View Full Version : Rocklite Ebano

Michael Smith
12-13-2018, 03:18 PM
Has anyone used Rocklite Ebano binding. I would like your experience. I'm looking for an alternative to ebony for the tight bends. I don't want to use plastic though I know you probibly can't tell the diff.

12-13-2018, 09:32 PM
I have used the Rocklite Ebano bindings with pre-attached side purflings. The actual bending was easy, and none of the issues I have experienced with ebony. However I had taped my bindings together purfling edge to purfling edge before lightly spraying with water and wrapping in foil for the bender. The glue used by the supplier softened and ran across the surfaces, gluing the purfled edge of the strips firmly together. I managed to separate most of them with a hairdryer and razor blade, but not 100% successfully - the purfling was damaged in places and I was forced to scrap them. I think I switched to maple instead. To be fair, I have experienced a similar problem with pre-purfled wood bindings, so should really have known better.

The Ebano itself seems to work well, but be warned if using the purfled stuff!

Also worth a search for MikeyB2 comments about Rocklite fretboards.

12-13-2018, 10:07 PM
I too have used Rocklite Ebano but mine was a fingerboard blank. I slotted it and glued it to the neck, but due to my clamping method, I ended up with a couple of gaps where it hadn't glued. I had to heat it up to remove it, but when I did , it all opened up into shreds. As with Paul above, I had to scrap it and at £25 it was an expensive mistake.
I wouldn't use it again for this reason, but, if you have a foolproof way of attaching it to the neck, with no chance of having to remove it, then why not.

12-14-2018, 09:41 AM
I have been looking for a substitute for tropical ebony that I could use when I want a dark/black binding. I forget where I saw the reference, but through the wonder of ebay, I acquired a piece of ‘bog oak’, which is very black. Bog oak is from an oak tree that was buried in a peat bog for some thousands of years (estimate 2000-4000) where the anaerobic conditions prevent decay and the tannin and iron salts in the bog turn the oak black. This is of Russian origin, bought from a fellow in the Ukraine. It is totally black, through and through, does not bleed any black color at all, and bends easily like normal oak. It does have oak's more open pores that you have to fill if you care about such things, but otherwise it is great stuff.

Bog oak binding on ambrosia silver maple with redwood top.

12-14-2018, 10:50 AM
I've used ebano bindings several times. It bends well and consistently. After bending, it's more supple than bent ebony so it is generally easier to avoid gaps between binding and body.

The only issue has been with the version that LMII sells with pre-attached white purfling along the bottom of each strip. It's supposedly maple but the color is very light. The maple purfling strips that SM and LMII sell are noticeably darker. To add additional white purfling, I've had to scrounge around to find similarly colored maple to cut and sand into matching pieces. That's kind of a pain but the solution is simple: just buy the ebano without preattached purfling.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-14-2018, 11:09 AM
It's nice to use.
Don't do what I did and buy a guitar fingerboard and cut it up as the fiber layers are oriented so it seperates-

If you buy "binding", the fibers don't separate (as easy).
Some high end guitar makers have used it for fingerboards and bridges too.

Michael Smith
12-14-2018, 12:10 PM
'Thanks Guys, great info, Bog Oak...I love it.