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Composite fretboard

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The BOND guitar was a plastic, electronics laden flop...

It had however a really interesting fretboard. They called it a stepboard I think, as it had little slopes up to where the fret would be, then fell away sharply so as to rise up to the next fret.

What I always liked was the idea of being able to mould the board, radius and frets in one go! Perhaps even the truss rod and carbon fibre for strength.

I've had a little experience in fibreglass and molding (pickup bobbins, etc).

Anyone got any ideas on epoxies etc that could stand the where and tear and not get worn away by the strings??


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I remember playing Bonds, the earlier ones had a plastic type pitch board but I think that suffered with rapid wear. The later ones had an alloy pitch board with better wear charateristics.

As I remember they felt nice to play (but I didnt buy one......so maybe not that good ;-)

They needed phantom power also - pain.

Phil C.

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I think it was more a matter of production.

Apparently they injection moulded the board but it warped when it was taken from the mold. They had to let it cool in the mold which took time and money. Such was the interest that they had to revert to machining them from aluminum, which most of them were.

I thought that they just went too far on a basically good idea. Apparently there are examples of medievil lutes with stepped boards. The electronics were ridiculous. Not enough KIS principle.

I was wondering if epoxies, etc hadn't come further by now in wear resistance. The parker fly is epoxy albeit with SS frets.

Perhaps a type of teflon would have so little string resistance that it wouldn't wear the board or the string at all!

Pete SW

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its actually the resin that gives the carbon fibre its hardness. theoretically with the right resin it could all work out nicely. you can also buy carbon fibre thats been autoclaved, (heated and squashed) that sets really hard with the resin.

a friend of mine's dad owns a carbon fibre manufacturing plant that make all sorts of tools and implements, like bikes and fishing rods. im sure that you could get a rod prepared in the right way to withstand the wear.


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Yep! thats what I thought.

The carbon fibre is for strength but alot of these epoxies are tough and can be mixed with fillers, maybe even stainless steel fillings.

I'd like to know what the experts think, fizzy-E

I've heard that guitar manufactures are using "ebonol"? Any one know what that is - Imitation ebony?

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I wonder why you'd use that for a fretboard. PAPER?

How can I find out more?

Not just paper, phenolic resin impregnated paper. Think of what paper's made from :D. Phenolic fretboards are/were "common." I have an aluminum neck kramer from the 70's with one.

You can try a google search for such terms as ebonol, guitar, fretboard, phenolic and paper.

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I'm 95% sure Steinberger fret-boards are phenolic. Not exactly fun stuff to deal with. I made 2 fret-boards out of the stuff, then even scalloped the suckers. I'm pretty sure it kind of smelled like plastic resin mixed with newspaper when I sanded it. They should use clear resin and keep the newspaper intact, so at least you can read classified ads while fooling around on the guitar. Wife asks " are you looking for a job ?" Yep, sure am.

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phenolic refers to the chemical structure. A ring structure with side chains (like carbon fibre) is refered to as phenolic. Its exactly this ring structure that gives it a huge tensile strength and low weight.

however, on its own, carbon fibre isnt hard, its the resin that does all of that.

you can even increase the shock absorption of carbon fibre (which is normally very low) by interweaving it with something like kevlar. this stops the material shattering.

Ebanol, from what i understand, can be used as a material for guitars (i think universal jems sells ebanol nuts).

it can also be used as a detergent.

rumour is it smells nice :D


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