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Finishing the top of an ebony fretboard on a classical guitar.

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 9
I am in the final stages of French polishing my first kit guitar. I have not put anything on the top of the african ebony fretboard. How is the fret board generally finished?

Thanks for any help.

Jul 12, 10 | 10:10 pm

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 41
The fretboard on acoustic guitars is typically not finished. Some folks will leave it untreated just polished and some will apply a bit of oil, I think the most common is either linseed oil or lemon oil but I'm not sure, let it soak in for a few minutes and wipe it off. I use a product called High Cliff Fingerboard Oil that I picked up a few years ago. A very little oil goes a long way. I put a few drops on a clean rag and rub it on, wait 5 minutes and wipe it off.

Jul 13, 10 | 5:12 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I use this process, not matter what style of guitar -- Electric, Acoustic, Classical it's based on the great Don Teeter's (BTW his piblications are worth the investment) advice.

My paste wax choice for fingerboards is Minwax "hard finishing wax" found at all the big box stores.

Ken Cierp

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jul 13, 10 | 6:55 am

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 9
Thanks for the advise and the link. I have already polished the fret board and it is free of scratches. Based on the link there is a bit more burnishing I could do on the frets.

I will try the Minwax.

Jul 13, 10 | 8:24 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I've actually used Howards Restore A Finish....kinda like it. not sure what the long term implications are, but we'll see. Normally, I use the fret board oil from LMI or Stewmac, but once I used Howards RAF and liked how it colored up the board a little more.

Jul 13, 10 | 10:11 am

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
If I recall correctly, John Hall says 3-in-1 oil works nice on the fretboard. I don't want to put words in his mouth but that is what I remember. I'm sure John is busy, busy, busy right now preparing for the gathering at his place on Sat. Sure wish I could have been there but it didn't work out for me this year.

Jul 15, 10 | 5:29 pm

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