Summer Uke Build #14: Fingerboard Blank

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by onoitsmatt posted 01-11-2017 12:01 AM 1417 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Neck Scarf Joint Part 14 of Summer Uke Build series Part 15: Fingerboard and Fret Slotting Miter Box »

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a fingerboard blank. I have been reading up on woods that are appropriate for the purpose and only very hard woods will work. Ebony is most common with rosewood and maple being suitable substitutes. I didn’t want to spend any money on the fingerboard primarily because Mesquite is hard enough (harder than rosewood and maple) and is a very good alternative for me here in Arizona. I see it in heaps around town with some regularity.

Yesterday I went to a place to get some firewood and bought a wheelbarrow full of mesquite. I picked this log as it isn’t twisted as most mesquite twists as it grows, making good, straight-grained mesquite somewhat difficult to find.

I planed/chiseled to get a flat surface to run this through the band saw. Then sliced off a few fingerboard blanks that are the right size for a uke.

The top one has a knot in it that looks like it is going to be too intrusive. The middle one looks the best but is about 1/16th too narrow to use. So will go with the bottom one which has some traces of the knot from the top board, but I believe I can plane/sand down past the remnants of that and still have enough material to use for the fingerboard.

I’ve planed the edges and sides a bit on these just to get a good look at them. All have minor flaws, but the bottom one will be good enough for the fingerboard and the others have enough clean material to use as bridge blanks for the uke and probably good for guitar bridges as well.

That’s all I’ve got for today.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

2 comments so far

View Praki's profile


203 posts in 4807 days

#1 posted 01-11-2017 03:06 PM

Wow! I wish I could get my hands on some that firewood!

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View onoitsmatt's profile


446 posts in 1986 days

#2 posted 01-12-2017 03:43 AM

Ha yeah. Most of this wood had termites. I’ll be burning it (very soon). But this one looked good and I’ve seen no sign of them in any of the cuts. But I’ll be grabbing any of it I see around town from now on. This stuff is hard as nails and very nice looking.

For anyone interested. This mesquite works similar to Jatoba. Similar hardness and grain.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics