View Full Version : Repairing the fretboard

07-22-2014, 07:16 PM
Hello, how should I repair this?

The instrument is a Superuke by the Manhattan band Co. (1921 - 1932)

Pls see attached photo. The fretboard is coming off slightly, between frets 4 and 5. But this could be reglued easily.
What sort of wood did they use (in the fretboard) in those days?
It is unfortunately lacquered. It is very brittle by now, both "with" and perpendicular to the fibers. It has also shrunk somewhat so the fretboard might be some 0,5 mm of less width then the neck it is attached to.
I am considering just replacing the broken piece that is off.69279


07-22-2014, 10:53 PM
Personally, I would consider making a whole new fretboard,or
if you don't have the ability or confidence for that,asking a
luthier to make one for you. Plenty of good people on this
and other uke forums who would be glad to help out!

07-23-2014, 12:51 AM
May get more replies in the Luthier's Lounge. Looks like ebony. Just get a new fretboard if you have the skillset to clean the neck and re-glue it. Lots of options. The rest of that fret board looks like it isn't far behind the part that came off: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ukulele+fretboard+replacement

07-23-2014, 02:34 AM
I read somewhere that a lot of instrument makers in those days used dyed pearwood for the fingerboard veneers and headstock overlays. There's a guy who restores old banjos. His site is http://www.savethebanjos.com/, and there is a posting on there where he mentions that and shows what he did to fix that same issue on one of his banjos.


Pukulele Pete
07-23-2014, 03:08 AM
I would try to leave it as original as possible . I would only replace the missing part .

Pukulele Pete
07-23-2014, 03:11 AM
I would leave the Uke as original as possible . I would only replace the missing part .

07-23-2014, 05:39 AM
Thanks for your responses and suggestions guys. I think I will try to contact some local luthier. Concerning the suggestion pearwood, I've been having it in my mind too.
The matter is that the fretboard might be attached with hide glue that is coming loose after some 80 - 90 years (crappy quality back in those days ;) ). I.e., if I change a part of the fretboard I might find myself in the situation of having to change the other part in some year.(?)

07-23-2014, 07:02 AM
Give SVEN a shout, he is a member on here and in your own country!
he is also a respected luthier and builder of stringed things!