Lacquer or oil fret board?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by markfresh, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. markfresh

    markfresh TDPRI Member

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    Hi,
    I have a DIY kit im going to start this week, its a tele with a maple neck and maple fret board.
    I will be spraying the neck with a tinted nitro ( its called 1962 tele neck so supposed to have the yellowish tint)
    Do i spray the fret board the same as the neck? i like the older colour not the plain white?
    Or do i clear tint the neck and oil the fret board?
    Also do i need to use sanding sealer on the neck as its maple?
    I imagine i dont sanding seal the fret board?

    ANy suggestions please.

    Thanks Mark
     
  2. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

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    Yep, lacquer the neck, then scrape the frets gently once dry.

    No need for sanding sealer, though some may disagree lol.
     
  3. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    "DIY kit" is usually industry slang for dog poo woods. they're definitely not cutting into any custom shop's supplies. a sanding sealer is a cheap and easy way to keep things from turning out blotchy. i use it even on higher quality woods.

    those amber spray lacquers are actually pretty great. . the first couple coats will be neon yellow... but develop into a more aged yellow-brown as you build up the layers.

    after its all dry, run some fine steel wool down the fretboard a few times and the lacquer will jump right off the frets. i wouldn't bother with masking. it's a fun process, good luck with it!
     
  4. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    This.

    Just spray it all at the same time. Sanding sealer optional on personal taste. On my figured maple neck builds I use it as the grain variations can really leave unevenness in the wood.

    Eric
     
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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Do as much fret dressing as you can before you put the lacquer on, it is hard to keep from damaging the lacquer when you level and crown.
     
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  6. markfresh

    markfresh TDPRI Member

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    Great info thanks all, i think ill dress the frets first, wont bother with sanding sealer, spray lacquer then hit fret board with fine steel wool or scrape:)

    Also while im here the body is ash so i was thinking

    Timbermate grain fill>sand
    Sanding sealer > sand
    Colour nitro coats
    Gloss coats
    Wet sand and buff

    Thanks Mark
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    I would scrape the frets, steel wool will just abrade the finish. A draftsman's eraser shield is a good tool for protecting the finish while you do your final fret work.

    FWIW, I did have one guitar with nitro over maple where there was a tiny bit of chipping around some screw holes. I had not used a sealer on that guitar and speculate that was the reason. On my other maple guitars I have sprayed a coupe of coats of vinyl sealer before the lacquer and have had no issues. I would just do it as a matter of course.

    Your finishing schedule is pretty much what StewMac and others recommend and what I use with nitro. It will work fine
     
  8. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    62 maple board ? think they might of got their dates mixed up there
    maple is fine to spray on pain in the ass though sanding it in between the frets avoiding sand through
    if you are going to wet sand it watch out for water getting down under the frets into the slots the lacquer will ripple
    personally i dry sand maple finished boards it is a lot less messy and you can see where your at
    sort any issues out 1st with the neck before finishing it
     
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  9. markfresh

    markfresh TDPRI Member

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    Sorry i should of explained better ,

    The tinted nitro is called 1958 tele neck (not 62, i was thinking of the strat laquer i ordered)...i think its surpossed to be for just the neck not the fretboard, but i was going to spray both as the kit is maple . http://www.sydneyguitarsetups.com/n...-paint-australia-guitar-tele?search=tele neck

    And the wet sanding was just for the body before i attach the neck.

    Thanks Mark
     
  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes, use lacquer sanding sealer - especially on kit necks. The maple is generally porous and it will save you a lot of headaches.

    If it's NOT porous, no harm no foul. It still helps, and only takes a few minutes to spray an entire neck - 3 light passes to build one coat, same as all lacquer coats. It's NOT paint and you don't spray full coverage coats or your trap solvents in the film, causing all sorts of grief. Build up the finish by spraying LIGHT coats (by spraying extremely light passes for each coat) Spaying too light and having to apply more coats hurts nothing; spraying too heavy ruins the job.

    You can dress the frets first - but save final polishing until after you finish it. You'll scratch them in the process of removing coating, so there's no reason to polish them twice. Do you have the proper tools? straightedge, small height checker, leveling file or mill bastard file; the correct size of crowning file; fret end file? Fo part of the polishing you take a small size "hand belt sander" (the blue ones about 6" long with a 1.4" belt) and file a fret shaped groove into the flat end - run it across the crown after you use the crowning file, with a fine-grit paper. Then use 1500 paper, white 3m pad or 0000 steel wool to finish them off.

    If you are using conventional lacquer you can do the final fret work the day after final spraying. Conventional lacquers dry in 30-60 minutes and dry only by evaporation - there is no cure time. Be cautious about using "lacquer enamels" like Deft and Colortone - they contain naphtha and take from days to weeks for the solvents to fully evaporate!

    Whatever you use, try to buy some scrap maple and whatever type of body wood you get at a hardwood supply store and practice your entire finish system for both the neck AND body, from prep to buffing, until you can get it to the point here little to no finish sanding is needed. Finish sanding i a repair technique for problems, not a normal part of the process (except for a few manufacturers that use special techniques) It'll save you time AND money to practice/learn on scrap - NOT on the real thing!
     
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