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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:28 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:32 am
Posts: 2
First name: DeWayne
Last Name: Hayes
City: Jonesboro
State: Arkansas
Zip/Postal Code: 72401
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Hi all, first post here for me. Thanks for any thoughts you might be able to provide on this one ...

I have a recent (2018) Japanese-made Epiphone Casino that is part of a limited edition made only for sale in the Japanese market. It's basically an "Elitist" Casino, but with nitrocellulose finish instead of Epiphone's usual poly finish, vintage style tuners, etc. Marketed as a "1965 Ltd." version. Beautiful and a pleasure to play. I actually bought two of these guitars - one with a Bigsby tremolo, like the one George Harrison used, and one with the standard trapeze tail piece, like John Lennon's.

The only issue I've been having with either guitar is that the fretboard inlays (trapezoid pearloid) become noticeable to the touch at the edges. At first, I assumed this was an issue with the rosewood drying or swelling and causing a sinking or raising of the inlays - and I remedied it by using 800, then 1000 grit paper and a small sanding block to go over the fretboard, which made everything perfect - you couldn't detect an edge with your finger anywhere. But the problem has since come back.

Upon closer inspection with a jeweler's loupe, I've determined the problem isn't the wood or the inlay, but rather the material filling the gaps around the inlay - a brown filler of some sort. It's somewhat rubbery and it bulges up slightly, so when your finger passes it, it's noticeable.

Obviously, I can level the board again with paper, but I anticipate the problem will return. Has anyone encountered a filler like this that seems to grow? And if so, any ideas on a permanent solution?

Thanks much,
DeWayne


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:53 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 10382
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
City: Tecumseh and Ann Arbor
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
What's going to make the filler compress and get proud (sticking above the level set of the inlay and fret board) is the surrounding wood contacting pinching the filler since the inlay won't move either. With this said I suspect that the issue will lesson in time, five years or so depending on how seasoned the fret board is or was at manufacture.

Prior to that if it's bothersome enough what you're already done with sanding blocks will work as it already has for you. You can scrape things level quickly with a single edge razor if you're careful and learn to use the blade without chattering. Follow up with OOOO steel wool to blend it all in.

I don't see a proper answer for you beyond replacing all the inlays with new ones that have been carefully cut and fit so that no filler is required. That would be a big job and the economics would not be there and you still have the possibility that the fret board material is moving and not seasoned.

It's been my experience on a near daily basis that these issues that result from the use of unseasoned wood moving with the seasonal RH swings is that they diminish and eventually go away. Problem is that sometimes it takes long enough that we are all dead. :). Let's hope that's not the case here I'd rather be writing tunes than decomposing.

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Ann Arbor Guitars
World-Class Repair and Restoration
http://www.annarborguitars.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:17 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:32 am
Posts: 2
First name: DeWayne
Last Name: Hayes
City: Jonesboro
State: Arkansas
Zip/Postal Code: 72401
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Very logical - thanks, that makes sense. "Immature" wood might very well be the culprit.

Best,
DeWayne


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