fretboard play wear; rosewood vs maple

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by gretev, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. gretev

    gretev Strat-O-Master

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    Vintage maple board Strats and Teles with nitro finishes mostly show playing wear on the fretboard in the spots that were played on most often. (see picture)

    I own 3 maple board CS Fender guitars that I have owned for about 7 years. I don't play them as often as I do my rosewood guitars yet often enough. Why don't they show any playing wear as vintage Strats do? Just curious how long it would take a nitro maple board to show playing wear. How much playing does it actually take for the finish to wear through?

    Do other fretboard woods show wear as well? I am thinking rosewood or ebony? None of my well played rosewood or ebony guitars seem to show wear. Is this just because these woods are harder and there is no nitro finish on them?

    Just trying to get a general sense of how much a guitar with the respective fretboards need to be played before wear is visible.

    PS: I don't want wear on my guitars. I like to keep them in good condition. So this isn't me looking for ways to relic my guitar quicker :)

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    I don’t think “modern” nitro is as unstable as the old vintage nitro that is illegal to use. If you are spreading out your time between that many guitars, I doubt any of them will show that kind of wear, unless you are a gigging musician, I would think.
     
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  3. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    it is a user issue and not a material or finish issue.

    some people have a gorilla strength grip and their fingers and nails are abrading the board and some peeps have a light touch and do not even touch the board when they play.
     
  4. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    You can certainly put wear on rosewood, ebony etc.
    Mostly ruts between the strings.

    To avoid this, keep your fingernails clipped, and wash your hands before playing.
     
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  5. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    A few other factors are involved beside the finish. How high are the frets? What is you playing technique? How abrasive are the tips of your fingers? How often do you play?

    I don't have any poly or nitro finished fretboards anymore. I only have two that have a light coat of TruOil on them. Some of my guitars show patterns of use mostly based on dust moving away from the plant areas. The one one-piece maple neck that I have with a TruOil finish shows burnishing in the plant areas. It probably won't get too dirty a look, however. I keep my hands pretty clean while playing. And my technique is not a tight grip. It is more of a glide.
     
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  6. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Im an animal. Only use dark boards though. Good thing I dont like maple cause it would look like ash if I used it.
     
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  7. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I think in the old days, people had one guitar, which they played a few hours every day, and then 4 hours every night at their gigs. Thus, the wear you see.
     
  8. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Senior Stratmaster

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    Rumor has it the reason Leo Fender started using rosewood was due to the unsightly appearance that a maple neck with gray string debris ground into it yielded.

    More importantly, I look forward to the day I actually get a maple neck to look that worn. I'll celebrate by actually being good enough to be called a guitar player.

    NC
     
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