Fretboard wood - what to do, what to do?

I am close to finishing my latest build, but need to do my fretboard still. I have a lovely piece of bocote (middle), a really interesting strip of zebrawood (right), and I though about using poplar to tone with the label on the box. Neck is black walnut.

I like the poplar most, from the color-theory perspective - but the zebrawood is amazing too.

(also, too: I'm seriously flirting with trying a bound fretboard on this one - trying to talk myself out of it, but I want to try one soooo baaaaadd....)

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Comment by Sean Murphy on Friday

I did go with the zebra wood; it was challenging in a lot of ways but when I got my stubborn on, I was able to sand it down and get it to behave. I found the key was working with the finer grit sandpaper. 

The only thing I learned on completion was that after it was all done and I hit it with several coats of tung oil, the zebra wood darkened up quite a bit and is blending with the black walnut. It's still pretty, but there isn't as much contrast between the neck and fretboard as I was hoping for...

Still, a very educational process!

Comment by Blues Frog on Friday

I have made a git with a zebrawood fretboard. It came out great. I used maple for the neck but I bet it would work great with the mahogany neck.

Comment by Art Prior on Thursday

I prefer the lighter color (poplar) on the darker neck but that's just the opinion of an old upholsterer. Art

Comment by Taffy Evans on August 2, 2019 at 5:19pm

Hi Sean, I say Zebra wood for two reasons, visual appeal and 'cos it's properties are close to that of Indian rosewood, a timber sold for fingerboards. But as Pick says the popular would be easier to work. What's that saying? "Suck it and see", prepare two boards use the other on another build later.


Comment by the anonymous pick on August 1, 2019 at 1:20pm

I vote zebra ,  but popular  would be easier , and  still open to color  / stain  choices . 

scratch that .. flip a coin ;-)

Comment by Paul Craig on August 1, 2019 at 1:06pm

I think the Zebrawood would look awesome on to of the Walnut neck. I've done a lot of necks and fretboards, but haven't tackled a bound fretboard before. I love the way they look. It's a whole lot more work. Good luck to you and I will be following along.

Comment by Sean Murphy on July 31, 2019 at 6:42pm

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