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Three Frets Forward, Two Frets Back

A couple posts back, you may have gotten the impression that the fretboard was done. Well, nothing, it seems, is ever that easy. When we went to install frets, we discovered the slots were too thin and the frets just wouldn't go in. In the process of trying to recut the slots with the binding in the way, I basically wrecked the board. Sadface.

A Fresh Start

Our restart on the fretboard took us back to Cherokee Wood Products to sift through their excellent collection of hardwoods to see if we could find anything we liked. We weren't necessarily just looking for more wenge, and were pleased as punch to find this really pretty piece of purpleheart. It changes our plans for the final color of the guitar a little, but we couldn't pass it up.

We cut the profile, sanded in the radius and cut the fret slots, but then tried a little different strategy with the order of assembly. We glued it up on the neck before binding.



Then we installed the binding in situ.



The addition of basic pearl dots provided the finishing touch.



To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the purpleheart fretboard. On the one hand, it looks really nice. The purple tint is cool, and the final result is very clean and feels amazing under the fingers. But the grain on that wenge was something else altogether. I feel like we've lost something pretty unique but really difficult to get right while gaining something easier to get right, but not quite as 'special'.


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