1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Polishing Frets

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by SixStringSlinger, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,262
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    How can I polish my frets? I've noticed that the higher frets on my Strat aren't nearly as shiny and clean looking as the lower ones. I got to thinking that's probably killing my sustain a bit (not as much metal-to-metal contact), which helps explain why I don't like playing up there so much (particularly while bending). Any tips on cleaning those suckers up? The most I ever do is a good wipedown with just a cloth after removing old strings and before putting on the new ones. I think I've heard something about lemon oil?...

    Just in case it makes any difference, the Strat has a rosewood fretboard.
     
  2. ehawley

    ehawley Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Keyport, New Jersey
    Tape up the fingerboard and polish in the direction of the fret with some 000 steel wool!

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    ED
     
  3. doveman

    doveman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    454
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
  4. DrewB

    DrewB Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,632
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    Yeah, those are nice to have until you get high up the fretboard and they become too wide. I've been meaning to narrow one down for that, but I haven't done it yet.

    000 steel wool was suggested. That's more aggressive than you want to use to polish frets and clean the whatever off of them. Use 0000 after you tape up the fretboard really well. Put tape over the neck pickup, too. I always use a shop vac to clean up the loose strands of steel wool before I gently wipe the rest off. If you have an air compressor and can blow the loose stuff off, so much the better.
     
  5. Gr8tfulEd

    Gr8tfulEd Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    673
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Lake Oswego, OR
    I've had pretty good luck doing occasional fret polishing with a blitz cloth.
     
  6. stratomaster

    stratomaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    253
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    This is still the best way. Just did my 72 Custom reissue tele last night before restringing her. Looks great and the strings bend much easier.
     
  7. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,262
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    I asumme that by "the direction of the fret" you mean along it's length (the longest way) as opposed to it's width? Also, what kind of tape is that on the neck? Will plain old masking tape do?
     
  8. wetland10

    wetland10 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    If I'm not mistaken, that is painter's tape. That is probably better than masking tape because it doesn't stick as much and should't pull anything off of the neck (finish, etc.) when removed.

    Wayne
     
  9. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,842
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Garden City, KS
    I use drafting tape since it doesn't leave a sticky residue like masking tape does. I believe the blue masking tape will work as well as drafting tape, and it's cheaper, but I haven't used it yet because I have plenty of drafting tape.
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    54,538
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    As opposed to a purely mechanical means of polishing the frets, you could get chemistry working for you.
    I like to use Meguiar's Deep Crystal Paint cleaner on a clean cloth; it'll brighten up the frets, the fingerboard, the neck poly, and can even be used on nitro so long as it has dried really thoroughly, I mean months. This Meguiar's will polish up any frets that've had overspray removed from them or have been levelled, and will polish up not scratch or harm the fingerboard. Don't use it on rosewood or ebony unless those boards have been freshly fed, unless you want residue of the Meguiar's in the fretboard wood pores. You could even go this way after you are done with the steel wool or micromesh pads, to take it to another level of fineness and to capture and remove the tape adhesive residue.

    Just did a bunch of MIM Fender necks in the Meguiar's, very pleased.


    Bubbanov
     
  11. 6bender

    6bender Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    113
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Location:
    Southwest PA
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.