Dyeing a rosewood fingerboard to ebony?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by GuitarFace, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. GuitarFace

    GuitarFace Senior Member

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    Has anyone done this?

    I am thinking about doing a full blackout on my 05 standard. I thought I would check and see if it's an option. If there is a chance that it will ruin it then I will pass. It's not worth it. Option B is to get the board replaced with ebony. But that is 250 and he says he cant be sure the binding will match up. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Why would you do that?
    if you dye it nothing will change sonically. it'll look darker and that's that. Also it might leave a nasty black trace on your fingers as you play.

    if you have it swaped for ebony the tone will be brighter; you might like it or you might hate it. Too risky and too expensive IMO.

    My option: get some Fret Doctor and give that rosewood board a treat. It'll look better, it'll play better and it'll authentic. Plus it'll won't be too expensive.
     
  3. GuitarFace

    GuitarFace Senior Member

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  4. stryker59

    stryker59 Senior Member

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    id leave it alone or go w/ the recommendations above! to much risk to mess with/ it to much!
     
  5. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike60

    Mike60 V.I.P. Member

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    you can dye it or stain it if you wish,but eventually you will be wearing it on your hands...
     
  7. GuitarFace

    GuitarFace Senior Member

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    nice.

    Looks like my kids cat when I shut the door on it's tail. That cat still hates me. I feel the same.
     
  8. taypeng

    taypeng Senior Member

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    I did think of the same thing too but I've never tried it. i'm just oiling the fretboard now and it darkens a little so im pretty satisfied..
     
  9. ArchEtech

    ArchEtech V.I.P. Member

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    clean of the fret board. Use a black water based dye. Go to the Woodsmith store - get premium dye. Ask about wood prep, them may have some tips on preparation.

    I used some black dye on a charvel neck through. The rosewood was way too light, and the grain too open, and just looked terrible on the jet black body. I used water based dye, then top coated it with ebony minway stain (thinned with mineal spirits)

    It looked killer, and I never had any of the dye come off on my fingers. The key is making sure the fret board is really clean. I used a tooth brush and some rubbing alchy to get finger scum, and oils out of it. Then I wiped it down with a damp cloth a few times (don't saturate the wood). Then applied the dye, let it dry for an hour then then stain. I never had any problem with it. It looked great. I don't know that I'd try it with a $3000 guitar, but if you dye it too dark you can wash it out with water before it is dry. Start with a diluted dye so you don't go too dark. You can always add more powder and make it darker. Just take your time, don't make a mess, and start very light until you get a shade you like. Then seal it with a stain.

    I also got a nice piece of scrap wood and practiced before I stained a whole guitar. You might consider that as well.
     
  10. ArchEtech

    ArchEtech V.I.P. Member

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    Not true. I've tried this and never got any on my fingers. Not a smudge. You just have to use diluted dye and stain, and let everything dry.
     
  11. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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    If you want an Ebony fret board, buy a different guitar. Dying it won't change the tone or playability.

    Play your guitar, dye something else.
     
  12. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    Stew Mac sells dye, but it's the same stuff you can pick up at a shoe repair shop, it's leather dye.
    I think they use it to touch up ebony boards, I don't know what it'd look like on a rosewood board.
     
  13. 3dmac

    3dmac Senior Member

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  14. Eddie

    Eddie V.I.P. Member

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    Basically, it will slightly darken the rosewood, but not really alter the color much. I used it after testing it on a rosewood box I have and it worked fine. I have a guitar with a prominent "skunk stripe" down the board and I dyed around the darker stripe to blend it some. Worked really well, but care needs to be taken to keep the dye off the binding harder to clean off there. I carefully applied the dye around the fret markers and binding and rubbed it off with a clean cloth after a few seconds. Mine looks much better now and has not come off on my hands after much playing. From 2 feet away, the skunk stripe is all but invisible.
     
  15. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    Almost all current ebony on production guitars is dyed somewhere. Ebony is getting harder to find in its best looking form.

    You can dye rosewood if you want a full blackout effect for your guitar. Don't listen to anybody about tonality and all that other stuff... It won't change the guitars tone at all, but it will make the fingerboard black, which is what you seem to be after going by your first post.

    Those of you who think it'll come off on your fingers... Does your deck or hardwood flooring ever come off onto your feet? It's STAIN... Not paint. It goes into the grain of the wood, the only way to get it out of there once applied is to sand the wood down past the stained depth.
     
  16. 3dmac

    3dmac Senior Member

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    Just completed dying my project today and it came out great. A little scrapin the nut and markers and all was well. Now to continue spraying the nitro.

    Flame on !
     
  17. bigalthethird

    bigalthethird Senior Member

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    As some dude already said, Fret Doctor is the first thing I do to everything I own, and I keep them oiled regularly. It makes the wood about 400 times prettier, smoother and prettier.
     
  18. ArchEtech

    ArchEtech V.I.P. Member

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    Like I said I've done it myself. Turned out great no problems, and doesn't come off on your fingers - just let it dry and rub it out with a cloth.
     
  19. 3dmac

    3dmac Senior Member

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  20. monami

    monami Senior Member

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    it seems some here have never used this stuff...so why bother "helping."

    anyway i have an epi g400. it seems to be rosewood dyed very dark like ebony? if so i need this stuff after an inlay job and sand down?
     

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