, and proofing materials. Architecturally, it is used for countertops. It has also been used for whaleboard in fiberglass boat building. Other commercial uses include cutting boards, prep tables, and pizza peels.

    Since the last quarter of the 20th century, phenolic resin and cellulose based compound materials have been used as an alternative to ebony and rosewood to make stringed instrument fingerboards.[1]

    From 2012, Gibson Guitar Corporation replaced the ebony fingerboard on the production Custom with Richlite fretboard.
     
  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,965
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA

    Yes it's made from recycled paper, saturated with phenolic resin under pressure. I don't know about long term durability, but we have been putting a Richlite cutting board in the dishwasher pretty much every day for at least a decade. So hi heat, moisture--and there is no sign at all of any degradation. There are marks from the knives, but not a lot of the kind of "troughing" you might see with a wooden cutting board. The company claims to have been making it since 1947, so they have a track record.

    I like wood, I like working with wood. I don't like wiping out the world's stock of ebony if there is a viable alternative. Ill try to post a sound sample of the guitar I just finished. I don't hear anything at all that says "richlite fingerboard" in the tone
     
    Jakedog likes this.
  10. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,607
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    Richlite has a temperature resistance of 350f.
    My main concern is: what do you do when it comes time to re-fret?
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,328
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    30 years ago there was this stuff called Ebonol used for fretboards, which is a composite of paper and resin if I recall correctly. That didn't really take off. I think one of the things that is important in guitar playing is the psychological factor. I know I like what I like. I don't care for ebony and I'm not sold on maple for fretboards. That pretty much leaves me with rosewood on factory made instruments. I build instruments with rosewood. I may not feel a difference with the others, but if I know it's one of them, I certainly resist it. It makes no sense but I feel the same way about a spliced neck joint, even though that method of neck building is superior in breakage resistance.

    If the guitar playing public were more accepting of different timber species, I'm sure that the big companies could replace ebony and rosewood with some other dense wood pretty easily. I know that Gibson and Martin have tried substitutes over the years. I suspect that like many things guitar related, there are more folks who just want things to stay as they have for 60 years, over innovation.
     
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,599
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Didn't Taylor buy most of the remaining ebony anyway?
     
  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,965
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    54,841
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Richlite ... is made of people!!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Jakedog likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.