Repairing a cracked fingerboard

Before I get to the meat of this blog post, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has patronized my brand new guitar repair shop over the past few months. Meeting all of you has been a real pleasure, and I’m honored and humbled that you’ve trusted your guitars to my care. Your recommendations, online reviews, and endorsements have helped spread the word far better than I could myself, and I’m extremely grateful. In fact, I’m far busier much earlier than I ever imagined – so much so that I’ve already grown out of my modest home workshop! I’m going to be closing the shop next week to hunt for a new work (and possibly living) space. Ideally I’m looking for a live/work space, but an independent office, warehouse, or workshop would be acceptable. If you’re aware of a small space (about 500-1000 square feet) that’s available, please give me a call or send me an email. Thanks!

And without further ado, today’s blog post, which is somewhat tangental to my disappearing act next week: repairing a cracked fingerboard:

Minor cracks like this often open up in fingerboards that have been allowed to dry out too much. This is why you should occasionally treat your fingerboard with an appropriate oil (my favorite is Music Nomad’s F-One Oil or StewMac’s ColorTone Fretboard Finishing Oil). Note that this only applies to unfinished fretboards, usually rosewood, ebony, and other dark woods, and not to be used on maple boards. Perhaps once or twice a year is all you need to maintain a proper moisture level – don’t over do it!

Since I was refretting this guitar anyway, I opted to fix the cracked fingerboard at no extra charge. It was pretty simple – it only took about 5 minutes, and I think it came out looking pretty nice:

Poof! The crack is gone! Now, typically a magician isn’t supposed to divulge their secrets, but in my ongoing effort to demystify (and by proxy, legitimize) guitar tech work, I’m going to tell anyway. The secret: black superglue, mixed with ebony dust. Simply fill it in and sand it smooth. That’s it!

That’s all for me for a week. With any luck, I’ll be posting the next blog from a new location. Stay tuned!

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