Gibson Richlite Fretboards

What is "Richlite"? Basically, it is phenolic resin (think plastic printed circuit board) mixed with paper to keep the heat-cured plastic from breaking. Richlite is nothing more than the affordable countertop material used in kitchens for over 50 years. It's plastic + paper baked together and formed into sheets.

Why would Gibson use Richlite for fretboard material? Because it is cheap and easy to work with. I mean, it is really easy to work with.

Also, having the Feds confiscate all your wood for violation of the law might have had something to do with it as well.

Is it good? I guess people will find out when they try to get their guitars re-fretted. Apparently, that's not really a problem either. I've seen some YT vids of Richlite refrets and it goes really well.

I think this stuff has a place in the industry, especially for budget guitars. Why waste real wood on guitars that will never get played or spend eternity wandering back and forth from Ebay to underneath some kid's bed and over to Craigslist and then under some basement stairs, and so on?

Guitars are the ultimate proletariat instrument. Let the rich have their rosewoods and let the rabble have the Richlite.