1. #1

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    What is the best way to store ebony fingerboards?
    Warm room?
    Garage (cold in winter--summer a bit warmer)
    Keep the F/B's on top of each other?
    Put each F/B on slats so air can circulate?

    Advice most welcome. Many thanks.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I don't think it matters a whole lot. The most important thing is to have something flat underneath. Don't put them on something higher at the ends than in the middle, like a board or something at each end and nothing else. You can use multiple items underneath if you want air circulation as long as there isn't a huge space between. I have one that's been around for almost 20 years, and it still looks fine. It has been in my garage, with no environmental controls at all, year around.

  4. #3

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    The tried and true method to store ebony FB blanks was to dip the ends in wax (candle wax, paraffin). This slowed down the changes to the ends of the blank based on changing ambient conditions.

    This is remarkably effective in stopping checks from forming at the blank ends.

    The first blanks I bought in the 70’s were stored this way in a VERY NOT climate controlled building filled with racks of great wood at the long-since-burned-down Gurian Guitars location in Hinsdale NH.

    The blanks were fine and I had finally used them up by maybe 1983 or so.

    But the end-sealing tradition would do little to no added good if you store them in a reasonably climate-controlled location.

    Ebony reacts VERY much to changes in moisture. Far more so that rosewood, maple, and most other guitar woods.

    The one and only ebony blank I have at the moment is just stored loose in a box in a room that I keep humidified in the dry winter. It has languished for maybe 8 to 10 years while I fail to finish the “crossover“ (so narrower neck and radiused FB) nylon string I have been half-building for almost a decade. The blank is maybe the last of the super-black pieces I will ever get, and it is doing just fine.

    I suggest not trying to clamp the blank into some sort of submissive flat pose. Just keep it at as close to a constant humidity as is practical. But if that includes a notable seasonal change in moisture, then consider sealing the end grain. That will not stop the effects of the seasonal changes, but it will slow down the effect at the ends of the blank, Where most checks (cracks) form. Sealing the end grain can this be very effective at thwarting checks in the end of the blank.

  5. #4

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    To try to clarify:

    When an ebony blank dries out due to changing ambient conditions, the ends dry FAR faster than the middle of the blank.

    So the ends shrink like crazy while the middle stays wetter and fatter. This causes cracks in the ends of the blank.

    If you slow down the drying at the ends, then the whole blank shrinks in some coordinated way and you get no checks (cracks).

    This is why traditional storage of ebony blanks included dipping the ends in wax (paraffin). It works.

  6. #5

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    I just have mine all clamped together in batches of about 10 boards.

  7. #6

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    I use this stuff. Anchorseal - Anchorseal 2 Green Wood Sealer, Quart

    Easy to apply you don't need to heat wax.

    Works good on logs so it should work well on the ends of small boards.

  8. #7
    Thanks for all your replies--most informative.

  9. #8

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    I buy that stuff by the gallon!