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Frine Fret Polishing Kit

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by ZackyDog, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Aug 24, 2014
    PNW
    This looked interesting, and gets perfect reviews wherever I look on the web (i.e. Sweetwater, Amazon).
    So, I decided to order a kit; it should be ready for pickup at Guitar Center today.

    MN124-xlarge.jpg

     

  2. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

    354
    Apr 13, 2014
    Southern California
    I'm a fan of pretty much all the Music Nomad products I've tried (which is several). However when it comes to fret polishing I really don't like using the metal fret protectors as they just seem too thick to get down the sides of the fret and they aren't exactly "water tight" so you're still going to get polish/residue on the fingerboard. It takes 3 minutes to mask a fingerboard and you get most of that time back because polishing without fussing with the fret guard is much faster.

    That said I am happy to be wrong about these sorts of things so let us know how it works out for you.
     
    ZackyDog likes this.

  3. Darkness

    Darkness Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    50
    Apr 7, 2016
    Stygian Gulf
    Gorgomyte works perfectly on my frets. They gleam like new after cleaning. Much easier than the setup in the vid.
     
    moosie likes this.

  4. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Aug 24, 2014
    PNW
    Good points; maybe masking is the way to go.

    I like this; looks like it will work on any tuning button:

    untitled.png
     
    Clifford1 likes this.

  5. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    329
    Jun 4, 2010
    Melbourne
    I bought a set of the Music Nomad fret protectors to see if the addition of handles makes them easier to use. That seemed like a useful improvement on a basic tool that can be hard to hold (I've seen other people stick gaffa/duct tape to the basic ones to give them a bigger area to hold on to).

    But I agree that fret polishing is not their best application.

    Music Nomad has some other neatly designed stuff but also some overpriced gear that can be picked up much cheaper on ebay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017

  6. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Aug 24, 2014
    PNW
    I picked up and unpacked the fret kit. I didn't have any masking tape on hand, so I used the fret protectors/spatulas.

    It seems to work OK. I didn't have any rust/corrosion so the results were subtle. I think it's a useful kit to have on hand, but would have a more dramatic effect on a guitar that hasn't had its frets cleaned in a few years.
     

  7. Sweet Lou 275

    Sweet Lou 275 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    43
    110
    Nov 24, 2016
    Washington
    You can go to almost any store selling stationary and get an eraser shield. They have a couple slots in them perfect for guarding your frets. Aside from a quick hit with some #0000 steel wool, I don't use any kind of polish myself. Sorry it didn't perform as you hoped, but some fretwire only can be polished so much. Definitely keep it around though.
     

  8. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Aug 24, 2014
    PNW
    Thanks but don't be sorry. My frets seem to be pretty durable and a little ant-corrosive; the luthier who did my last fret job used stainless steels frets.
     

  9. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Friend of Leo's

    Sep 24, 2016
    California
    I just used my Frine Fret polish kit for the first time. I love the results. The fret protectors were easy to use thanks to the handles. Using the largest size I was able to get down to the base of each fret. I used one drop on each fret and that was sufficient. IMG_1819.JPG
    This is the 2009 MIM Strat my dad left me.
     
    thegreatshocka and irie like this.

  10. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    388
    Jun 15, 2017
    California
    There are many ways to polish frets.
    Use the way that is easiest for You.

    I like masking tape and fine grit sandpaper followed my polishing compound.
    Then clean up with naptha and sometimes mineral oil if rosewood baord.
    My customers love the results.

    The flexible polishing papers are an easy way, but not as shiny.
    They aren't ideal for rusty frets.
    Sandpaper is best for that.

    Some people just hit the frets with a buffing wheel and polish compound.
    You can use a dremel but it's messy and risky.

    Some people are heavy handed when they play and naturally burnish the frets while playing. But they usually have flat frets from wearing them faster than most players.

    Different folks, different situations.

    I recommend the easy way. The 'easy' way differs depending on the person.

    I don't like the cheap metal fretbaord protectors. I heard the expensive ones are better.
    Masking tape is great and is very resistant to sandpaper.

    If you use steel wool you should do precautions to make sure the metal flakes don't get all over hte place. Never tried it, but I heard they use a magnet and stuff.
    That stuff can get into your skin though.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  11. gtarmkr

    gtarmkr TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    5
    Dec 9, 2017
    Florida
    Blue Painters Tape, or some tape that does not leave any marks or glue, cover the whole fretboard except the frets. Then 3 different grades of steel wool. Thats the OLD SCHOOL way I learned, and they turn out perfect. Side to Side with the steel wool on the frets, never up and down the fretboard.
     

  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Stainless frets don't need polishing.

    Rusty frets need more than polishing. If it's been that long, bet good money it needs a leveling.

    Anything else is purely cosmetic. Even though not really necessary, if I have a few extra minutes when doing a setup, and I want to make them gleam, Gorgomyte is the way to go. No masking necessary. All the black oxidation from the frets wipes right off a finished board, and comes off rosewood and ebony quite easily. The solvent / lubricant in the cloth keeps the stuff suspended, and most wipes off with a paper towel. The rest comes off with a follow up application of a few drops of mineral oil. Gorgomyte has already conditioned the board. The oil is just to finish the clean up.

    I cut the Gorgo sheet into 1.5" squares, and I think that gets me around a dozen applications from a single sheet. I usually do each of my guitars once a year, just for kicks. But not the ones with stainless frets. Total waste of time.
     

  13. gtarmkr

    gtarmkr TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    5
    Dec 9, 2017
    Florida

    You are making it more complicated then needed, especially on a Vintage Guitars. The more CRAP you put on that fretboard the worse you will make it with the solvents and oils you are adding and it is just SUCKING into the grain of the wood.

    Whatever you put on the fretboard just SUCKS into wood like a sponge.

    Why do old Martins sound so good? Because you DON'T add all kinds of chemicals to it.

    The only GOOD OIL is FINGER OIL from your HANDS.

    Old School, Gtarmkr
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017

  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    It's actually less complicated. As I said, the need is not there, purely cosmetic.
     

  15. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Holic

    eraser shield & whitening toothpaste
     

  16. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Or just get a couple of fret erasers from StewMac... I find those really easy to use with or without anything guarding the fingerboard....
     

  17. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    43
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    Seems like some of the conversation here is mixing up the difference between polishing and cleaning.

    If the frets are oxidized or marred in any way, then they need to be polished, and for that you need an abrasive. Fret erasers, 000 steel wool, 1000 grit sandpaper, etc. are all relatively equivalent for that. I've switched to fret erasers for small jobs for ease of use and cleanliness. With a fretguard, it's by far the fastest and cleanest of the options I've tried.

    Liquid abrasives are much, much finer than any of the above, and they're what you use after you have fixed the surface imperfections. If you skip the 1000-ish grit stage, you have to do a lot more work with liquid polish. They also make good cleaners since they abrade the grime away.

    Gorgomyte works great because it's an effective cleaner and is very mildly abrasive. I think it's similar to the kind of liquid polish you'd use in the late stages of polishing a finish. What I don't like is how expensive it is, costing about 10x as much as other things that work well.


    These statements are truly baffling to me. Martin has always oiled its fretboards at the factory. Until recently, they used 3-in-1 oil. I think they used linseed oil before that, and now they use their own branded stuff. And, frankly, you WANT the oil to soak down into the wood a little bit because it will dry out over time. If there's only oil on the surface, there's no reservoir to get more from and it will dry out faster. I've got a '69 D-18 on my bench with a bridge that was probably never oiled and it was gray. Now that I've oiled it, the color is rich again.

    Most of the "oil" from your hands that is on the fretboard is actually dirt and whatever other gunk is on your hands (soap residue, boogers, the nasty mix of stuff you collect when you politely cover your mouth to cough or sneeze). It cleans off relatively easily with the right product revealing the wood beneath, which is often dry and needs to be oiled.
     
    Lake Placid Blue likes this.

  18. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    43
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    By the way, I love the handles that Frine puts on their fret guards. I don't love them enough to pay that price, but I've often wished for something like that when I'm using the Stew Mac version.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  19. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    All kinds of ways to skin a cat. Only thing I'll add is that tape is prone to rip sometimes and the sticky residue gums up my polishing sticks. I hate taping twice so I use the steel guards. Would love a set with handles.
     
    Lake Placid Blue likes this.

  20. ultra80096

    ultra80096 TDPRI Member

    89
    May 15, 2015
    IA
    I've always just used the Eagle One brand "Nev'r Dull" wadding polish. They come out looking great & no masking or protecting of any sort. Maple or rosewood.
     

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