In praise of katalox..

LtDave32

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No pictures of the mosrite neck?

Called my buddy Neff. He wasn't worried about his neck, he just reminded me that it too has a katalox fretboard, but this one is bound and dyed:

20200517_183241.jpg


20200610_155911.jpg


I'm making him a replacement neck for his vintage Mosrite, but doing away with the huge volute in the back and the zero fret.

As you can see, katalox dyes up nice and uniformly.
 

moreles

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I've never played a katalox fretboard, but it appears as though the surface on yours is really smooth and inviting. My own preference is for plain, solid-color boards with minimal pores and grain. They feel goodand stay cleaner than surfaces with pores and more evident grain. I do find that there can be a tonal effect depending on the wood, the neck itself, etc., but only rarely does this make much of a difference, IMO. Yiur fretboard really looks great, and some of that is the material but some of it is your workmanship.
 

LtDave32

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I've never played a katalox fretboard, but it appears as though the surface on yours is really smooth and inviting. My own preference is for plain, solid-color boards with minimal pores and grain. They feel goodand stay cleaner than surfaces with pores and more evident grain. I do find that there can be a tonal effect depending on the wood, the neck itself, etc., but only rarely does this make much of a difference, IMO. Yiur fretboard really looks great, and some of that is the material but some of it is your workmanship.
Well, thank you.

I will say that if you like minimal pores in your fret board, then Katalox is right up your alley.

Here's a pic of the wood as they show in Google Images:
wood-katalox.jpg


Typical fret board piece.

As you can see, very little in the way of open pores here.
 

LtDave32

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Did some editing, obviously.

This thread was supposed to be about katalox as a choice of fret board wood.

So could we keep it about that please?
 

OldBenKenobi

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Looks a lot more appealing than Pau Ferro to my eye, and that dyed fretboard is gorgeous!
 

LtDave32

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I love katalox, even used it for a few full necks. It's definitely a workout though!
Damn! you carved that stuff into a neck?

Holy Toledo. "Workout" is right..
 

KnightroExpress

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Yeah! It's a ton of work, but it feels and looks pretty great once you're through it. It's like carving ebony and purpleheart at the same time.

This one is from a few years back, but I've got a few figured kata neck blanks waiting for projects in storage.
 

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LtDave32

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Yeah! It's a ton of work, but it feels and looks pretty great once you're through it. It's like carving ebony and purpleheart at the same time.

This one is from a few years back, but I've got a few figured kata neck blanks waiting for projects in storage.
Nice!
 

pullshocks

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Thanks for posting this. I bought a Katalox blank at the GAL conference a few years ago, but it has a purplish hue that is going to need the right combination of other woods
 

lpfan1980

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Guys, I'm in love with this stuff for a fretboard wood.

Here's a katalox fret board on an American black walnut neck I'm making. I just got done sanding in the radius and installing MOP dots.

View attachment 468910

View attachment 468911

Here's some other pics in better light:

View attachment 468914

View attachment 468915




This stuff is as hard as Ebony, in fact they call it "Mexican ebony" in some circles.

It's as plentiful as the day is long. And it's extremely affordable. Typically $12-13 or so from LMI. This is an LMI blank.

It has a beautiful grain to it, which I brought out by sanding it to 320, then running 0000 steel wool over it.

I think it came out spectacular. And so affordable. It's going to be my new "go to" fret board wood unless the customer specifies something particular.

Being as I'm taking pictures at night, on a towel in the bedroom, the pics simply do not do it justice. In the daylight it is bright and colorful, with a beautiful satin sheen to it.

this wood.. Why is hardly anybody using it? What the heck, boys (and girls)?
Guys, I'm in love with this stuff for a fretboard wood.

Here's a katalox fret board on an American black walnut neck I'm making. I just got done sanding in the radius and installing MOP dots.

View attachment 468910

View attachment 468911

Here's some other pics in better light:

View attachment 468914

View attachment 468915




This stuff is as hard as Ebony, in fact they call it "Mexican ebony" in some circles.

It's as plentiful as the day is long. And it's extremely affordable. Typically $12-13 or so from LMI. This is an LMI blank.

It has a beautiful grain to it, which I brought out by sanding it to 320, then running 0000 steel wool over it.

I think it came out spectacular. And so affordable. It's going to be my new "go to" fret board wood unless the customer specifies something particular.

Being as I'm taking pictures at night, on a towel in the bedroom, the pics simply do not do it justice. In the daylight it is bright and colorful, with a beautiful satin sheen to it.

this wood.. Why is hardly anybody using it? What the heck, boys (and girls)?
Gorgeous :D :D :D
 

tnt423

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Agree that it's a nice alternative, trouble is if we make it popular the price goes up and availability will go down. In the mean time I just keep working it. Just finished slotting and radius on this one.
Fretboard ii.jpg

That's sanded to 320 and steel wooled, no oil.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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Agree that it's a nice alternative, trouble is if we make it popular the price goes up and availability will go down. In the mean time I just keep working it. Just finished slotting and radius on this one. View attachment 469398
That's sanded to 320 and steel wooled, no oil.
that's an interesting build....do you have a thread somewhere. very nice looking fb. i'm gonna have to try that soon.
 

LtDave32

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Agree that it's a nice alternative, trouble is if we make it popular the price goes up and availability will go down. In the mean time I just keep working it. Just finished slotting and radius on this one. View attachment 469398
That's sanded to 320 and steel wooled, no oil.
Love that, man!

Open headstock. Trick!! I'd love to see how those side-mounted tuners turn out..

Yep! 320 and 0000 steel wool. Beautiful.
 

LtDave32

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Love that, man!

Open headstock. Trick!!

Yep! 320 and 0000 steel wool. Beautiful.
I'd like you to post up a pic of that neck when done..
 

endial

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A lot of discussion of how it works (tooling and sanding), but how well does it glue up? Do you give it an acetone wipe before gluing?
 

LtDave32

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A lot of discussion of how it works (tooling and sanding), but how well does it glue up? Do you give it an acetone wipe before gluing?
Yessir, I do.


Some "say" it's oily. But I have never had a problem, ever. Just a wipe-down on the backside of the board, one more on the neck surface, and glue it up.

I will say that if one uses the pin-locator method of indexing the board so it won't move, you're likely to drive that nail down in the neck wood if you index the board by giving it a good smack over the nail.

Probably best to use @FreddyG 's method of CA gluing some stops around the board when the board is where you want it, So you can simply apply glue to the neck surface and drop the board between the stops.

Or, you can make a mark on the underside of the board by giving it a smack on the pins, then carefully drilling a small hole for the pin where the mark is.

But that board is harder than mahogany or maple, and will act like a hammer to the nail when you smack it.

Drive that nail too far in, and it just might show up again when you're carving the neck.. oops..
 

tnt423

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that's an interesting build....do you have a thread somewhere. very nice looking fb. i'm gonna have to try that soon.
Not yet, wil lpost when done.
A lot of discussion of how it works (tooling and sanding), but how well does it glue up? Do you give it an acetone wipe before gluing?
I haven't had any trouble glueing it. Just make sure I have a good surface and use titebond.

Thanks for the kind words.
 


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