Sign in to follow this  
rabn

Fingerboard finishing

Recommended Posts

Dear Fellow Members,

 

I will be gluing on the fingerboard soon and was wondering about the finishing.  Should I use a wax?  Oil?  Polishing compound?  Any advice would be appreciated.  Have a great day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No wax. Do a web search for the subject with maestronet included in it and a bunch of info should come up. Do you need info on dressing he FB after you get it glued on too?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not tried this but it sounds good enough to consider........... The varnishing of the fingerboard is perhaps not so good in general, too much glare but filling of pores with varnish and then working down to a dull surface has good effect.

 

Polishing fingerboard may be effected by making a small ball of fine flannel covered with another closer material such as calico.  You should be able to tie up with string- make a knot.  Moisten with linseed oil, then dip in varnish and rub briskly, but lightly over the board surface until a smooth glassy appearance appears and you feel the ebony has taken enough polish.  Can be continued over all parts desired to have an even shining surface.  Let dry to enhance evaporation and hardening.

 

  When good enough wipe surfaces with soft, absorbent material which will take away superfluous oil that is present.  Any uneven, clotted or rough parts may be gone over again but use spirit and oil instead of varnish and oil.  

 

Next, after care has been taken that all is cured and hard, use a small piece of well oiled, doubled-up fine flannel, use rottenstone powder to rub round and round lightly until a nice, refined, even appearance with little glare shows up.  Finish with a soft cloth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before attaching the board, bury it in a birch clearing (the white of the birch amplifies the black of the ebony) to a depth of no more than 23 inches, and no less than 22. The nut end MUST face the perannul munscus of the 15th moon. The ass end should drift from splaceum to transplort as needed. Allow the board to nuzzel for at least 3 transums. Should the clearing be transected at ANY point by anything other than a sterile horkhund, quickly dig it up and burn it in a fire consisting only of alder wood and the pubis hair of a domesticated malpig, and start again. After the passing of at least 3 (un-disturbed) transums, clean the purificated "board" (now technically a Fbord) in a stream of fast flowing melt water, providing it flows from west to south. At this point the Fbord will be anxious and ill-tempered. DO NOT look directly at it, as it will take this as a challenge, and will most likely charge towards your groin. Instead, produce a steady humming tone, (ideally matching the A1 and B@ vibrations that the accepting violin corpus emits) and slowly start swinging a fully feathered rusk over your head. Once the Fbord is entranced, leap upon it! It will fight you, so be prepared! Having subdued the Fbord, you now must affix it to your Florbshaft, which is of course attached to your leg (duh), for no less than 43 hours, and no more than 44. At this point your Fbord will be soft, pliable, utterly devoted to you, and (most importantly!!!) shiny! Go ahead and attach it to the waiting violin corpus, but it is best to observe it for at least 32 hours, but no more than 33, as the corpus and the Fbord can occasionally get over excited and result in a premature emancipation of the nut. After the observation period expires, you are all set!!!!!

 

Alternately, a mixture of beeswax, turpentine, and abrasives work great.

But watch out for those horkhunds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before attaching the board, bury it in a birch clearing (the white of the birch amplifies the black of the ebony) to a depth of no more than 23 inches, and no less than 22. The nut end MUST face the perannul munscus of the 15th moon. The ass end should drift from splaceum to transplort as needed. Allow the board to nuzzel for at least 3 transums. Should the clearing be transected at ANY point by anything other than a sterile horkhund, quickly dig it up and burn it in a fire consisting only of alder wood and the pubis hair of a domesticated malpig, and start again. After the passing of at least 3 (un-disturbed) transums, clean the purificated "board" (now technically a Fbord) in a stream of fast flowing melt water, providing it flows from west to south. At this point the Fbord will be anxious and ill-tempered. DO NOT look directly at it, as it will take this as a challenge, and will most likely charge towards your groin. Instead, produce a steady humming tone, (ideally matching the A1 and B@ vibrations that the accepting violin corpus emits) and slowly start swinging a fully feathered rusk over your head. Once the Fbord is entranced, leap upon it! It will fight you, so be prepared! Having subdued the Fbord, you now must affix it to your Florbshaft, which is of course attached to your leg (duh), for no less than 43 hours, and no more than 44. At this point your Fbord will be soft, pliable, utterly devoted to you, and (most importantly!!!) shiny! Go ahead and attach it to the waiting violin corpus, but it is best to observe it for at least 32 hours, but no more than 33, as the corpus and the Fbord can occasionally get over excited and result in a premature emancipation of the nut. After the observation period expires, you are all set!!!!!

But watch out for those horkhunds!

best advice in a long while ..,.... I've just been taking it ...the Fbord...from 320 up though the finest micomesh till it's glassy and shows reflections well ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'm just simple.   :)  If the ebony is decent, I simply plane the board to the correct specifications (finishing with light, full-length strokes) with my (sharp) fingerboard plane (slightly altered sole as I've mentioned in other threads on MN).  Then run through courses of sandpaper starting with 150 grit and finishing with 600 using a sanding block with an internal radius that matches the board (42 mm for violin) using long full strokes and protecting the edge at the nut with my thumb.  I dampen the board and let it dry between courses.  I do not use scrapers or files (as I find even careful use of these tools tends to ripple the surface causing the need for more sanding, etc.).  I have no problem with those who choose to.  I just don't like the extra fussing around and prefer the results going from plane to paper.

 

I glue on the nut and adjust/shape as required and relieve the edges for the players comfort.

 

I "finish" with drying oil applied with 0000 steel wool and wipe off the excess oil.  One application yields a nice satin gloss finish.  If I feel totally anal, I apply a second coat with 1500 grit paper after the first coat is dry.  I use boiled linseed oil, personally.  I've used other oils that also work well, but the linseed has a nice moisture repelling quality.  I hate re-dressing boards where a non-drying oil has been used.  It tends to sink rather deeply into the wood.

 

I do not use any "filler" or pigment, as this just ends up on the players fingers in the end.  If more gloss is desired on the sides of the board, they can be buffed.  I don't quite understand why some like to have a mirror finish on the board surface, as it does not last (at all) with player's use.... actually I think it tends to look shabby very quickly... but to each their own.

 

Haven't tried burying the board in a birch clearing yet.  Must put that on my list.   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much the same as Jeffrey's method here, I finish with tripoli and linseed as for varnish. 
Boards that are not oiled tend to look grey, I think the oil helps stabilise the board re-humidity changes. 
I light oil the underside of the board too, when finishing the varnish. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I soak my fingerboards in HF. After that, they're finished. ;)

Actually, I do like Jeffrey, except I use a tung oil wiping varnish and lamp black. Rub on generously, wait till it starts to tack, and then rub off completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I soak my fingerboards in HF. After that, they're finished. ;)

Actually, I do like Jeffrey, except I use a tung oil wiping varnish and lamp black. Rub on generously, wait till it starts to tack, and then rub off completely.

 

I've used Tung in the past (with good results) as well...  Again, I generally don't use pigments or fillers.  I don't mind slight color variation in the ebony anyway... but if it's too much, and I feel I must attend to it, there are a couple of ways to chemically darken ebony before oiling it that will not transfer to the player's fingers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On new Chinese instruments with roughly finished boards, I've had great luck polishing them after planing them in to playing form with successive grades of micron cloths (a set of 8 grits or so from Amazon for $12 or so) with a little linseed oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worn Micromesh grit 2400 and 3200 is excellent for final polishing of ebony, even without oil.
I recycle the pieces that are too worn for the varnish and preserve them for ebony polishing, starting with 2400 and polymerized linseed oil and ending with 3200 dry.

Good shine without to much gloss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just simply rug with a leather strap with a few drops of pure virgin olive oil(we have a lot of this here in Spain ) Gives a nice not too shiny finish.

Edit because of this stupid iPhone corrector

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not tried this but it sounds good enough to consider........... 

 

Polishing may be effected by making a small ball of fine flannel covered with another closer material such as calico.  You should be able to tie up with string- make a knot.  Moisten with linseed oil, then dip in varnish and rub briskly, but lightly over the board surface until a smooth glassy appearance appears.   

 

Next, after care has been taken that all is cured and hard, use a small piece of well oiled, doubled-up fine flannel, use rottenstone powder to rub round and round lightly until a nice, refined, even appearance with little glare shows up.  Finish with a soft cloth.

 

I tried the oil/varnish polishing method above yesterday on a neck handle area that I did not put finish on originally last year.  It does leave a finish but I was thinking today I could rub out and be done.  Since I used oil varnish I now have to wait for the finish to pass the thumb imprint test.  Six weeks dry time the last time I went thru this.  So, just saying if you choose to finish your neck/handle area with some oil varnish do it while you are varnishing the violin.  Now I have to wait it out.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the oil/varnish polishing method above yesterday on a neck handle area that I did not put finish on originally last year.  It does leave a finish but I was thinking today I could rub out and be done.  Since I used oil varnish I now have to wait for the finish to pass the thumb imprint test.  Six weeks dry time the last time I went thru this.  So, just saying if you choose to finish your neck/handle area with some oil varnish do it while you are varnishing the violin.  Now I have to wait it out. 

 

After waiting a day I'll say now that I may not have to wait as long as I thought I'd have to wait.  No sticky/drag feeling when touched but I will wait some more.  3-4 coats used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago I used Fiebing's Oil Dye to get the FB uniformly black, but as Jeffrey noted it will transfer to players' fingers. Now I just use better quality FB's with linseed oil spiked with my own siccative much like Jeffrey's method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.