How to create an electric bass guitar via wood lamination and other various woodcrafting techniques


Step 13: Protoype #2: Your Fretboard is your Friend:

Padauk is an awesome wood. Its tonal properties are a little darker, and it has this incredible reddish orange color. Padauk also has tonal properties that are similar to maple. Lets just say Padauk is under rated when it comes to making basses. Considering I just can't get enough Padauk, I used a piece of it for the fretboard too. Making a fretboard is rather simple, but still not to be rushed. Match your neck dimensions to your neck design from the nut down to 24 inches to a planed piece of hardwood. I would recommend getting a plank that is 1/4 inch in thickness and of course 3 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Using a bandsaw carefully cut out the shape of the fretboard. (remember to leave a little room for errors.) Next use either sandpaper or an orbital sander to clean up the sides. Take your new fretboard and laminate it onto the top of the neck. Make sure you have installed your truss rod into the neck before gluing, and keep watch of the truss rod to make sure that any glue doesn't accidently fasten it into the truss rod cavity. If you use too much glue when gluing on your fretboard and your truss rod gets stuck then i promise you will not be a happy camper.

After clamping down the fretboard and allowing the glue to dry for a couple days, use a radius gauge and sand down the fretboard to a 9.5 radius. To paint a mental picture for you, imagine the fretboard curve to be the portion of a complete circle.
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...i ME GUSTA padauk...very it a tonewood though?