Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Filling Fingerboard Divots on Guild Ebony Fingerboard

Now we're getting to the fun stuff on this project.  By 'fun,' I mean the small touches that show some attention to detail.  I like doing these things because they turn an annoying detail into something good.

If you know what I mean.

Here we have some of the dreaded divots-in-the-fingerboard.  (No, that's not a small village in the Cotswolds).  It still amazes me that people with long fingernails can fret a guitar, and it's even more amazing that they will put impressions into a hardwood such as ebony.

But there you have it.  There are four that are noticeable (and annoying...) enough that I'm going to repair them.  There are actually a few smaller ones at the first fret near the inlay, but they are so small I'm not touching them.  And the inlay itself is not dented.  So maybe that means that fingernails can dent ebony but not pearl?

These aren't the worst I've ever seen - that honor goes to my old, pre-war Martin ukulele.

But back to the divot repair.

I use an X-acto knife with a new blade to make a few deep cuts into the fingerboard parallel to the direction of the strings.

Then I pry the loose fibers from the cuts a bit.

Here's what we use for the fill - black CA (super glue), and some ebony sawdust.

You probably see where this is going.

Here are all four of the freshly prepared divots ready to be filled.

You may see some other marks that look like divots.  Those are just dirt marks - I'll clean them up after I level and crown the frets.

The filling is easy - just sprinkle some ebony dust into each fill spot.  I try to pack it down a bit.  The combination of the lifted fibers and the sawdust makes it a solid repair. 

Then drop some CA on each fill.  I used a paint/glue dropper - and it was a little messy.  I would like to use thinner CA, but I'm not sure I can get thin black CA.

Whatever, this will work fine.

After the CA is dry (I let it harden overnight), I'll scrape the fills level and then sand them.


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