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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:08 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:54 pm
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First name: Bob
Last Name: McDonald
City: Petaluma
State: CA
Country: USA
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Has anyone routed fret slots in engineered fingerboards (resin injected)? I'm referring to Blackwood (http://www.blackwoodtek.com/) or possibly Rocklite (http://www.rocklite.co.uk/). I'm supposed to make a prototype neck with a Blackwood fingerboard and thought to see if anyone had experience with this type of material. I'm wondering if it would have a tendency to clog and break the .025" bits I use to do slots.

I work for a company that does international shipping and with the new CITES regulation on rosewoods, alternatives are being explored. I do all the prototyping before the designs are sent to various factories for production and have been routing fret slots for the past few years.

This is a rather specific and possibly unusual question, but thought I'd put it out there. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Cocobolo
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I've cut slots in Garolite with no problems. I'm not brave enough to take a really deep cut in the phenolic material with a tiny bit, but so far anyway I haven't broken any of the little mills. On Garolite, I take about 4 passes. Probably overkill. Garolite isn't quite the same thing, but it's at least similar.

Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Thanks for the response Dave. I've just learned that Blackwood is composed of Monterey Pine with some kind of resin. So the real question is how does the resin react to routing with small bits. Cuts clean or melts? With larger cutters it is supposed to cut clean, so I'm hoping that's the case with the fret slots. I'm thinking I'll actually try cutting slots sometime next week and will post the results.

I had talked once with Ron Reed at Precise Bits about cutting fret slots in phenolic. He recommended using his shell cutting routers instead of his standard fret bits. That project wound up not happening, so no personal experience with phenolic.

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:30 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:48 pm
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First name: Sean
Last Name: Thomas
City: San Rafael
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94903
Country: USA
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Status: Amateur
motivated as per your question, Slotted and fretted some 'paperstone' from Washington vendor tonight. I've been using this for nuts and saddles alongside corian as a black option for a while now. I guess it's offered as fretboard alternative now? Not my thing, but:

.080 deep slot with lmii .026 blade
#148 stewmac frets arbor pressed
Clean cut in and out
Fret Press is secure no play or issue
If glued I would epoxy
Removed and even refretted same fret

We've been cutting this in the cabinet shop (for countertops) with no issues, no special blades or bits. Carbides on the table saw and router and festool domino as well....

ImageImageImageImage


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:43 am 
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Koa
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City: Escondido
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Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
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Status: Semi-pro
I have to ask, where are people getting this stuff without paying stupid amounts? I can't buy a $600 counter-top to experiment with this, and I refuse to pay Blackwood to sell me a fingerboard sized off-cut for about what I would pay for a board of EIR that I could mill two or three boards from.

They all say they come in 1/4" thicknesses. But no counter top I know of is that thin. Is there somewhere I could just buy a 1/4 piece that is three or four feet long and a couple wide?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:16 am 
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Walnut
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First name: Sean
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City: San Rafael
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...


Last edited by Folktown Instruments on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:17 am 
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Walnut
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First name: Sean
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City: San Rafael
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Status: Amateur
Folktown Instruments wrote:
rlrhett wrote:
I have to ask, where are people getting this stuff without paying stupid amounts? I can't buy a $600 counter-top to experiment with this, and I refuse to pay Blackwood to sell me a fingerboard sized off-cut for about what I would pay for a board of EIR that I could mill two or three boards from.

They all say they come in 1/4" thicknesses. But no counter top I know of is that thin. Is there somewhere I could just buy a 1/4 piece that is three or four feet long and a couple wide?





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:20 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:48 pm
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First name: Sean
Last Name: Thomas
City: San Rafael
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94903
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Folktown Instruments wrote:
Folktown Instruments wrote:
rlrhett wrote:
I have to ask, where are people getting this stuff without paying stupid amounts? I can't buy a $600 counter-top to experiment with this, and I refuse to pay Blackwood to sell me a fingerboard sized off-cut for about what I would pay for a board of EIR that I could mill two or three boards from.

They all say they come in 1/4" thicknesses. But no counter top I know of is that thin. Is there somewhere I could just buy a 1/4 piece that is three or four feet long and a couple wide?





Hey , great question/statement. I don't buy this stuff, I build primarily with waste/scrap/cutoffs from cabinet building. That said, I was never privy to the cost... happy to send you some to experiment with for postage cost, as I have plenty. Just let me know what dimensions suit you. I'm new to olf and don't know policies etc... but I'm happy to ship some out and give you my PayPal info if that works for postage reimbursement ...or a friendly trade is allways a nice option. Open offer to anyone really, as long as I have stock of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:06 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:54 pm
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First name: Bob
Last Name: McDonald
City: Petaluma
State: CA
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
The Blackwood I'm using was part of a 4 piece sample they sent. Thickness is 3/8". This is of course, due to the fact that I work for a manufacturer they want to supply in quantity. We are considering using something like this or other alternatives in response to the CITES regulations for international shipping. If you only sell domestically, it's not an issue, as long as you have a supplier of the rosewood you prefer. If you want to experiment with a modified or manufactured type of fingerboard, LMI sells Rocklite, though it's a bit expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if some ebay store eventually starts selling blackwood at a reasonable price. Maybe not yet though...

I worked years for a company that used black phenolic for fingerboards. We used a .025" carbide saw blade to cut fret slots. Definitely need carbide cutters. We placed the dust collection hose right next to the blade to keep it cool. If it gets too hot, it starts to bind in the slot. Pretty tough material and a bit smelly when machining or sanding.

Sean, I looked at the Paperstone website and am a bit intrigued at some of the colors offered. Would you have a small sample of a non black color such as Cabernet, chocolate, mocha, etc...? I have a friend who uses black phenolic for fingerboards and this may be something for him to consider. I noticed you're in San Rafael, I work in Novato, so we're neighbors!

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:48 pm
Posts: 7
First name: Sean
Last Name: Thomas
City: San Rafael
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94903
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
BMac wrote:
The Blackwood I'm using was part of a 4 piece sample they sent. Thickness is 3/8". This is of course, due to the fact that I work for a manufacturer they want to supply in quantity. We are considering using something like this or other alternatives in response to the CITES regulations for international shipping. If you only sell domestically, it's not an issue, as long as you have a supplier of the rosewood you prefer. If you want to experiment with a modified or manufactured type of fingerboard, LMI sells Rocklite, though it's a bit expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if some ebay store eventually starts selling blackwood at a reasonable price. Maybe not yet though...

I worked years for a company that used black phenolic for fingerboards. We used a .025" carbide saw blade to cut fret slots. Definitely need carbide cutters. We placed the dust collection hose right next to the blade to keep it cool. If it gets too hot, it starts to bind in the slot. Pretty tough material and a bit smelly when machining or sanding.

Sean, I looked at the Paperstone website and am a bit intrigued at some of the colors offered. Would you have a small sample of a non black color such as Cabernet, chocolate, mocha, etc...? I have a friend who uses black phenolic for fingerboards and this may be something for him to consider. I noticed you're in San Rafael, I work in Novato, so we're neighbors!

Bob

Hey Neighbor! Sorry, all I have is slate black
-sean


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