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mistermikev

looking for tips on nitro over fretboard

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something in the back of my mind from time to time is an entirely white guitar sort of like larry grahams bass.  I've asked questions about this before and have an idea how I'm going to do it but have some questions.

so mohawk whitewash - beautiful stuff.  it's nitro, and comes in a can.  My question is... if you were going to shoot a fretboard with it... I imagine you'd have to do it prior to fretting as the white might not look good over frets and cleanup would be a nightmare.  I know white will be a nightmare anyway... but I'll live with that.  so if you shoot the whitewash before fretting would you also shoot the gloss before?

In generall... if you had to do this... how would you approach it?

So then... how do you keep it out of the fret slots?  I suppose some toothpicks placed across them? 

avoiding hitting the wood with a hammer would be another concern... I have recently made a clamp and will do this only on a bolt neck so I think that should do?

what can you tell me about shooting nitro on a fretboard/neck?  Pitfalls?  Have you done it and can you show an example?

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I can only help with what I've learned about lacquering the fretboard. For what I know it's done after hammering the frets in. You apply the lacquer and when it's (semi) dry you scrape the tops of the frets clean. Cut along the bottom of the frets in an angle for a clean seam. Or something like that. Hopefully I got that right.

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

I can only help with what I've learned about lacquering the fretboard. For what I know it's done after hammering the frets in. You apply the lacquer and when it's (semi) dry you scrape the tops of the frets clean. Cut along the bottom of the frets in an angle for a clean seam. Or something like that. Hopefully I got that right.

I've got a vintage style strat neck that they did that way.  It's a real beauty and stable as all get out, but def had lacquer left on the edges of the frets that over time has chipped off here and there.  That was clear lacquer w a bit of amber and wasn't obviously visible... I'm guessing lacquer with an opaque white would be a dif story. 

I suppose I could consider carefully taping off all the frets... but dang that'd be a lot of work.  I wonder if taping off the fretboard near the frets and then using something like 'electric tape' would work.  the elec tape would come right off of the metal easily even after lacquer was applied to it.  thoughts?

seems like fretting after the fact could be really problematic... but then the general concensus on binding after finish was that it was a bad idea too... and that didn't stop me so... hehe - gonna have to think on that.

'edit: where are my manors: thank you very much for your thoughts!

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I've done two coated fretboards, one each way. Spraying first is easier than cleaning up the frets and works well pressing in the frets, but I would be nervous hammering in case of an errant strike. Fretting first takes a little more time which is why you probably had lacquer on your Fender. They will do a nice job, but at minimal hours. Cut the edge under the fret with a sharp exacto and then scrape off the fret. Once dry the lacquer comes off the fret easily and cleanly.

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7 minutes ago, ihocky2 said:

I've done two coated fretboards, one each way. Spraying first is easier than cleaning up the frets and works well pressing in the frets, but I would be nervous hammering in case of an errant strike. Fretting first takes a little more time which is why you probably had lacquer on your Fender. They will do a nice job, but at minimal hours. Cut the edge under the fret with a sharp exacto and then scrape off the fret. Once dry the lacquer comes off the fret easily and cleanly.

i spose like anything else you have to find the way that works for you.  seems like spray first would be best... how did you prevent overspray in the fretslots?

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I just went back and ran the saw blade through to clean them. Do it once dry, but within 24 hours and it seemed soft enough to not chip out.

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40 minutes ago, ihocky2 said:

I just went back and ran the saw blade through to clean them. Do it once dry, but within 24 hours and it seemed soft enough to not chip out.

roger that.  seems like a good plan.  the other issue is inlay and binding... not sure what i'll do there.

i've got some good idea tho and for that I thank you!

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I saw a crimson guitars video on this, where he said basically nitro over the whole fretboard, frets and all, then scalpel around the frets and the nitro peels right off. That's what I plan to do.

 

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1 hour ago, Urumiko said:

I saw a crimson guitars video on this, where he said basically nitro over the whole fretboard, frets and all, then scalpel around the frets and the nitro peels right off. That's what I plan to do.

I used this technique before removing the frets on a lacquered maple Hondo neck at the weekend. There was plenty of lacquer where the frets met the fretboard so it's obviously not a technique they used back in the 80s, I guess they just lacquered over the frets then just levelled and crowned, which would probably end up with a neater result when the frets have been painted a solid colour.

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19 hours ago, Urumiko said:

I saw a crimson guitars video on this, where he said basically nitro over the whole fretboard, frets and all, then scalpel around the frets and the nitro peels right off. That's what I plan to do.

 

just so everyone knows: when I disappear from a thread... it's not because I'm rude... it's because I easily loose track and have no idea anyone replied to me.  either way - sorry for that.  good video!  I actually did much the sm when I first got my strat neck that has a nitro finish... frets were covered in lacquer.  Ben is it?  he makes it look really easy.  when I did my neck it was super brittle as it had probably been drying for months if not a year.  I think that might be a key detail there... doing it while it's still soft... of course that means a real risk of dinging things.

thank you for this... def builds confidence watching that!

17 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I used this technique before removing the frets on a lacquered maple Hondo neck at the weekend. There was plenty of lacquer where the frets met the fretboard so it's obviously not a technique they used back in the 80s, I guess they just lacquered over the frets then just levelled and crowned, which would probably end up with a neater result when the frets have been painted a solid colour.

that's how my strat neck looked... they just leveled it and didn't take any of the side lacquer off.  didn't even realize it was there until it started chipping.  I think with a color (white in this case) if you screw up the line at the fret it might show more.  guess we'll see when I get to that point. 

 

anywho... thanks for the response gentlemen!

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2 hours ago, Urumiko said:

i like ash's idea of crowning in to the nitro if its harder.

in my case... it's going to be a white lacquer finish... my concern is it will be fairly visible on the frets.  I guess we can always see... and just not do the extra work if it isn't.

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