Fret Polishing

DAKnox

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I'm a total beginner at any kind of proper maintenance. I bought a Jim Dunlop fingerboard care kit, for my rosewood fretboard. Came with cleaner, conditioner and a cloth. It also hade a micro fine fret polishing cloth. On the back it says 8000. It feels pretty smooth!

I polished the frets by rubbing this on top of the frets. It did shine them up a bit. But I've since read people talking about protecting the fretboard which I didn't do. By taping it off or using a metal protector. The frets are quite tall so I don't think I would have rubbed the fretboard much if at all...I can't see any damage, would an 8000 grit be a danger? Hopefully combination of the frets being quite tall and me not touching the wood much and the paper being pretty smooth, I've got away with it. In future I should protect the fretboard in some way?
 

Lowspeid

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Short answer: Yes. If I’m doing a quick touchup with micromesh I use one of the metal protectors that slide over the frets. If I am going to be doing a more “aggressive” polish I use low-tack or painters tape to protect the fretboard. Others may have a different opinion, but I don’t want to take chances with accidentally damaging or discoloring the rosewood.
 

Freeman Keller

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The answer is yes and no. When I am filing frets or working on a lacquered maple board I protect the board or finish by taping it off or using an eraser shield. When I am "polishing" frets I usually start with 400 or 600 grit wet and dry sand paper and work my way up to 1200 or so, then I like to switch to 0000 steel wool and do the frets and rosewood or ebony board at the same time. 0000 steel wool will clean the board very nicely removing any finger grime and is the highest level of polish I feel I need on the frets themselves. Protect the guitar from steel wool dust (especially the pickups).

I'm also of the belief that rosewood or ebony fretboards do not need any oils or other products smeared on them - your mileage may vary.
 

Boreas

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Being a "beginner" at anything should involve precautions. Once you develop your skills and muscle memory, precautions are needed less often, but can still save your work from disaster. It depends on your individual level of competence and confidence.
 

kuch

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I use a fret protector, see below.
And I've even used painter's(blue) tape on the fretboard.
I just got some fret "erasers" from SM. They're available on Amazon also if you want to look them up. They come is different grit(s). I haven't tried them but intend to do soon.

I am in no way associated with the products shown or described.

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gb Custom Shop

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8000 grit is not a danger, as that's a very high grit.

You don't need to protect the fretboard, as long as you have a steady hand, but it's still a good idea if you're new to it.
I polish my frets with compound, either on a buffing wheel or Dremel, so I usually have my fretboard taped up for that.

Just a word on those metal fretboard "protectors" - some are more poorly made than others, and can scratch your fretboard. If you notice that, you can just sand off any burrs or sharp edges. Masking tape on the underside can also be a good idea.

As for the fretboard oil, rosewood doesn't need it due to its oily nature, but it can enhance the wood grain, temporarily. Nothing wrong with using it, but not really beneficial either.
 

benderb9

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get some 1200 grit foam backed sanding strips at a nearby auto parts store, cut about a 1" square piece, make two double layer blue painters tape strips. Place one strip on either side of the fret, make 4-5 passes with that little square piece of sandpaper pressing just enough to polish, one square lasts me a whole polish job. If you want to get really anal while the tape is on there put a light coat of Renaissance Wax on the fret and buff with leather, I'll do 15-20 passes per fret. I made a leather buffing block with a small piece of wood and an old wide belt piece glued on.
 

Fenderbaum

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Many products out there to try. Gorgomyte and erasers for frets..
I personally just tape board when polishing frets..
I use:
Mesh pads
Autosol Cream
Polishing disc for a hand drill for the finishing touch.
Sometimes i MIGHT use Steelwhool on SS frets if i need to really smoothen them, but avoid it as much as i can really. Just make sure to conseal your Passive pickups and cover them fully if you try steelwool. Dust from steelwhool can in the long run kill your pickups dead.

Experiment is what i would say, see what works for you,

For fretboard conditioning i use basic pure mineral oil. No need for oil with additives like Lemon.. bla blah..
Natural wood needs natural solution.
 




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