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Nitro Lacquer on the frets? Really Fender?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by the velvet catfish, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

    Dec 7, 2015
    Stratford, Ontario
    I've never seen a 6 or a 12 without it, but I can't honestly say I've been close enough to one of their basses to know... though it is the dream.

  2. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    How do you know it needed all that just because there's lacquer on the frets?

    Personally, if I had been considering the op's guitar I'd have had no problem cleaning/polishing the frets. Those are things I enjoy. Not everyone feels the same. I get it.

    Did they remove the plastic from the PG at least? ;)

  3. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

    May 9, 2012
    The East Coast
    I do believe the OP will have to make a choice to clean those frets or sell the guitars.

    Whether I agree with the OP or not, is irrelevant, but my bet is that guitars may be sold.

  4. flugel

    flugel Tele-Meister

    Aug 28, 2011
    I had a CS with the same issue, go figure.
    the velvet catfish likes this.

  5. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2003
    Hmmmm please explain to me the difference ( feel and playing wise) between a neck with fret overspray and one w/o ?


  6. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    This bitching has to do with maple fretboards.

    Solution: get rosewood or ebony fretboards.

  7. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 15, 2010
    One other observation--if the OP has truly played the guitar to any degree and not seen any progress in the removal of the laquer, he must have the lightest touch in the history of guitar playing...I have a fairly light touch and have done more damage/wear to my frets and fretboard in less time than this.
    ecosse likes this.

  8. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Wait a second... Wouldn't this get cleaned up from a brand new guitar by a proper setup?
    the velvet catfish likes this.

  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    It is standard practice, and is, I believe, the only reasonable method of applying nitro lacquer to a maple board on a production guitar.

    To have it turn out differently, someone would have to spray first, and then fret by hand, very carefully. Or, someone has to scrape the lacquer off the top of each fret, by hand, very carefully.

    See the pattern here? "by hand, very carefully". That doesn't fit with the concept of a production line guitar at a price point half of the alternative (AV), and 1/3 the price of a CS. It's the same thing with Gibson's studio and satin models. They can drop the price significantly and still deliver nearly the same quality guitar, by cutting out the most laborious, most cosmetic, hand work.

    Your comment implies you think they should have sprayed between the frets. You can see how that doesn't work, right?

    Uh huh. Better start selling, then.

    First, you won't need a fret dress to get rid of the lacquer on the fret tops. As I'm sure has been said, a thumbnail while sitting in front of the television will make short work of it. Worst/best case, you decide to polish the frets, something you might want to do now and then just because you enjoy super smooth frets (but, no, it's not commonly seen on production .... anythings). Get a little metal fret guard, and a bit of 6000 grit micro mesh. This isn't necessary to remove the lacquer, but hoo boy will those frets shine.

    Second, every guitar will benefit from a light fret dress after construction. Fenders, Gibsons, etc. Squiers, Custom Shops. But that falls in the category of very expensive skilled labor. Hands on. So it's never seen on production guitars. The boutiques and CS models will have been dressed (talking real boutiques, not glorified parts assemblers), but the cost of doing so has been factored into the price.

    The fact that some guitars come off the line not needing a fret dress to achieve buzz free low action playability is a testament to the golden age of guitar manufacturing we're living through. But no matter how good these processes have become, it's just not reasonable to expect – demand – perfection to within a few thousandths of an inch, at these price points. To accomplish this without involving a luthier, you first need to purchase a PLEK machine.

    To sum up:
    Get the guitar a pro set up. Always expect to need a light fret dress on a brand new guitar, if you want very low, buzz-free action. Always. If it turns out you don't need a fret dress, lucky you. Use your thumbnail, and get scraping.
    Bubblechunk and teleaddicted like this.

  10. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Only 1 in 10 people that buy guitars keep them around for at least year to learn how to play them. It doesn't make economic sense for a production guitar to have a full set up. Finish over the frets on maple boards from Fender is very common. That 1 person out of 10 that is passionate enough about guitar playing to stick with it will spend a few minutes to clean off their frets and dig their instrument all that much more.

  11. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    Just for the record - the Classic 50s is available in Nitro Lacquer finish and poly finish. Does anyone know if the poly finish fretboard has the same finish overspray on the frets?
    JayFreddy likes this.

  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Are you basing your decision for getting one on this issue? I know that the OP had some strong feelings about the overspray on his, but, personally, I don't think that it is an issue for any reason whatsoever.
    pdcorlis likes this.

  13. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    Thanks for the reply - my apologies for hijacking the thread! Yes, I'm trying to decide which one - the poly or the lacquer...

  14. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    My '67 Telecaster still has lacquer on some of the frets. The ones I made the money on were worn clear long ago.

    This is really a non-issue.



  15. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    Hate to do this - but while I'm at it. What is the weight of your Classic 50s lacquer?

  16. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Jan 15, 2012
    I had no problem in removing the lacquer from my AVRI- just scraped it off and used a fret dressing tool to shine up the frets and all was good. I don't see the issue.

  17. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Oct 17, 2016
    I have just sat and read 6 pages of this, well. i possibly skipped a reply or 40 on the way to the last page. My thoughts on this are, while it may not be a manufacturing issue with Fender it is imho at least quality issue if the customer is not happy with the finish... but, the guitar plays and to me that says it is "fit for purpose" which means it does the job that it is supposed to do.
    Would I have raised this with the makers, well considering I cant afford to own a guitar of that price and if i were to buy one it would have to be on the never never then you are darn tootin I would have went all of mental on their asses...

  18. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Y'all do realize that unless you just look at your guitar and go *plink plink* unplugged for 3 minutes every 5 days, fretwork is mandatory maintainance on necks new and old.

    It's never been any mass produced guitar manufacturers policy to do fretwork. They come with fresh frets and as close to a level board as they can get. It's all "new" not "tweaked to some Fender techs idea of a good setup" for an additional 2 hours of production/tech work time.

    I'm so glad I learned how to do all this stuff here! Now "needs fretwork" simply translates to a better deal for me.
    BorderRadio and Bubblechunk like this.

  19. the velvet catfish

    the velvet catfish Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2005
    A thumbnail won't remove it.. I've said that many times lol! I didn't have this much trouble on my 52 AVRI. I don't have a light touch either... this stuff is brutal. I have no idea why it's so tough but it is. If it were as easy as my 52 I wouldn't have even posted this.

  20. the velvet catfish

    the velvet catfish Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2005
    My comments never stated they should spray between the frets.. in fact I alluded to why wasn't fretting done after the neck was sprayed? If anyone has ever seen a refret, that is done without a neck refinish on maple fingerboards. So why is it so difficult when it's a new guitar?
    5ofeight likes this.

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