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Message started by Alakai on Jul 16th, 2005 at 8:47am

Title: Fret board material
Post by Alakai on Jul 16th, 2005 at 8:47am
Aloha everyone,
I had a few questions about fret board material. I was thinking about using some extra purpleheart that I had laying around, as well as some koa and maple to make a few fretboards. I was wondering if anyone has used purpleheart for fret boards and if there were any drawbacks/benefits to its use. Mahalo and I can't wait to post some pics of my Uke's when I am done.

Title: Re: Fret board material
Post by Road_Toad on Jul 19th, 2005 at 6:46pm
No experience here, but purpleheart should work fine. Roscoe Bass Guitars uses purpleheart http://www.roscoeguitars.com/Woods-Fingerboard.htm. I used birdseye maple for a fretboad and it worked out well, though for some reason, it was more difficult to press in the frets. Koa should be good as well since I've seen a bunch of ukulele's using koa.


Title: Re: Fret board material
Post by rich celley on Jul 21st, 2005 at 11:29am
Hi everyone,

Very nice forum going here, I'll be back with questions of my own I'm sure. Alakai, purple heart should make a nice board as it is qute durable and dense. the only special factors working with this wood are that it is relatively heavy so possibly expect a bit more balance towards the neck because of that. It works well as long as the tools you use are very sharp! Like ebony or even white oak if the tools are at all dull it can leave splintering that is almost impossible to get rid of. It also tends to burn/scorch as does maple so expect to do some sanding of a few spots at least to get rid of that. It also  can be, I've heard, quite irritating a dust to breathe so be sure and use a mask as you would with any other dark exotic wood (with all wood actually, to be safe) when sanding. That all sounds ominous maybe but actually it is a nice wood to work with and makes quite a beautiful contrast with almost anything else.

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