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> Psa: Polish Your Frets
yoncopin
post Mar 18 2017, 06:29 PM
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I have some older guitars and some used ones that needed some TLC. I finally got around to getting out the metal polish and buffing all their frets. The difference is totally amazing and none of them even seemed that bad to begin with. Now they are all mirror like and silky smooth, the amount of black gunk on the rag I used was really impressive smile.gif So, polish your frets, I highly recommend it!


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 18 2017, 07:16 PM
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Indeed smile.gif You can get a "Fret Eraser" that is very easy to use and some kits come with metal guides (fingerboard protector) so you don't rub the finish off your neck, just the gunk off your frets.
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Mar 18 2017, 01:29 PM) *
I have some older guitars and some used ones that needed some TLC. I finally got around to getting out the metal polish and buffing all their frets. The difference is totally amazing and none of them even seemed that bad to begin with. Now they are all mirror like and silky smooth, the amount of black gunk on the rag I used was really impressive smile.gif So, polish your frets, I highly recommend it!



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jstcrsn
post Mar 18 2017, 07:53 PM
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Have you any stainless steel frets , that is butter
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DeGroot
post Mar 18 2017, 10:59 PM
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I've never really thought about polishing the frets on my guitars before. I will have to try out your recommendation as some of my guitars are due for a deep cleaning. smile.gif On another note, I usually put a few drops of Gibson fretboard conditioner when I change strings. It helps get the grime off and puts some healthy moisture/oils back into the wood. Recommended (especially for rosewood).


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Rammikin
post Mar 19 2017, 12:15 AM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Mar 18 2017, 05:29 PM) *
I have some older guitars and some used ones that needed some TLC. I finally got around to getting out the metal polish and buffing all their frets. The difference is totally amazing and none of them even seemed that bad to begin with. Now they are all mirror like and silky smooth, the amount of black gunk on the rag I used was really impressive smile.gif So, polish your frets, I highly recommend it!


How did you do the polishing?


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AK Rich
post Mar 19 2017, 01:31 AM
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Want to clean mine too? biggrin.gif Just kidding! This one is overdue for a cleanup. It's unfinished so it collects the grime pretty quick. I use Murphy's wood soap and water, a rag and a toothbrush. Once it's clean, the whole fretboard looks like that little area at the top of the 1st fret that never gets touched, and the whole thing ends up looking bright and being really slick when it's done. I do it every time I put new strings on it. I have never tried cleaning the frets themselves, I like the eraser idea that Todd posted.

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yoncopin
post Mar 19 2017, 02:49 AM
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QUOTE (Rammikin @ Mar 18 2017, 06:15 PM) *
How did you do the polishing?


I used a set of the fingerboard guards Todd mentioned and some metal polish. I think anything should do from either a hardware or auto store. I just covered the fret and gave each fret a good rubbing with the polish on a rag. Then wiped away the excess really good with a clean rag. It bet it took less than 10 minutes when I was doing a string change and conditioned the fretboards with Dunlop Lemon Oil. I can't see needing to do it very often, but the results were sooo worth it. I probably rubbed 20+ years of gunk off some of them. DeGroot and AK Rich, give it a try I was super impressed. They look like little mirror jewels now and are so smooth to the touch.

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Mar 19 2017, 02:56 AM


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Phil66
post Mar 19 2017, 07:47 PM
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My mate who owns a guitar shop gave me some very fine steel wool for polishing frets. I've got the metal protectors too. Haven't used them yet though, I don't change strings as much as I should rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by Phil66: Mar 19 2017, 10:46 PM


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yoncopin
post Mar 19 2017, 08:39 PM
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It should be mentioned that everyone should take care with those metal fingerboard things. I think they are stamped metal, so there is a smooth side and a kind of sharp/rough side. I learned that the hard way on my maple fretboard.


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Phil66
post Mar 19 2017, 10:48 PM
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You can put some 400 got wet and dry on a flat surface and rub them on it until the sharp burr is taken off.


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Rammikin
post Mar 25 2017, 04:16 AM
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I have a question for Yoncopin: if I wanted to learn how to solder pickup wiring, where should I start? What kind of soldering equipment do you recommend? What's a good way to practice before I get near a guitar with it?



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yoncopin
post Mar 25 2017, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE (Rammikin @ Mar 24 2017, 10:16 PM) *
I have a question for Yoncopin: if I wanted to learn how to solder pickup wiring, where should I start? What kind of soldering equipment do you recommend? What's a good way to practice before I get near a guitar with it?


It's a great skill to have for changing scratchy pots, input jacks or pickups or for swapping component values. It is not difficult at all, and like most DIY endeavors you just need a few of the right tools. They make it easy to get good results and avoid mistakes. I'll leave the technique of actual soldering and tip maintenance for later, if you decide to proceed, YouTube is a good source for that or I could even make you a video.

If you don't want to practice on an actual guitar, I'd recommend just getting the same internals and practicing without the actual instrument. They can be had very cheaply and it's as close to the actual task as you can get. I'd get pots, caps, jacks and even a cheap pickup from GuitarFetish.

Here is a list of what I consider essentials and extras:

Essential

Adjustable solder station - Basic temperature control is very useful. This is the same unit I use and is about as affordable as it gets.

Solder tip cleaning wire - Solder tip maintenance is as important a task as the actual soldering. Keeping it as clean as possible prolongs the life of the tip and allows it to make good connections.

Solder

Solder sucker - Sometimes you need to remove solder when you use too much or to remove old wires. This is an easy way to do it.

Wire stripper and cutter

Extras

Helping hands - I usually solder on an old piece of scrap wood. Sometimes you need more hands than you have to hold things in place. Tape works pretty well too.

Stranded wire - For adding a wire or extending a pickup lead


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yoncopin
post Mar 25 2017, 01:31 PM
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Continuing with my fret polishing, I decided to try my hand at fret leveling. I had a Schecter selling on eBay because it had a lot of buzzing issues. I decided to try to fix it before letting it go, so I cancelled the auction and got a Fret Rocker Such a great tool! I was able to find all the high spots easily and used some 320 grit sandpaper -> #0000 steel wool -> metal polish to get that guitar playing awesome. Now it's a keeper and I want to inspect all my other guitars too. It just took a bit of courage to start sanding, but definitely worth it.


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Rammikin
post Mar 26 2017, 02:24 AM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Mar 25 2017, 11:50 AM) *
Here is a list of what I consider essentials and extras:


Excellent, thanks!


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