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Refinishing a fretboard?


~Maxx
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Hello all. Newbie here (on this forum anyway). I'm rebuilding my first custom Strat, which I want to finish with a black stain or dye. I was wondering how safe I would be striping and refinishing the fretboard. Am I likely to make a huge mess of things? The problem is that it's a maple board, and I don't think it would look very good if the rest of the neck and body were black and not the board. Any advice would be much apreciated. Thanx in advance...

~Maxx

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No stripper - refret. Gotcha. Out of curiosity, why would I need to refret as long as I'm careful about the sandpaper? It makes sense to do so if the frets are damaged by the refinishing process, but wouldn't it be possible protect them somehow? Which brings up another good point - should the frets be covered somehow when I have the clearcoat put on? My fathers friend will be taking care of that at his shop, so I should really have it ready to go before I take it there.

Thanx for the input folks. I just don't want to end up fixing something that's going to end up costing more time and money. You all know how it is I'm sure...

~Maxx

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good luck getting right up next to the frets with sandpaper! You'll probably be leaving a little bit of lacquer, and that'll give you dye problems. Also, do you really want a beautiful new guitar with frets covered in deep sanding scratches?

By the way, I have a black bass with a maple 'board, and I think it looks -very- classy.

[edit] you don't have to mask the frets when clearcoating. When the clear dries, score the bottom of the frets with an exacto knife, and simply pick the clear off with the tip of the knife or your fingernail.

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Most folks that refinish a Maple neck and board will just leave it Maple and clear coat it with the frets in place and when finished just scrape the frets as the finish will shy away from them a little bit making it easy to scrape em.

At Fender way back in the day, the finishers would have their own personal way of scraping frets. It was said that 1 finisher had a hollowed out nail to scrape the clear off. Use a nut file for the .040 and file a groove in the tip of a nail and try it for yourself and see if it suits you.

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