FRETS.NET

Hello everybody
Well, after lurking around here for the last year or so, I finally got round to registering today, as I've taken on a job where I'm unsure where to start.
A customer with an Ibanez Bass wants me to replace the Ebonol fingerboard with one made from ebony, as he doesn't like the white stripes where the frets are on a fretted version. So far so good: Once I get the old fingerboard off, it'll not be too difficult to make a new fretboard out of an ebony blank (I'll probably order it from StewMac, I can't find any supplier here in Germany that has blanks long enough to make a bass fretboard)
The thing that's causing me some concern is how to remove the old fretboard, or better said: Does anybody here know what glue is used for Ebonol? I'd guess they used Epoxy, and that brings me to my next question: Can you seperate epoxy joints with the repair blankets LMII sells (I have the bridge and fretboard tongue versions already)?
What other problems am I likely to run into?
Any help or thoughts on this would be appreciated
Regards
Grahame Myers (ex-pat Brit living in Germany)

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Well, here ya go. Hope you can see what was going on, add the heat and the stench of hot Ebonol to the pictures in your imagination :-) In the second pic you can see my high-tech solution for a heatgun holder to stop my arm aching...
Best G.
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i use brass rod it looks great drill holes hammer in 1/4 inch cut flush sand and polish you get a gold looking side dot i find mine at a hobby supplier in stead of white plastic I dont like the word plastic .Great job by the way congratulations
Thanks for the kind words, but for me a job isn't finished till the customer is happy again (and I get the money :-) ) That's a nice idea with the brass rod, if the customer likes the idea I'll do it. I guess I'd be able to glue it with 2-part Epoxy, the 5 minute stuff will be adaquate.
Still trying to scorce some good ebony, or even any ebony at all, in Europe. I know it's there somewhere......
I've attached another image, where you can see the wear from the strings on the fretboard. The Bass is only 1 year old, it's the second one, Ibanez replaced the first one under guarantee due to the same problem. Ebonol? Er..no thankyou, it's not an option to wood from what I've seen upto now.
Originally, the customer wanted me to replace the plastic filler stripes in the fretslots with something else to better match the black Ebonol, but I explained to him that the only really good solution was to replace it with Ebony or Rosewood. As he's totally happy with the Bass otherwise in respect to balance, tone and action, he agreed to the investment. I can imagine it'll sound better too, with Ebony instead of paper :-)
Best G.
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You could fine some ebony in Europe (I'm French, we are neighbours at the internet scale) here :
- kauffer
- madinter
- maderas barber
- there's a shop in the netherlands... with a lot of classical instrument making tools and furniture, but I can't find the name anymore

I usually get my ebony fingerboards at lmii.
Hi Pierre-Antoine
Thanks for the tip, but I'm trying to scorce the wood in Europe, as I'm sick of having to pay 3.2% import duty and on top of that 19% salestax on everything I order in the States. Otherwise LMII are very good, I've bought tools from them in the past (including Jack the Gripper, are you reading this Frank? :-) )
StewMac are very good too, I have most of my tools from them.
But like I said, I'm sick of paying through the nose for everything that I order outside of the EC, 'cos the greedy German government never has enough money. Everything is taxed, and then they tax the tax :-) Thanks to a tip here, I think I may have found some suppliers in England, and then I only have to pay for the shipping, as England is in the EC.
Best G.
looks like he was playing with round wounds should stick with flat wounds they would not mark up the finger board like that on a fretless
Hi Paul
you have a good point with the strings, he does use roundwounds. I havn't asked him why not tapewound, but he's an experienced bassplayer and I guess he's got his reasons.
That isn't really the point though: In my experience, no more than 5 or 10% of players use roundwound strings, and what about the rest that use roundwounds?
The guy paid over €700 for the guitar, and a guitar or bass in that priceclass should to be able to use roundwound strings without showing the kind of wear that this Ibanez showed, and that after only a year (!) What would it have looked like after 5 or 10 years?
I've had Fender basses in my shop that were over 40 years old, and the fret board was still good after all that time.
A few weeks ago, I re-fretted an old Höfner violin bass from '63, and after a light sanding before the fretjob, it looked like new, I've never seen this kind of wear on instruments with a wood fretboard.
I think it's a ripoff from Ibanez, and other companies that use this junk instead of wood. I've nothing against hightech materials, as long as they're as good as the wood they're replacing.
So, rant mode off :-)
I'll probably be ordering the new 'board from LMII, as none of my queries in Europe have turned anything up until now, and time's money, I have other jobs waiting in the shop. I've spent enough time surfing the net and writing emails, I shoud've ordered it in the USA at the start, would've probably been here by now. But as I read here in another post, if this job was easy, everbody would be doing it :-)
Take care G.
Hi all
Update on the wood difficulties: Just recieved an email from Timberline in England, http://www.exotichardwoods.co.uk , they have a nice piece of Indian Ebony at a nice price.
No customs duty to pay: On behalf of Guitar repairmen everywhere I'd like to dedicate my middle finger to the German government :-))
Best G.
Hi Grahame, the first three name I gave you were in the EEC.
Pierre-Antoine
Yeah, I know that, but Timberland was quicker with an email, that's why I mentioned them :-))
Thanks for the tips though, I'll be looking more closely at them all in the near future.
It was just this time I was in a bit of a hurry, as the customer needs the Bass for a studio job in 2 weeks.
Best G.

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