How Do You Guys Polish Your Frets?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by justinrhoads80, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    I have just started polishing my frets and I know there are many ways to go about doing this.

    I use a fret polish (Mothers mag and aluminum) with my fretguards and get a cloth and just wipe all the grit off the fret. I notice that this takes forever and I am wondering if there is a more efficient and effective method to doing this task?

    I know that some will use steel weel, but too me that looks like a good cleanup job and I have seen that some people use a dremel with a buffing thing on it to polish the frets.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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  3. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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  4. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    Use Naptha to clean after. {charcoal lighter fluid is the same as naptha} then oil the fretboard after.

    He uses all the grits in succession starting at 1500 all the way down to 12000.

    You don't just use one.
     
  5. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    If I can find it, I use the finest Scotch-Brite pads. White I think...
     
  6. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Super fine grade Steel Wool. Obviously tape the fretboard first.
     
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  7. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    Could you use like a polish thing like what I listed to clean up?

    Those can also make painted guitar necks feel smoother. I remember Fluff making a youtube video about it. I could be wrong about that
     
  8. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 Active Member

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    Mine tend to stay in decent shape so a pinch of Never Dull which is polish soaked cloth in a can works well for me. It's not abrasive so it won't take out rough spots but it just cleans them up nicely.
     
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  9. Yugedrums

    Yugedrums Active Member

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    That's exactly what I use. I clean them well with pieces of the Never Dull, then buff them with a dry cloth. Gets them plenty shiny. I've never had a reason to try anything more.

    I don't do this with every string change, but maybe every 2nd or 3rd change, or on a as-needed basis.
     
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  10. Bloodrock

    Bloodrock Well-Known Member

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    Masking tape and 0000 steel wool. Takes mere seconds and no mess to clean.
     
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  11. Alabama Thunderpussy

    Alabama Thunderpussy Well-Known Member

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    A combination of #0000 steel wool and a fretboard oil mixture most of the time. For that pimped out mirror shine, i tape off the fretboard and hit it with a luthier's buffing wheel and compound. FAR faster than ramping up all the way to 12000 grit papers.
     
  12. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    Damn. Sounds like one helluva job man. Sure it is lubed glossy lookin after you are done with it :)
     
  13. Alabama Thunderpussy

    Alabama Thunderpussy Well-Known Member

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    It was quite shocking, how much of a shortcut it was, honestly. I'd been using the old elbow grease method with 400 all the way up to 12000 grit for polishing newly crowned frets, and when I went to work building guitars for a boutique brand (which shall remain nameless) I got really hip to the expeditious way of doing most things that could be done faster without compromising work quality. Fret polishing was one of those things.
     
  14. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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  15. jmp45

    jmp45 Well-Known Member

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  16. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this messy though? I have seen some guys do it and it is a catastrophe afterwards
     
  17. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    Steel wool makes a hell of a mess, you have to mask of between the frets which is a PITA or it will ruin your fretboard and all the steel fragments get stuck magnetically to your pickups even deep in the pup routes.
     
  18. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    Yea I have heard this on another forum. Seems like there is better more efficient alternatives out there
     
  19. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 8:31 PM
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  20. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    @charveldan

    Naphtha is indeed good for clean up, but naphtha is rarely (if ever) a component of "charcoal lighter fluid!" Naphtha is however, the main ingredient in traditional Zippo and Ronson lighter fluid for cigarette/cigar lighters. Sadly, some manufacturers and many "Oh, The Babies!" locales/communities no longer allow the use of naphtha for such things. Ya gotta read the ingredients. I simply buy a quart of actual naphtha. Just make sure you have plenty of ventilation and that the container is well sealed when you're done using it, as it will evaporate rather quickly

    Actual steel, steel wool anywhere near a guitar is a very bad thing. I'm not gonna start an argument over something I absolutely know to be true. You've been warned, use it if you want and some may have been lucky, so far, but.........! Scotch Brite pads of similar grits are far superior in all ways!

    I use a polishing wheel on a dremel, with Turtle Wax brand, white polishing compound!

    'Nuff Said,
    Gene
     
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