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ebony fret boards finish?
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Post
dcbaisden

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
How do I get that mirror finish?
I have sanded down to 800grit crocus and its pretty nice but I want it to look back at me.
There are spme slight checks in it also. Do you use a filler?
Thanks Dave

Jun 04, 07 | 11:54 am
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
I have read that Martin Guitars use a drop or two of Three in One oil. I use a concoction that Elderly sold a while back called Lizard Spit -- for no other reason (its mostly lemon oil) than it is named Lizard Spit.

Jun 04, 07 | 2:29 pm
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I sand mine using micromesh all the way to 12000 grit. I don't get a mirror finish, but I do get a very nice shine.

Jun 04, 07 | 2:59 pm
dcbaisden

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
david, where do you get micromesh?
Did you mean 1200?
I tried using some mineral spirits maybe the oil is the way to go.
Thanks Dave

Jun 04, 07 | 3:16 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
600G wet or dry paper, 0000 steel wool and two coats of Minwax hard finishing wax buff with a soft cloth --- I also polish each fret with the 600G and the steel wool -- I got this from Don Teeter. Very nice indeed!

Ken

www.kennethmichaelguitars.com

Jun 04, 07 | 3:20 pm
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
You can get micromesh at Woodcraft and Stewmac. And no, I really meant 12000. The stuff starts at 1500 then goes to 1800, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12000. Don't let the small sizes fool you either. I have a set that I have done 3 complete guitars with and am getting ready to do my 4th. If you keep it clean, it lasts a very long time. I am able to get a mirror finish on lacquer using nothing more than micromesh. Of course, I polish it up with swirl remover and polish, but you definately can get a mirror finish using just the micromesh pads. Amazing stuff.

My Blog

Jun 04, 07 | 3:30 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Ken, I am going to try that finshing wax. Hey JHowell, I was at ACE today, and they had some stuff called Monkey Butt. I think I'll send it to ya....;)

Jun 05, 07 | 5:59 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
The finish procedure for a fretboard is
I sand to 800 and 0000 steel wool, you cannot expect a mirror finish as the wood will only get so shiney but you can make it pretty.
Martin does use 3 in 1 oil but this is to be used annually after clean up. Don't use alot as it isn't needed. If you like to make it as shiney as possible use a buffer and wax.
I also use kiwi black shoe wax to buff up a good shine and as a potectant.
john hall

Jun 06, 07 | 4:05 am
dcbaisden

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
I tried sanding with some lemmon oil looked good wet. Then dulled.
did try the buffer and had a verry nice gloss. Ill give it a try with wax.
I have some johnson paste wax. black shoe wax , that has to work.
Thanks Dave

Jun 06, 07 | 7:42 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
A note about Minwax Finishing Wax ---- it is actually a solvent based top coat not a furniture polish/wax like Johnsons, or shoe polish. It can be used to competely finish wood with no need for other top coatings -- it dries hard and oil-less so it never gets sticky.

Ken

Jun 06, 07 | 8:38 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I guess I just like a fretboard to be really black. Black dye from Stewmac applied once or twice before fretting seems to work well enough for what I want. 0000 Steel wool before and after fretting gives the soft shine I'm looking for.

I have heard, too, that lemon oil if heavily applied can get into the wood fibers, even of a dense wood like ebony, and soften them to the point that the fret tangs don't hold well. I think it was from Rick Turner or Al Carruth I read that.

I've been thinking about using black frets on an ebony fretboard sometime, to give the look of the graphic image in a Santa Clara Guitar Co. advertisement and in another guitar ad I saw. I thought it looked pretty neat.

My 1ยข worth.
Bill

Jun 06, 07 | 1:35 pm
dcbaisden

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
I was looking at an Alverez a few days ago made in the 70's it was refretted with black frets and had black strings.
Real nice set up.
Dave

Jun 06, 07 | 1:48 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Except for linseed and tung oil, which will air catalyze -- (varnish) -- I personally stay away from any other oils on wood -- including lemon oil. I have heard the same Bill.

Ken

Jun 06, 07 | 2:12 pm
dcbaisden

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
well my test piece will have to be sanded pretty agressively. the lemon oil did it in.
I have some tru oil. any one tried that?
Dave

Jun 06, 07 | 4:21 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Dave -- I think TruOil, if applied after frets are installed, will "pile up" next to the frets and make things look sort of ... messy?


Jun 06, 07 | 4:32 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
martin uses 3 in 1 ( lard ) oil. I personally will use it with the wax. As ken pointed out some oils will varnish up. You body oils will be all the oil you need actually.
too much of a good thing , isn't a good think
john

Jun 06, 07 | 8:45 pm



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