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Thread: Fretboard maintenance

  1. #1
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    Fretboard maintenance

    Since I've got the strings off my Tele right now, it's a good time to do some maintenance. The fretboard's looking grubby, so it's going to get a good scrubbing and Old English lemon oil treatment.

    I'd also like to brighten the frets up, and wondered if I taped the fretboard up (so only the frets were exposed), could I use a dremel with it's felt buffing wheel attachment to renew the look of the frets. I've done it by hand, but never with a machine before, and I just want to know it's safe.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  2. #2
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    I guess that would depend on your skill & the attachment--and the pressure you use.
    I have this cloth-like thing I use on my frets--and it buffs them up nicely--won't do a fret job--but it polishes them up nicely--but I don't remember the actual product name--I don't have the packaging--but it may be from Dunlop....

    (And I use lemon Oil--sparingly and not necessarily on every string change--I also have some wipes with the oil in them...)
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    You could use a dremel but I would advise extreme caution there. I'd think they would shine up just fine by hand wiping

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I just found something online that seems to answer my question. For anybody else who wants to know, this is interesting....

    https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...-rock-a-dremel
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  5. #5
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    cool! Maybe that is the way to go after all

  6. #6
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    cool! Maybe that is the way to go after all
    Maybe for Spell--but I don't know that I would trust myself to do it that way...
    Cool stuff though...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    Maybe for Spell--but I don't know that I would trust myself to do it that way...
    Cool stuff though...
    me either......

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I think I'll give this a shot this weekend. Doesn't sound like a big project....Probably masking the fretboard will take more time than the actual polishing. Actually, I don't remember the article mentioning masking the wood - Only being careful not to burn it, so I think the masking will be a good strategy. Also, I'm going to do the masking and polishing first because I suspect the oiled rosewood might not hold the tape as well. This might be a good place to use that green Frog tape that I tried a few years ago. I wasn't that impressed that it was better than the regular green painters tape that I'd normally have been using to mask for painting....But, they say it holds the edge better against paint leakage, so I assume that it'll be good against the frets. I have about half a dozen dremel tools, so I'll choose whichever one offers the slowest setting on the variable speed.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  9. #9
    Axellent Member Mreilander's Avatar
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    I use a dremel for the final polishing all the time. My technique is to mask off the board and get any grime off the fret with a grey scotchbrite pad ( I think it's equivalent to 800 grit sandpaper). Once I'm satisfied with this, and all the frets look consistent, then I'll take the dremel and some rubbing compound and polish up the frets. The only real drawback with the dremel method is that it can be messy... compound splatter everywhere.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Mike, what are you masking it with?

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