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Tips On Fretboard Cleaning


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Well, the title pretty much says it all. I'm looking forward to being able to polish the frets and clean up the fretboard when I'm done painting my project. It has a little more than the normal playing wear, just sawdust from being attached to a body-in-progress and a bit of tape residue. I found out though, due to an unfortunate sanding accident, that my ebony fretboard has in fact been stained black. Under normal circumstances, I would have just taken some high grit paper to the board and finished it with some Dunlop fretboard oil, but if I sand off the dyed layer (and knowing me, I'll probably do it unevenly), it will change the whole look of the fretboard.

Has anyone dealt with cleaning a fretboard that has been dyed? If so, what processes have been used? I guess the simplest answer would be to sand the wood as normal and then dye it black again, but it'd be pretty cool if I could "see my neighbor's house" like in Brian's tutorial, haha. :D

Thanks in advance, all!

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I'm a bit confused by your post.

Isn't an Ebony fingerboard supposed to be black, so why do you need to change the colour?

I know it is often not uniform in its black colouring, so it is usually dyed black for that reason.

My fretboard is dyed ebony. If I sand it with some high-grit paper to take the grime off, it'll turn an uneven color, which I don't want. My thought is that if I do it this way, I will have to dye it black again afterwards.

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You should probably just level it, sand it to the final grit and radius, then dye it with this product: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supp...oard_Stain.html

I've never used it myself but it seems to be what you're needing. Hope that helps.


To do that, I'd need to pull off the frets and refret it, sounds like. I KNOW that I'm not skilled enough to undertake that project, haha. I was thinking of something I could do that was more along the lines of masking the frets off and hitting the board with some high-grade paper, 1500 or 2000.

Chances are, I'd have to stain the fretboard black again, when I was done.

Anyone have any ideas?

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