I Did The Job I've Been Dreading - Get Ready To Flame Me...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by unixfish, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have been putting off changing strings on my Tele. Whenever I get 10 free minutes, I want to play, not restring.

    Bends have been feeling a bit, oh, "grindy" - like there is crud on the frets. I should do a fret clean as well. Yet another reason to put this off.

    I finally bit the bullet tonight. I blew off working on my second job, and just got to it.

    First, I removed the strings and taped everything off - just in case - and got my materials out.

    20190718_200125.jpg

    I was not going to use steel wool, but it's better to be safe than sorry, so everything got taped, including anything with a gap. Then, I used that generic scotch-brite pad to clean the frets. The pic above was after the cleaning. This did a good job, and no metal bits.

    Next, polish the frets. I did not have metal cleaner, but when I was in the garage, I remembered I had fine cut clear coat and paint cleaner. Hey, that should work, right? It's a poly guitar, nothing can hurt it (flame here if you feel inclined). Here is what I used:

    20190718_200201.jpg

    Polished the frets (I used a rag with the cleaner, not the scratchy pad). They seemed nice. What the heck, I think, remove the fret tape, and do the fretboard and the neck. It's poly. Nothing will harm it.

    20190718_201125.jpg

    Ooh, does that fingerboard shine now! Check these out:

    20190718_201135.jpg

    20190718_201144.jpg

    Finished product, before strings:

    20190718_201647.jpg

    Added a set of Ernie Ball 11s, and here she is:

    20190718_202900.jpg

    Stretch, tune, and I am done.

    Now, when I bend, I feel my fingers dragging on the fretboard, but I no longer feel the strings dragging or grinding on the frets. Success.

    It has been over a year - maybe 18 months - since I last did a fretboard clean; I think this worked well. That cleaner did a good job. Tell me if I made a mistake using that.

    But it's poly. It will still be there after the next nuclear blast. Nothing can hurt it.

    (I did a test spot on the body - that cleaner will leave swirl marks in the poly if you really rub it. Fret board only - or maybe frets only.)
     
  2. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for sharing this unixfish… I will probably be ready to tackle something like this this year.

    Did you lightly rub the polish into the fretboard and the back of the neck? Like when you buff something? I am new to taking care of my guitars to this level.

    Dale
     
  3. Old duck

    Old duck Tele-Meister

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    Works fine on poly coated stuff, can't recommend it for a rosewood fingerboard however. Also, to prevent swirls, only rub the polish in a straight line.
     
  4. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nah. After I did the frets, I just have it a "regular rub-down" with that cleaner. Not lightly, but I did not "go at it" either. I did go after the frets a bit before I took off the fretboard tape.

    Make sure your guitar is poly before you do this - I am certain this stuff would ruin, or at least damage, a nitro finish!
     
  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wow, no wonder you don't change strings often.;)
     
  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, my Strat is next. Strings are two years old, but it doesn't get played much. The fret board is pao ferro - I got some lemon oil for that board.
     
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've changed strings - just not the whole fret clean job. But I think you knew that! :D
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you've inspired me!......if you can tackle that, I'm ready to take on cleaning out my refrigerator. Then, after that, maybe the two spare bedrooms that are just STUFFED with excess "stuff". Thanks for the idea! ;)
     
    Obsessed and getbent like this.
  9. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    No charge!
     
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  11. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I also had "one of those moments" when I was cleaning.

    I was polishing the back of the neck. I saw that small, narrow headstock. Those tuners. That chunky Baja neck. That gentle curve into the horn. I paused, and thought "Man, is this thing beautiful."

    Sometimes, in the right light, that Tele still gets me. I still think it is the most attractive guitar shape ever conceived.
     
    Fretting out, Obsessed and nojazzhere like this.
  12. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Meister

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    Nice!

    Your pick guard is the blackest black...love it :)
     
  13. fnkmstr

    fnkmstr Tele-Meister

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    I've used the Meguiar's #2 Mirror Glaze on acrylic lacquer to great effect. Not tried it on nitro.
     
  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice thorough job. Spit and a rag works on a poly neck too but probably doesn't smell as good.
     
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