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Maple Fretboard Finishing


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Two options off the top of my head, first is to mask off each individual fret and spray a clearcoat on the entire neck and the second is more like what the lower end factory jobs do and just clear coat it completely.

I have had to clean up so many frets because of over spray on the lower end production guitars it's not funny.

Course there is a third option and thats finish the clearing before you fret it but your always going to end up going through the clear when you dress the fret ends.

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I just finished my 3rd maple neck, like this:

Sanding sealer everywhere & sand

Many coats polyurethane on fretboard only

Finish-sand & buff out fretboard

Clean out fret slots & install frets

Mask fretboard surface

Level & bevel the fret ends

One more coat sanding sealer on back & sand

PolyU-buff out the rest of the neck

Expose frets through the tape with razor blade

Level-crown-dress-buff frets

Remove remaining tape, clean up (buff) fretboard edge

My first 2 necks I had done the sanding sealer everywhere first, then installed the frets, then did the finish over top of the frets. It wasn't too bad a job to clean up the frets, for me the most frustrating thing was having to sand the fretboard between the frets during finishing.

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