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Laminate Neck/Fretboard advice

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I am currently building a neck to replace a destroyed neck on my Gretsch G5265 Jet Baritone...

I settled on a laminate:  Black Limba with walnut down the middle

My question is, can I get away without a fretboard? I love the look of it (in my head) and prefer to go without but Im concerned the Black Limba is too soft and wont hold up over time.


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I've not tried fretting into Limba/Korina, however I think Walnut is a little soft. If they are both on the softer side of the spectrum then might well run into issues.

Generally you'd want to use woods that have good fret tang retention. If you're 100% dead set on that combination, there are ways around it but they're kind of like attempting to solve an issue that shouldn't be caused in the first place if you get my meaning.

Firstly, the fret slots may benefit from being cut slightly undersize to increase compression within the slot. This could easily cause other problems, such as inducing a backbow into the neck. The frets can be pressed and glued in place with epoxy or CA, but this can soon become messy business with any spillage or runout.

How are you thinking of finishing the headstock? If yours looks like that heavy sparkle finish, I would be tempted to consider something to tie both parts up thematically.

Keep us in the loop!

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