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Thread: Staining fretboard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    416

    Default Staining fretboard

    One of the things that stops me from buying a new Kala uke is the walnut fretboard. It is lighter in color, and pale compared to the rosewood fretboards and makes me feel it is cheapy and out of place. I believe Kala used to make rosewood fretboards but have since changed to walnut.

    Is staining the fretboard going to change anything about the sound? My impression is no, that it would be fine. Has anyone stained their purchased fretboard(s)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Staining the fretboard will not hurt anything. The only issue could be if the fretboard has been oiled, it may be difficult to get it to accept the stain evenly.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I have never tried this, so I will mention it without either endorsing or recommending it. I have seen reference to guitarists applying dark brown boot polish (NOT leather dye) to darken pale Rosewood and Pau Ferro fret boards. It will, of course, only be effective on the lighter parts of the grain pattern. If you do try it, do it sparingly and evenly until you achieve the required (or any significant) colour change. It seems unlikely that something that preserves and colours leather will have a detrimental effect on wood. Do NOT try this on light coloured, coarse-grained woods, as ugly blotching is likely. Letting it dry and buffing between several sessions may help. If you decide to give it a go please post back with the results, as this is now a common complaint due to the scarcity of old world Rosewoods.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    WPB, FL
    Posts
    223

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bazuku View Post
    I have never tried this, so I will mention it without either endorsing or recommending it. I have seen reference to guitarists applying dark brown boot polish (NOT leather dye) to darken pale Rosewood and Pau Ferro fret boards. It will, of course, only be effective on the lighter parts of the grain pattern. If you do try it, do it sparingly and evenly until you achieve the required (or any significant) colour change. It seems unlikely that something that preserves and colours leather will have a detrimental effect on wood. Do NOT try this on light coloured, coarse-grained woods, as ugly blotching is likely. Letting it dry and buffing between several sessions may help. If you decide to give it a go please post back with the results, as this is now a common complaint due to the scarcity of old world Rosewoods.
    Yes, if the OP does try this method please do post back with pictures of the results. I would be very interested to see how it turns out.
    Ukuleles:
    1960's Martin Style-0
    LoPrinzi Concert (Redwood & Mahogany)
    Fred Shields Style-0 Replica
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Ohana SK-25S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T << Letting this one go soon. PM if interested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Rochester, Kent UK
    Posts
    173

    Default

    I have used a black spirit stain on a light Bridge before, not sure if I still have the before and after photos but I remember it worked really well and I was very pleased with the results. The spirit stain initially covered the white screw covers (as shown) but this rubbed off the covers.

    P1090246 2.jpg
    IMG_0123 2.jpg
    Last edited by JesterBlod; 08-08-2019 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Photos added
    Ziegenspeck, Howlett, Mulcock, Pereira, Kiwaya, Morgan, Hamano, Blackbird, Cigar Box, Enya, Fluke, Shima.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    416

    Default

    thanks for your input all. I haven't decided what to do yet. Probably will just get a model with better wood. Am sure there is nothing with walnut, but here is a link to previous discussion about the wood as afretboard... https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...nut-fretboards

    As for looks, I'll most likely just pay more and get the rosewood or ebony.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Yes
    Posts
    318

    Default

    I like the CITES inspired new diversity of fretboard choices. Kanile'a is using walnut on their new oha line and it really works.

    Kanile'a can certainly pimp out a uke (not a criticism) with the best and it’s nice to see they can do a great job on a new creation with a different feel.

    Looking forward to enjoying more new looks.

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