What material is this fretboard?

lawrev

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I am in the process of purchasing a NOS 2013 or 2014 Les Paul. It is not a Standard, most likely a Studio. It has a special paint job which is why I am not showing it quite yet (until I take delivery next week). But it is a Les Paul with a maple cap.

The only thing I do not particularly like is the light fretboard. I'm assuming it is a baked maple or some other material, but not rosewood or ebony. Based on this picture, what material do you think it is? I also want to darken it after I get it home.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
LP Neck.jpg
 

Phil W

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Darkening it will be tricky ...
It'll be sealed (right?) therefore dye resistant unless you sand off the sealant which means a re-fret (right?) and if you darken it then any finger wear will stand out like a car headlight in a dark forest!
If you want a darker fingerboard then get a different guitar; there are gazillions out there ...
 

lawrev

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Thanks for your posts. I've done some further research and see a number of threads addressing the darkening of maple fretboards.
 

Dogbreath

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It really doesn’t look baked. This is the reason we need to see pictures of the rest on the guitar.
 

lawrev

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I can tell you that the fretboard has never been conditioned because the business where it is at insisted that the fretboard doesn't need conditioning if it isn't played (it has never been played). But now the owner admits that it should have been conditioned over the past 7 - 8 years. Maybe that is why it is so light.

I am picking it up this coming Wednesday.

Once the deal is done I will post a picture here showing the entire guitar with no conditioning - then an after photo (I have a bottle of Creamtone's Board Oil). The guitar needs a lot of attention given that it has been sitting with the original strings all this time.
 

mudface

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I can tell you that the fretboard has never been conditioned because the business where it is at insisted that the fretboard doesn't need conditioning if it isn't played (it has never been played). But now the owner admits that it should have been conditioned over the past 7 - 8 years. Maybe that is why it is so light.

I am picking it up this coming Wednesday.

Once the deal is done I will post a picture here showing the entire guitar with no conditioning - then an after photo (I have a bottle of Creamtone's Board Oil). The guitar needs a lot of attention given that it has been sitting with the original strings all this time.
It could be lacquer coated,... then there would be no reason to treat it.
 

Tim Plains

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Try Fret Doctor. I've darkened many boards with it including lighter than yours. Let it soak in for the first application, over 45 minutes, but then just a quick on/off after that once every 12 months if needed. I've been doing this for well over a decade, never had an issue.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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Some special series of Studio's were made over the years and some had peculiar combinations
of materials and special colors. This might be one of them.
 

grumphh

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I simply don't get the idea of buying a guitar that you think is so ugly that you actually have planned to recolor it (or parts of it), even before purchasing the guitar.

Jeez, just buy a gutiar you like the looks of - it's not like there are not literal MILLIONS to chose from out there...
 

lawrev

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I simply don't get the idea of buying a guitar that you think is so ugly that you actually have planned to recolor it (or parts of it), even before purchasing the guitar.

Jeez, just buy a gutiar you like the looks of - it's not like there are not literal MILLIONS to chose from out there...
I never said the guitar was ugly. Quite the contrary...the paint job is one of a kind and quite good - done by an artist painted onto the guitar. It has stock Gibson parts otherwise (tuners, pickups, bridge etc) but it is the paint job that makes it special. Can't wait to show the Forum!
 

grumphh

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I never said the guitar was ugly. Quite the contrary...the paint job is one of a kind and quite good - done by an artist painted onto the guitar. It has stock Gibson parts otherwise (tuners, pickups, bridge etc) but it is the paint job that makes it special. Can't wait to show the Forum!
Yes, i understood that you otherwise loved the guitar, but you dislike the neck colour so much that you are already asking how to recolour it.
That was the part i wondered about.

All i can say is that personally i thoroughly dislike light wood necks on Gibsons (I like Fenders to be maple though...), so much that i would never entertain the thought of buying one with a light maple/grenadillo/whathaveyou hue, no matter what.

That is why i fail to understand why you wish to buy it with that neck - but of course, if it is a one-off it makes sense :)
 

lawrev

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Yes, i understood that you otherwise loved the guitar, but you dislike the neck colour so much that you are already asking how to recolour it.
That was the part i wondered about.

All i can say is that personally i thoroughly dislike light wood necks on Gibsons (I like Fenders to be maple though...), so much that i would never entertain the thought of buying one with a light maple/grenadillo/whathaveyou hue, no matter what.

That is why i fail to understand why you wish to buy it with that neck - but of course, if it is a one-off it makes sense :)
I don't like light Gibson boards either. To give a visual, the rest of the guitar has shades of blue and yellow.......
 

moreles

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I agree with those who find that fretboard to be ugly, not just bercause it's light, but because the color works badly with the inlays and is visually unappealing. I like maple fretboards just fine -- and in the pics, that looks exactly like maple, though of course other woods can look like that, too -- but that's not attractive. If it's maple, I don't know a staining or dyeing hack that will make it permanently dark in an attractive way. I've "ebonized" holly with india ink, but not for high-wear parts like a board. If the paint job is amazing, it may be that the light board goes well with the body, in which case there's no problem. Since you won't shgae the body image, it's hard to say more. For some paint jobs, staining the FB a color could work.
 

lawrev

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Once I get the guitar in hand I'll share the full photo before I condition the board. :) It may cause a variety of opinions on the fretboard conditioning issue. And that reminds me of another issue I need to speak with the current owner of - what paints were used so I can determine what body cleaner I may use (if any?). I may only be able to use water in the coming years.
 
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rogue3

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Darkening it will be tricky ...
It'll be sealed (right?) therefore dye resistant unless you sand off the sealant which means a re-fret (right?) and if you darken it then any finger wear will stand out like a car headlight in a dark forest!
If you want a darker fingerboard then get a different guitar; there are gazillions out there ...
I would have to agree with this.

op:Enjoy as is...experiments have a risk of going not so well.If you accept the risk,as phil has pointed out one,then fine.This board should be real hard.Though i don't own one,i'll bet the tone is nice and crisp,not unlike my maple board Telecasters,pickups notwithstanding.But in the end,owners choice.I've certainly done a couple experiments i wished now in hindsight,i had never embarked on.:rolleyes:
 


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