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Can Someone Suggest me on Fingerboard Replacement for Vintage Violin?

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Hello there,

Recently; I noticed that the fingerboard on my instrument has developed significant wear and tear; affecting both playability and tone. As I am quite attached to this violin; I am eager to explore options for restoring it to its former glory.

What material would be best suited for a replacement fingerboard? I have heard ebony is traditional; but are there other materials worth considering for tonal or durability reasons?

How crucial is it to find a skilled luthier for this task? I want to en;sure that the replacement fingerboard is expertly crafted and prop;erly fitted to my violin.

What should I expect in terms of cost for a fingerboard replacement? Are there any factors that might influence the price significantly?

How long does the process typically take from start to finish? I am hopi;ng to minimize the time my violin is out of commission.

Are there any special consid;erations or maintenance routines I should be aware of after the replacement is completed? I want to ensure the longevity of both the fingerboard and the violin as a whole.

Also, I have gone through this: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/358410-violin-id-and-neck-repair-uipath-please-help-/ Additionally; if anyone has personal experiences or recommendations they would like to share regarding fingerboard replacements; I would greatly appreciate any insights you can offer.


Thank you in advance for your help and advice.

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Firstly, does the fingerboard actually need replaced, or does it just need to have the top surface trued, to remove fingernail marks and string grooves? A fingerboard can be trued dozens of times, before needing replacement.

As to your other points, if it does need to be replaced, because it is too thin to be trued again, you need to find someone very skilled, to do a good job.
There are potential risks to damage the neck, when removing the old fingerboard. So you need someone who knows what they are doing, not just some ham fisted, shed dwelling imbecile, who works for cheap, and had no training ever. Apart from watching other imbeciles ruining violins in their shed, on youtube.
Lots of necks were ruined and mangled, by simpletons.

Ebony is the best natural wood for fingerboards, and the easiest to obtain. There are now some synthetic alternatives available, which are expensive.

How long it will take depends on how busy the person doing it will be, and how skilled they are. It would be better to have it done correctly, rather than to make someone rush it, after all, it will cost the same either way.

To maintain the fingerboard, it's important to keep nails short, as these can easily cause quite a lot of marking and wear. How much the strings themselves will wear into the wood, is related to how much you play, and how hard you press down the strings. There is not much you can do about this, it is simply a consequence of use.

Having the fingerboard checked yearly, is a good way to keep on top of things. It probably won't need attention every year, but any issues can be addressed, before they become major ones.

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When young I replaced the fingerboard on my violin myself with one from a donor violin. Not a big or difficult job but I can not say the result was 100% pretty. Though, it was usable. During my working life I had fingerboards replaced maybe 4 times with the work being done by pros. I can not be sure, but a pro should need aproximately 4 hours total- just a guess. That is not considering the time the glue will need to dry, usually overnight (?). The best wood for the fingerboard is some species ( variey ) of ebony. It is very black and glass like when polished. If perspiration is an issue then African Blackwood is also deep black and has better moisture resistance. It's what clarinets are ( were ? ) made from. However, it is not as "glass like" as the proper kind of ebony. As a child, some factory violins had fingerboards made from some form of bakelite - same material as the OLD phones. They were excellent

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