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Chipping Finish

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I just layed away a pretty cheap guitar at the pawn shop, because I wanted something cheap to experiment on etc. I noticed that despite the guitar being in pretty good condition, the finish right up against the fretboard is chipping. It's whiteish on top in a lot of places agthat are directly over the frets, and has actually chipped off for about an inch or two along the 7th or 9th fret markers. It's on both sides of the fretboard, not just the side with the dots.. do any of you guys know what might have caused this? I am thinking someone tried to do soemthing with the frets and ruined the finish but I'm not sure. I will get pictures as soon as I pay it off, but from this info, does anyone have any ideas?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright well I finally got a pic for you... was having technical problems with the camera... anyway this is what I was talking about...


All that yellowish white stuff along the side of the fretboard is basically bubbled up or peeling. It looks the same on the other side of the fretboard except the previous owner didn't pick at it.

I thought of a new hypothesis, because it appears that the fretboard is stained... is it possible for the clear to have an adverse reaction to the stain? Because this problem ends dead along the fingerboard, except those areas were the previous owner pulled on the peeling clear and it chipped off the black.

Any suggestions on what could have happened here?

Here's the guitar... I took the pics while I was at work.


Pretty good for $70 I'd like to think...

Edited by smileynumber13
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Here's a hypothesis, the natural oils in the rosewood fretboard have prevented the clear laquer applied to the neck wood from adhering properly to the side of the fretboard, hence it is causing the lacquer to lift/blister. Can it be carefully cut off with a sharp knife and the laquer removed from the side of the rosewood?

It's tricky to tell with that photo - need more of a close up.

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  • 1 month later...

Something similar happened to me with my old Westfield bass. The neck was in a terrible state on that thing... the frets were worn so low it basically permanent buzz. On the frets near the top of the neck there was string wear on the freboard itself where the strings were so low. it was horrible.

There was also a simliar thing happening as what's happening hear - the finish was cracking off by the frets.

I put the neck out of its misery by pulling the frets out, sanding down all the lacquer on the neck and starting from scratch again with a natural neck. It made a pretty wicked fretless, and I use the bass much more this way.

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