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A question for all those guitar builders out there

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Kalimna

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Greetings,
I am (somewhere at the back of my mind amongst the other 'projects') hoping to build a UK-grown electric guitar (perhaps acoustic too at some point). In other words, any wood used on the instrument I would like to have been grown in UK.
Body/neck isn't too tricky (I was thinking oak/sycamore/ash/walnut, or combinations thereof), and the main stumbling block would be the fingerboard.
A couple of days ago I acquired some lovely laburnum - would this be suitable do you think? I am sure I could find a piece within the boards that is as close to QS as makes no odds.

Cheers,
Adam
 

jimi43

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Why not give Timberline a call....he had some bog oak in stock from Norfolk and I bet that may be ideal for a fingerboard...not cheap though but he may have some offcuts.

My brain's gone tonight but I think it's Rob...was a luthier so he knows exactly what you will need for your project and will be the best guy all around to help.

Cheers

Jim
 

Benchwayze

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They supply Fenders with a maple fingerboard, or at least they did. I suppose Sycamore could serve the same.

I know I could never play a maple-neck guitar. For some reason, I just could not find my way around the frets! In the end, I bought one with a rosewood fingerboard and the 'problem' was solved. Weird or what? :mrgreen: (It didn't make my technique any better, but at least I only made the mistakes I normally made. :lol:
PS! I use a Gibson now. :p
 

Scouse

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If it must be strictly UK grown, I'd agree with the sycamore, as near to maple as makes no difference (all being Acers) and ok if you are happy with the pale colour but to be honest I've never used a non-tropical hardwood for a dark fretboard before. Maple for fretboards is a bit of a marmite thing, from a look and tone point of view and sycamore would fall into that category as well. It is a known wood for use on instruments such as viols in the 17th century, so not unheard of as a fingerboard/fretboard wood (viols having gut frets).

As for a suitable dark wood, I thought of walnut, but I seem to remember anecdotal stories of problems seating frets. It is, however, donkeys years since I made a guitar and had to worry about frets (I switched to violins and cellos!).

El.
 

thick_mike

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Look like you're not the only one looking for a UK guitar (UK-ulele?). I immediately thought of hornbeam, so had a look for any info on hornbeam fretboards and found this...

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/can-anyone-help-me-find-some-homegrown-hornbeam-t44702.html

Seems laburnum or lilac might also be an option.

If you're keener on the dark fretboards more common on Gibbys or acoustic guitars, then you might need to investigate some sort of pickling solutions (something salts???) or dye.
 

MIGNAL

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Light coloured woods as fretboards will get grubby pretty quickly, which is why Fender coat theirs in toffee apple candy. I've used Laburnum for Nylon strung. Bog oak is a very decent suggestion. I wish someone would start pressure dyeing Oak (if it's possible). I've never been overly fond of working Ebony. The normal staining procedure for Oak is fine but is barely skin deep, which means that if you take a fraction off the edge whilst shaping the Neck you've got a real problem of re staining the fretboard without it getting onto the lighter coloured Neck.
 

thick_mike

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MIGNAL":fj0mavsu said:
Light coloured woods as fretboards will get grubby pretty quickly, which is why Fender coat theirs in toffee apple candy. I've used Laburnum for Nylon strung. Bog oak is a very decent suggestion. I wish someone would start pressure dyeing Oak (if it's possible). I've never been overly fond of working Ebony. The normal staining procedure for Oak is fine but is barely skin deep, which means that if you take a fraction off the edge whilst shaping the Neck you've got a real problem of re staining the fretboard without it getting onto the lighter coloured Neck.



Some guitar players pay a considerable premium for a grubby fretboard!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fender-Te...Guitars_CV&hash=item5ae52671da#ht_2583wt_1185
 

bodge

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Laburnam should be fine. The ukulele luthier Rob Collins uses it extensively on his "indigenous" builds.
 

MIGNAL

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thick_mike":31a0de34 said:
MIGNAL":31a0de34 said:
Light coloured woods as fretboards will get grubby pretty quickly, which is why Fender coat theirs in toffee apple candy. I've used Laburnum for Nylon strung. Bog oak is a very decent suggestion. I wish someone would start pressure dyeing Oak (if it's possible). I've never been overly fond of working Ebony. The normal staining procedure for Oak is fine but is barely skin deep, which means that if you take a fraction off the edge whilst shaping the Neck you've got a real problem of re staining the fretboard without it getting onto the lighter coloured Neck.



Some guitar players pay a considerable premium for a grubby fretboard!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fender-Te...Guitars_CV&hash=item5ae52671da#ht_2583wt_1185

Yep. More money than sense. Then again I guess they'll claim it's an investment, only because there are other folk with more money than sense!
 

marcros

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you say that, but people still buy gold and diamonds, when there are other metals and stones that would do the same job just as well. It is a 59 telecaster- there are not going to be any ore of them made, so they are scarce and therefore valuable. I don't know if it is a good guitar or not, or whether it is a good price or not (I note that it hasn't sold yet). I suppose that it comes down to what value people put on its rarity, and you have to hope that the bubble doesn't burst whilst you own it. The problem is that rare items are rarely sold, so it can be difficult to gauge the worth at any given time.

It would be interesting to know what ebay has done to the values of items such as that. 10 years ago, to buy one you would have had to go to a specialist auction, where you would bid against a small number of people. Now, with no effort at all on their part, you could be bidding against hundreds.
 

MIGNAL

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Of course. The point I'm making is that in terms of playability and sound, practically the same can be had for MUCH less. There are guys out there who will hand wind a pick up to the exact spec of earlier types if you want.
 

thick_mike

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I think there are probably a few people making brand new '59 teles and trying to pass them off as such on ebay! There are certainly plenty of fake Gibsons.

It seems every "boys toys" hobby out there has the same slope. Compare old/rare planes, guitars, guns, cars etc. We're all suckers!!
 

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