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Fretting After Lacquering Board?

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I'm looking at this junky Peavey I have - I love the neck, and have been studying it's construction - it's a two piece maple neck with maple board. The joint however isn't between the board and neck - it's "bookmatched" along it's center down the length of the neck - with the trussrod routed out of each side before joining it.

( from the patent: http://patimg1.uspto.gov/.DImg?Docid=US004...p;ImgFormat=tif )

Anyway - that's not the point - I'm just examining the neck seeing what I like and dislike about it, thinking about copying the shape on a new build, and I'm looking at the frets - it's a lacquered maple board - but it appears that the frets where put in after the lacquer - there's no sign of lacquer on the fretwire anywhere - even on the ends of the slots where the tang is, so it appears that the slots where cut afterwards as well. (I can't think of another way to keep the slots clear when spraying.)

I always thought that one generally shot lacquer after fretting but before the level on a maple board like this. Was I mistaken, is it usually done the other way around? Is either way all right? I'm thinking of doing a lacquered board - what way would you all recommend?

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I commonly do this on maple fingerboards, though I use polyester or catalyzed urethane because it's harder. However, the process is still the same. Get your fingerboard all slotted, radiused, and level then shoot the clear. Let it cure well. Once cured sand the fingerboard once again to true it up. Use your fret saw to clean out the slots and finish the depth, and rub it out to your desired sheen. Install the frets carefully so as not to dent the maple and finish on top of it. Denting the finish can cause it to pop up off the wood underneath.

If you don't have some sort of fret press then I can not comment on the hammer method, though the precautions I mentioned would be the same.

I've heard of some companies that laquer/urethane/polyester over verything including the frets. I honestly don't understand why though.


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