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Maple Fretboards

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by JCreasy, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. JCreasy

    JCreasy Strat-Talk Member

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    Me, again.

    I just got that natural finish 1999 American Standard. Nice grain. (Will post pictures later).

    Long story short, looks like it was put away sweaty and left there for a long time. I know how to clean and what to expect everywhere else, but I have fretboard questions on the maple ones. (Sorry if these are silly or repeat questions).

    1. The board looks to be finished in matte (unlike a Rick... Which is gloss). Correct?

    2. There is either crud or remaining clear coat on the top of the frets in higher frets close to the body. Surely Fender crowned the frets AFTER the necks were sprayed, or not? If so, then it is crud. Will clean, no big deal, I'm just curious.

    3. There appears to be yellowing clearcoat near the edges of some of the frets. Not the side edges, but the ones that are horizontial to the neck... Between the position markers... Not the edge of the neck. When Ricks are fret dressed, you sometimes end up with a white line there. Is that likely crud I should try to pick out, or leave well enough along?

    Any help? Thanks in advance.

    The good news is that I got a grubby one that has hardly any play wear. I could not find a ding anywhere. There is no sweat or dirt in the grooves on the knobs. No discernible fret wear. The body seems to have yellowed slightly but I am not sure. The neck and headstock has not... Noticeably lighter than the one on my '96. Bridge has been pulled flush, not sure if blocked. No trem arm. The case shows very little wear.

    I will post before and after PICs is the board is interested. Also, all my Stratocasters have rosewood fretboards and blocked bridges. I am thinking of setting this one up as a trem guitar. Any suggestions on care and treatment for the maple fretboard or trem set-up appreciated. For now, I am considering a Parchment Pearloid guard or a Grey one.

    As you can tell, I'm excited.

    Take it easy and hope everyone has a good weekend,

    JKC
     
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  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    It's normal for for Fender maple necks to be shipped with clear over the frets and no actual fret level/crown done. The clear wears off quickly. If yours still has some on the frets, that certainly a good indication of low use.
     
  3. Fuggle

    Fuggle Strat-Talker

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    Not sure about all the crud, but welcome to the wonderful world of maple Strats! Rosewood fretboards are strictly for the heathens. ;)
     
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  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Vigorous rubbing with a barely damp cloth will shift the crud. Finish off with a dry cloth.
     
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  5. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's not a "long story short"...….
     
  6. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

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    Those era American Standards both Strats and Teles did have a more "matte" looking finish on the maple necks versus the really heavily gloss looking ones that came later around 2008 or so?, not sure of the years. Personally I prefer those "matte" or duller gloss finish necks a little more myself, but it's not a real big deal to me either way.
    T-Bit above is correct, the maple fretboard doesn't require maintenance other than wiping off if desired, and if necessary, a very slightly damp cloth, followed by immediate drying if really crudy.
    By the way, congrats. on the new Strat! Sounds cool, and everybody on here always likes photos. The way you describe the neck with the clearcoat still on the upper frets, and along the fret edges horizontally between the frets, that neck has had very little play. With no nicks or marks of any kind on the body, and that neck, I'd consider the guitar basically new myself.
     
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  7. JCreasy

    JCreasy Strat-Talk Member

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    Yeah, sorry about that... Maybe I should say, short story, long! :confused:
     
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  8. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

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    Just to add - that is correct; American Standards had satin/matte finished maple fingerboards until the 2008 revision when they went to the glossy finish on those models. They also started finishing the headstock face in gloss on rosewood fingerboard American Standards in 2008 as well; they were also satin on the earlier ones.
     
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  9. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ^^^ True, that!

    And, searching for a dark corner in which to hide from stones, and arrows after my comment which is biased due to a sincere appreciation for all things maple.
     
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  10. JCreasy

    JCreasy Strat-Talk Member

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    Here are the PICs. No scratch anywhere, not even on pickguard. Doesn't look like a wrench has been in to adjust truss. No worming on back. One minor scratch on case. Any value in cleaning and tucking away for future? It's already 20 and I got it in trade? Or just play?

    IMG_0990.JPG IMG_0992.JPG
    IMG_0991.JPG IMG_0993.JPG
    IMG_0995.JPG IMG_1004.JPG
    IMG_1001.JPG IMG_0997.JPG IMG_0998.JPG
     
  11. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Senior Stratmaster

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    The strings look a bit crusty but the guitar looks pretty good
     
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  12. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

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    Here here! Not to be trusted, go nowhere near the dark side!
     
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  13. JCreasy

    JCreasy Strat-Talk Member

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    "A bit crusty" is being kind. These are "... before" PICS.
     
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  14. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

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    Beautiful grain and guitar. The body along with the maple board are a great match.
     
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  15. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Just play it.
    It will not be a collectable guitar, because it was mass produced. A lot of them were made, and there are probably many in "closet queen" condition.

    Just play and enjoy it. It's a nice guitar by the way!!!
     
  16. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

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    It looks great. I had a 97 American Standard I wish I still had. They’re great guitars.
     
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  17. telepraise

    telepraise Strat-Talk Member

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    Great guitar! That's one of the nicest ash bodies I've ever seen. I terms of gunky frets, they make these thin stainless steel fret shields with a long slot in them a little wider that the fretwire bead. You lay it down with the fret poking through and the fingerboard shielded, then you can proceed to file, sand, polish the frets without scarring the fingerboard. It's kind of hard to tell in the lighting of your pictures, but I suspect a grey scotchbrite (about equal to 0000 steel wool) pad will be aggressive enough to take care of it. If not, start with 600 grit wet or dry paper (you can fold it to get into the tight area where the fret meets the board) and then work your way up to 1200. If you're really picky, you can polish the frets with a metal polish, I use jeweler's rouge on on a tiny buffer wheel on my dremel. Nice score on a beautiful instrument!
     
  18. JCreasy

    JCreasy Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for feedback. On collectability, I figured since they made about a Gajillion of these, but someone here may know something I don't. Clean and play it shall be. Will post "... after" PICs when I get a new pickguard installed and cleaned up.

    Thanks, again. I really appreciate the positive attitude on this board, the feedback and the help.

    Take it easy,

    JKC
     
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  19. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

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    Doesn’t look grubby at all. Stop worrying.
     
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  20. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    The finish never wears off the frets quickly enough for me. I just eventually pay for a good fret level and crowning anyway, so I’ve learned to suck it up and do it early. Some here do it themselves, but one time I tried it, learned I have little patience for repetitive minute work.
     
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