Why not use veneered fingerboard


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What are the reasons for that all modern instruments have a solid piece of ebony? All fingerboards were veneered in the baroque era but why did they stop doing this? If there aren't that many differences then why don't we start veneering our fingerboards again to save the threatened ebony wood?  

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50 minutes ago, Florian said:

What are the reasons for that all modern instruments have a solid piece of ebony? All fingerboards were veneered in the baroque era but why did they stop doing this? If there aren't that many differences then why don't we start veneering our fingerboards again to save the threatened ebony wood?  

Most of the ebony consumption is flooring, furniture, carvings and general decoration in Asia. Fingerboards don't even register.

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A fingerboard is not a simple curved shape. it also has end to end scoop. Unless you were using a very thick (1-2mm) "veneer", that shape would have to created on the base, and then the veneer would have to be conformed to the shape. It would probably also mean that the fingerboard couldn't be dressed after wear.

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23 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

A fingerboard is not a simple curved shape. it also has end to end scoop. Unless you were using a very thick (1-2mm) "veneer", that shape would have to created on the base, and then the veneer would have to be conformed to the shape. It would probably also mean that the fingerboard couldn't be dressed after wear.

One can scoop before veneering. Works fine. Veneering is done by hammering on thick glue - instant and very powerful bond. 

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8 minutes ago, carl stross said:

One can scoop before veneering. Works fine. Veneering is done by hammering on thick glue - instant and very powerful bond. 

I think Joshua Bayer once suggested to me that the scoop be applied first. Makes sense to me. 

Salve Håkedal describes a method for gluing the veneer to the spruce core with rope as a clamp. I suppose the hammer method would work as well.

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Just now, JacksonMaberry said:

I think Joshua Bayer once suggested to me that the scoop be applied first. Makes sense to me. 

Salve Håkedal describes a method for gluing the veneer to the spruce core with rope as a clamp. I suppose the hammer method would work as well.

The hammer method was much better but needs some experimentation and some practice AND a very reliable source of glue. The rope method is used too in the repair of certain musical things.

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On 6/16/2017 at 1:27 PM, Florian said:

What are the reasons for that all modern instruments have a solid piece of ebony? All fingerboards were veneered in the baroque era but why did they stop doing this? If there aren't that many differences then why don't we start veneering our fingerboards again to save the threatened ebony wood?  

I'm not enough of a maker to know if you'd save any ebony or not.  And I don't know if you are talking about veneering for looks or for structure.  But it seems like a good idea for preventing warping, depending on how it was done.  The problem, off hand, would be how it would look and wear with a sweaty player.

The principle of lamination for adding stiffness and preventing warping was discussed regarding two piece maple necks here:

I don't know why the principle wouldn't work for the fingerboard, too.

 

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59 minutes ago, Will L said:

I'm not enough of a maker to know if you'd save any ebony or not.  And I don't know if you are talking about veneering for looks or for structure.  But it seems like a good idea for preventing warping, depending on how it was done.  The problem, off hand, would be how it would look and wear with a sweaty player.

 

I'm busy re-doing an about 1900 German violin - the usual thing. It has seen plenty use and the fingerboard was painted maple. The paint went off at some stage but the wood is just fine and seems as good as ebony - I'll send you a pic. With my limited experience I did not find ebony to be particularly resistant to wear induced perspiration. African blackwood is but it's not available in fingerboard blanks. That's the wood clarinets are made from. 

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