Jatoba/Brazilian Cherry for fingerboards?

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Steve Sawyer
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Jatoba/Brazilian Cherry for fingerboards?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

I was kicking the tires on some exotics when I was in Woodcraft the other day, and was looking at some quarter-sawn brazilian cherry (jatoba). I'd never seen this close-up and quarter-sawn, but it seems this could be an interesting material choice for a fretboard. Hard, dense, very straight grain. The fact sheet at the HobbitHouse site does not indicate any toxicity, but cites some tool blunting and a bit of trouble working due to interlocked grain, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Anyone had any experience with it for this application?

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Bryan Bear
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Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Jatoba/Brazilian Cherry for fingerboards?

Post by Bryan Bear »

I have made one guitar and one mandolin with jatoba for the fretboard and am (slowly) working on another guitar that will have it. It works well for this application. At least the stock I have works well; I don't know how variable it is so get more opinions. . .

I actually really like it for fretboards because I like to use a handplane to do the compound radius and I have found it to plane very nicely. If you have stock that has a ton of interlocked grain, that may be a different story. But for me, I have found it hard and tough enough to plane through trouble spots without it breaking out. Keep you tools sharp. . .

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Bob Francis
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Jatoba/Brazilian Cherry for fingerboards?

Post by Bob Francis »

It works well in my limited experience.
Some people are reported to have reactions to it.

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