Pau Ferro fingerboards

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old_picker
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Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by old_picker » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:07 pm

Got a project underway for export and need to use a fingerboard that will not attract problems with customs. Pau Ferro looks like a good candidate.
Any one used this stuff?
Anything to look out for?
thanks

routout
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by routout » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:06 pm

I would then I used Wenge tight at a fishes it was very nice go for it if it's hard .
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demonx
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by demonx » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Gidgee, beautiful stuff, hard as Ebony, no CITES.

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kiwigeo
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by kiwigeo » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:51 pm

demonx wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:40 pm
Gidgee, beautiful stuff, hard as Ebony, no CITES.
Only problem will be convincing the US customs boys and girls that Gidgee isn't some kind of new psychedelic coming out of Oooorstralia. :mrgreen:
Martin

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rocket
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by rocket » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:04 pm

might also consider Bubinga, can look a bit like rosewood and is damned hard, also Wandoo is a nice choice.

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Dave Higham
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Dave Higham » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:45 am

It's a good wood for fingerboards and it's not CITES listed.
Be careful working it though. Some people are alergic to it.

Ormsby Guitars
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Ormsby Guitars » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:34 am

rocket wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:04 pm
might also consider Bubinga, can look a bit like rosewood and is damned hard, also Wandoo is a nice choice.

Rod.
Except bubinga is listed with all the rosewoods, in the latest cites restrictions.

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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by simso » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:13 am

Bubinga is such a heavy wood, good I think for a fretboard.

I just finished a solid body for a customer that brought bubinga in for it to be made out of, after chambering and lightening it as much as possible it still ended up being a dang heavy guitar

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Steve.Toscano
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Steve.Toscano » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:39 pm

Gigdee, & mulga are good choices, as is QLD Walnut.
I've been using a lot of bloodwood for fretboards on recent builds. Hard, readily available, decent to work with, and looks amazing.

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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by old_picker » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:40 pm

I used several Cooktown Ironwood fingerboards a few years ago and it is very dense, hard and unyeilding. It is so hard that the fret tangs would not bite into the wood so much as expand the slot putting sufficient pressure on the neck to cause a backbow.

I've steered clear of desert hardwoods as they have the reputation of being extremely hard and and dense expecting they will cause similar issues. I guess I could shave the tangs a bit but not ideal.

I wasn't aware Qld walnut would be suitable as a fingerboard.

Am I being paranoid not wanting to use Gigdee, & Mulga

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J.F. Custom
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by J.F. Custom » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:04 pm

old_picker wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:40 pm
Am I being paranoid not wanting to use Gigdee, & Mulga

In short? Yes. :D

They are certainly more dense and hard than most, but many luthiers use them very successfully, including several on here.

You need to match your fret slot to your fret wire, knowing the hardness can affect the seating of the fret and potentially cause back bow as you mention, if the slot is narrow. A careful approach will manage these issues and the result is a very hard-wearing fretboard.

Cheers,

Jeremy.

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Allen
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Allen » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:36 pm

I love Gidgee for fret boards. Have used it on 6 recent ukes in the last couple of months.

Cooktown Ironwood, not so much. Very brittle and will chip at the fret slot edge far to often for my liking.
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old_picker
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by old_picker » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:12 pm

J.F. Custom wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:04 pm
You need to match your fret slot to your fret wire, knowing the hardness can affect the seating of the fret and potentially cause back bow as you mention, if the slot is narrow. A careful approach will manage these issues and the result is a very hard-wearing fretboard.
Cheers,
Jeremy.
Getting right down on the skinny. :cl
The idea of using Gidgee, Mulga or even Myall certainly has it's attractions but unsure of the options available.

I can see that trimming the fret tangs to suit denser timbers is not an ideal solution even though the tang widths can be accurately sized. I usually slot the boards using a stewmac fret saw blade in the table saw. At .023" it is perfect for maple and rosewood but a tight dense timber with little give doesn't work well at all.

I can get rotary saw blades [diamond continuous rim] from a local lapidary supplier that'll fit my table saw [5/8" arbor] from .032" to .060".

Would this type of blade accurately cut a fret slot rather burning it through?

How much difference should there be between slot and tang using these hard dense types of timber?

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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by jeffhigh » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:04 pm

Probably also depends on the fretwire
I have been using evo fretwire and gidgee for the last 6-8 builds with no problems with backbow.
Stewmac manual japanese fretsaw

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joel
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by joel » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:53 pm

I'm doing my first fretboard, so I have very little experience. I've started with Minnerichi. I sawed the fret slots before I started to radius with a router based radius jig. The wood is very hard and I've found that the edges are very prone to chipping. I've got 2mm to go to get to final thickness and I may need to switch to sanding otherwise I'll have fret slots with chipped edges and unsightly chips out of my edges.
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Jeremy D » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:55 pm

I have been using macassar ebony for most fretboards.

I love that it goes really dark with oiling.

Does gidgee go dark when you oil it?
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peter.coombe
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by peter.coombe » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:46 pm

Gidgee does go darker when oiled, but not black like Macassar Ebony. I have successfully used Gidgee, NSW Ironwood, Lancewood, Indian Ebony, African Ebony and Macassar Ebony for fingerboards and tuning knobs. I like the Macassar Ebony because LMI have very good quality quarter sawn fingerboard blanks, however, the Aussie Acacias are all good, are easy to get quarter sawn, and will probably wear better than Ebony in the long run.
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Jeremy D
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Re: Pau Ferro fingerboards

Post by Jeremy D » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:24 pm

Thanks Peter.

I am a sucker for a dark fingerboard so difficult to change to somthing lighter.

Has anyone had any experience with Rocklite Ebano http://rctonewoods.com/RCT_Store/rockli ... c-174_179/?

Seems quite expensive so would have to be very impressive to be worth the expense/effort.
Jeremy D

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