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Old 02-15-2014, 03:44 PM
123john 123john is offline
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Default Anybody use this type of polishing wheel on a fretboard rehab?

After cleaning and oiling a fretboard why not use this type of polishing wheel on a drill instead of hand wiping with a rag?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FREE-SHIP-ON...item485eddd597

I thought I would give it a try but would like to know if anyone else has tried it. I only rehab low end guitars, FYI. Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123john View Post
After cleaning and oiling a fretboard why not use this type of polishing wheel on a drill instead of hand wiping with a rag?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FREE-SHIP-ON...item485eddd597

I thought I would give it a try but would like to know if anyone else has tried it. I only rehab low end guitars, FYI. Thanks.
A cotton T-shirt has always worked for me. A polishing wheel seems like overkill but I don't see why it would hurt anything.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:33 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123john View Post
After cleaning and oiling a fretboard why not use this type of polishing wheel on a drill instead of hand wiping with a rag?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FREE-SHIP-ON...item485eddd597

I thought I would give it a try but would like to know if anyone else has tried it. I only rehab low end guitars, FYI. Thanks.
1. I don't oil fretboards. I don't feel a need to do so. If frets are removed for other repairs the fingerboard gets sanded to 600, very smooth, essentially burnished.

2. What are you trying to accomplish? What "polishing" does a "low end" guitar's fingerboard need? Seems like over-kill.

As long as you "polish" with the grain of the wood, it won't do any harm. Be certain the guitar is well secured and that you don't catch fret ends or fingerboard corners with the spinning wheel - if you do, it'll do more harm that good.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:35 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by bnjp View Post
. A polishing wheel seems like overkill but I don't see why it would hurt anything.
I also think it is overkill. Stray threads dragging in the fret ends could pose a significant risk to the frets, also having the guitar dragged out of your grasp if the wheel did catch on the work

John, if you go ahead with this, I suggest masking up the guitar body around the fretboard extension, to avoid inadvertently buffing the top.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:36 PM
123john 123john is offline
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Thanks for the advice. Charles, some of the guitars I have rehabbed had fretboards that were so dried out, you could see they had shrunk and cracked...I'm guessing these were left in the sun or over heat registers! I sand these, and then apply a light coat of lemon oil (or two or three) and then buff them...I know it seems like a waste on a low end guitar, but I enjoy the process of taking a fretboard from disaster to a nice smooth finish. Tony thanks for the tip about catching a fret ....could be a serious setback.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:26 PM
Dan Carey Dan Carey is offline
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John,

That wheel will work just fine in a variable speed drill...at lower speeds. Let the oil soak in a while before using the buffing wheel. I just use a cotton T-shirt scrap and have found that my fretboards might need oiling every four years or so. And very sparingly at that.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:53 PM
123john 123john is offline
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John,

That wheel will work just fine in a variable speed drill...at lower speeds. Let the oil soak in a while before using the buffing wheel. I just use a cotton T-shirt scrap and have found that my fretboards might need oiling every four years or so. And very sparingly at that.
Dan, you and I are on the same wavelength. I let the oil soak in for a while, then wipe off any excess. Then I have tried to buff by hand but my old joints just can't go long enough to get that shine that I think is possible...that's why I need some horsepower.
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Yamaha FG-110
Yamaha FG-160
Yamaha FG-180
Yamaha FG-800
Fender partscaster
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Five old dead basses awaiting resuscitation
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:06 AM
arie arie is offline
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if you must buff to a high gloss, why not try a dremel and a more manageable wheel then that beast?

i once saw a gibson employee tossing a les paul around in the air and behind his back like a harlem globe trotter in between stabs at the 24" buffing wheel. you'll need to handle that thing carefully or you'll have an "incident" -unless you work at gibson that is.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:23 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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I have developed my own technique for fretboard refinishing and it works very well (for me).

I am no good at scraping wood for finishing. I know its a better method than sanding but I haven't gotten the hang of it yet on big surfaces like soundboards.

On fretboards, however, I am very successful with it. I scrap my fingerboards, instead of sanding.

It gives a much better finish. I can also scrape between frets without removing fretwire.

I find that this is a very highly technique dependent method. For some inexplicable reason, I got the hang of this and find it works very well (for me).

I have a very specific method I apply to do it but its hard to explain. Essentially, I scrap parallel to the grain with an un-burnished single edge razor blade, back and forth, from fret-wire to fret-wire, slow and steady at first, angle-flipping the blade half-way through the travel. Then, light and fast to finish. I then finish wiping with scotchbrite.

The great thing about this is that it generates just enough exact matching filler dust in case I have any divots or defects or cracks that need filling in.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:22 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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I always buff the frets and usually the board as well after a fret job or refret. It's how I learned it 43 years ago, and how I have done it ever since. If it's a refret or new guitar, the board is sanded to 600 and taped while the frets are sanded to 600. Then I pull the tape, and then I buff. Brown Tripoli compound for acoustics; for electrics I follow that with white or blue rouge. For a more traditional look and feel to the wood, I will leave the board taped when buffing.

I buff with the frets, across the board. Never a problem with catching the buff under the fret end. Leaves no cross grain scratches.

I then clean any excess compound off with a light furniture oil (not an oil finish), and wipe off any excess oil.

Players love the feel of a polished fret. Never a complaint.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 02-17-2014 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:45 PM
123john 123john is offline
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Wow, it's interesting to hear about all the many different ways there are to accomplish the seemingly simple job of a fretboard rehab. Thanks everyone.
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Alvarez Yairi DY 57 1978
Yamaha FG-110
Yamaha FG-160
Yamaha FG-180
Yamaha FG-800
Fender partscaster
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Five old dead basses awaiting resuscitation
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:12 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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[accidental duplicate post]
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 02-18-2014 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:16 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Originally Posted by 123john View Post
Wow, it's interesting to hear about all the many different ways there are to accomplish the seemingly simple job of a fretboard rehab. Thanks everyone.
I don't know what the phrase "fretboard rehab" means. I was talking about refretting or leveling and shaping. You appear to be talking about cleaning and oiling. I can see no reason to wipe up your excess oil with a buffing wheel if that is all you have done. And I don't oil fretboards other than to use a light oily hydrocarbon (that evaporates off) such as "lemon oil polish" as a cleaner.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 02-18-2014 at 01:05 AM.
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