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Staining A Fret Board


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hi guys, im planning on customising my guitar. its some form of a toyshop copy of a soloist, strat and showmaster all mixed together. i was making out the pics last night, and i thought that withe the blue mettalic finish, white scratch plate and accsessories on it, that the neck would be better in ebony. its a mple neck with rosewood, pearl dots and silver frets. i read an article on this site about staining wood ebony colur. luckily my part time job is refinishing furniture, so staining is one of my specialties, but i want to know what is the best approach to doing it on a fretboard. its has a finish on it, im not sure what, but it has something on it, so how would i go about removing that, and can i stain it with the frets and pearl inlays still on, or do they have to be taken out. if so, how on gods earth do i do that. this is the only real complicated part of the progect. other than that i just have to refinsih the body, add new pickups and bridge and stuff, and put it back together. so any help with the neck would be great, thanks

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the fact that it was bought from a toyshop means nothing, its made of ash, i got my dad, a crapenter to look at it, and he said it was a good wood. the sound is good from it, but thats cause i added a humbucker to the bridge. it had a good sound with the single coils on it, but it was a bit weak, so i got a single size humbucker, and im going to get anoher for the neck, and a single coil for the middle. it plays great, better than most guitars i have played. for the 90euors i spent on it, its brilliant. if i was to describe it, i would sy its about as good as a squier strat, and im replacing all the pickuops, so it should end up being a lot better. i wont be spending too much on it though, just a couple of hundred, so it looks like a custom strat and sounds decent. but anyway, any ideas on the neck

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... i read an article on this site about staining wood ebony colur. luckily my part time job is refinishing furniture, so staining is one of my specialties, but i want to know what is the best approach to doing it on a fretboard. its has a finish on it, im not sure what, but it has something on it, so how would i go about removing that, and can i stain it with the frets and pearl inlays still on, or do they have to be taken out. if so, how on gods earth do i do that. ...

You can use Stew Mac's Black Fingerboard Stain to give it an ebony look. I've never tried to stain one with the frets already installed though, but I imagine it wouldn't hurt anything. The only concern is with the inlays, try not too stain them directly somehow if your not going to pull the frets. You could try it first and if it doesn't give you the results your looking for, you will then need to remove the frets and do it that way. If your not really familar with fretwork, then I'd consider avoiding doing this, since you'll want the fretjob to be accurate as can be. You can pull the frets by heating them up with a soldering iron, and slowly prying them up starting at one end and going across the length of the fret. Installing new ones could fill up a whole article on it's own, if you want to do the job right. Please only mess with the fretjob as a last resort.

As far as getting the old finish off the fingerboard, you can use Naphtha (lighter fluide) to remove it. That should work unless for some reason it has been clear coated, which would suprise me since it's usually only done that way on maple fingerboards.

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yeah its not a clear coat, it doent feel that way anyway, so lighter fluid, i take it i dont light it anyway, lol, it might turn the wood black, but not the look im going for. i have the stain sorted out though, i have a couple of tins of ebony stain lyeing around, so that shuld sort it, what would the stain do to the inlays, all thats on it is pearl dots. and what will i use to refinish the fretboard

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yeah its not a clear coat, it doent feel that way anyway, so lighter fluid, i take it i dont light it anyway, lol, it might turn the wood black, but not the look im going for. i have the stain sorted out though, i have a couple of tins of ebony stain lyeing around, so that shuld sort it, what would the stain do to the inlays, all thats on it is pearl dots. and what will i use to refinish the fretboard

I think you would want to use dye rather than stain.

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