What do you do for your frets?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by StratoStrummer, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. CigBurn

    CigBurn Total Hack

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    Just give'm the ol' lickeroo.
     
  2. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Strat-O-Master

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    Fret rubbers - Hosco. From
    Memory…

    …180/400/1000 and then new strings
     
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  3. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    Frets dont really need polishing after the initial fret or refret job.Stainless steel frets especially retain their shine but even nickel ones dont really need special care unless you have that guitar abandoned for years in some god forsaken place where crud has made a couple of layers over the fretboard and the frets...then it needs some clean up and afterwards if you want polishing with some metal creme.
     
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  4. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Ask not what you can do for your frets.
    Ask what your frets can do for you.:D
     
  5. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I polish them after purchase. Once I started doing some fretwork, I realized how nice "freshly polished" is. I haven't decided if I need to redo it - at the moment, frequent play is keeping the working surfaces bright and bend inducing. I like a high grit polish over 2000. But if it's a purchase that has serious roughness, I'll drop to sandpaper and start there, working my way up.
     
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  6. Exhead

    Exhead Strat-Tinkerer Gold Supporting Member

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    I found the Gorgomyte to work well but the smell was unpleasant ands it is quite a black mess depending on how oxidized and dirty the frets are. Maybe I got a old pad or something. I should try it again maybe.
     
  7. Boyd L

    Boyd L Strat-Talker

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    For any guitar with frets NOT in need of replacement (never had one of those so I think that fix is easy) I don't do any maintenance or cleaning of the fretboard while strings are on the guitar.
    While playing only if a fret is causing issues, such as buzzing or sprout I will do maintenance checks with a rocker or file work on the ends.
    During a string change a closer inspection for flat spots and crown needs is done. Fret leveling is done only when playability is affected. No special cleaning or polishing of the frets or board is usually done at a string change, just a thorough wipe of the board tight to the frets as part of a visual inspection more than for cleaning purposes.
    I have obtained used guitars that were evidently owned/played by an individual with severe hygiene problems/habits to the point of oozing funky schmutz onto the fret board or kept in an environment of absolute chemical/hygienic dankness that rubber gloves and a respirator (ok, I really didn't use a respirator) were necessary to scrub the fret board clean. My hyperbole notwithstanding, it was nasty.

    Fret leveling/crowning if needed, otherwise just a cursory (accidental?) wipe down.
    I'm more concerned about hand oils/sweat on the neck than the frets.
     
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  8. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    I just bend strings, that keeps the tops clean, when I do refrets or levelling and dressing I use wire wool for a final polish with the fretboard taped off.
     
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  9. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Kennedy. Wise man.
     
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  10. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    They remain inside in a cool environment with no special treatment, or polish.
     
  11. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Can someone post a before/after or a side-by-side of regular old nickel frets vs freshly polished frets.

    I never knew fret polishing was a thing untill I started hanging out here. Add it to the list of things, really. But I don't think I'm capable of recognizing if/when my frets are becoming problematic. (I probably don't play enough for it to be an issue, but I still like to know and understand things.)
     
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  12. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    Nothing
     
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  13. StratoStrummer

    StratoStrummer Strat-Talk Member

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    It is probably more a feeling of a very smooth fret with slinky bending, than a visual fact.
    Even more if it is done every year or two and not on a strat-shaped monster emerging from a basement after a lifetime.
     
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  14. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Most Honored Senior Member

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    I take them out to dinner sometimes.

    Sounds kinky..
     
  15. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    I keep frets polished. And once you do, you will understand why.



    just playing will not in anyway do this for you…
     
  16. Siameser

    Siameser Strat-Talk Member

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    I use Miracle Cloth about every six weeks, which equates to about every other string change.

    I watched a good comparison video for all the various ways to polish frets, and the Miracle cloth seemed to fare pretty well. The reviewer also compared the Gorgomyte (sp?) cloth and he concluded that the Gorgomyte and the Miracle Cloth were the identical, re-branded product with the Miracle Cloth being considerably less expensive.
     
  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm not sure when you last purchased in but this may resolve the unpleasant smell.

    If it's been a while since you last used Gorgomyte, you're going to notice a big
    change and improvement. Gone is the rather oily and somewhat toxic scented yellow
    cloth. In it's place is a stronger, drier more powerful cleaning beige cloth. Don't let it's dry quality fool you. This is our Professional Strength cloth. It cleans and polishes far
    better than it's predecessor. It also has a nicer coconut scent. This is actually our
    original formula that put us on the map years ago with our rock star and luthier
    supply house clients. We've been bombarded with requests to bring this cloth back
    so here we are.We hope you love our Professional Strength Formula as much as
    they do.

    The black mess can't really be helped. That's the surface material and oxidation from the metal fret being removed much like sawdust when you sand a piece of lumber but in this case when combined with the cleaning agents in the cloth you end up with a greasier smudge or coating on the frets and surrounding fret board to clean off.

    I just use a cotton cloth or an old tee shirt or cloth diaper to wipe it off then polish the frets and fret board with a micro fiber cloth. That black "mess" is how you know it's working by removing a very thin layer of fret material much like you might fine sand a lacquer finish before buffing it out to put the final luster and shine to it.
     
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  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I play them.
    Wipe them down on a string change.

    This polishing thing is an internet phenomenon. Like oiling your fretboard.
     
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  19. jbylake

    jbylake Fabulously Famous Nobody Silver Member

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    Same here. Must be a generational thing or something?
     
  20. Exhead

    Exhead Strat-Tinkerer Gold Supporting Member

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    On a Rosewood board it is ok as it may blend in with imperfections. On a Maple board if you have wear grooves, pits, chips, dings, scratched, etc the black "mess" may end up embedded in the wood fiber of these imperfections as dark spots. I will have to try it again if there is a new formula. I loved what it did for fretboards but the smell was atrocious. Thanks
     
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