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mikeyrjiom
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03/03/2021 10:21 am  

Hi Guys

@MarkBailey recently showed us, via streams, that he prefers to lacquer the maple fretboard before fitting the frets. Hope I understood that correctly.

I am currently building an Electric set neck from flamed maple which will have the neck and a separate fretboard made from the same billet (the wood came from Bosnia and I made the acoustic (Phil Series) from the same pieces) The PRS I have does not have a lacquered fretboard and feels as if it's just buffed or polished.

Whats the thought on lacquered/ un-lacquered are there any advantages or disadvantages to either of these?

Thanks


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tv1
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03/03/2021 12:00 pm  

I think the main issue with an unlacquered - or unfinished in any way - maple board is that it'll get visibly dirty quite quickly.

Not just from your fingers, but the strings as well!

Also, a bit of finish on a flamed maple board can really make it "wow".

The only disadvantage that springs to mind is the hassle of applying the finish to the fretboard.

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Deej
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07/03/2021 6:53 pm  

Personally I prefer oiled fretboards to work on and definitely to play on. Most bolt ones gave lacquered and do not play well until a number of hours of use...only my opinion.

A lot more work to built too?

I have too many guitars...said no one in the world..ever!


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mikeyrjiom
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09/03/2021 4:36 pm  

Thanks for the replies @TV1 and @Deej. Was hoping Mark would have a take on this.

I have been looking through interweb and it seems people are suggesting a few coats of TRU-OIL on maple fretboards.

This as well as being very expensive seems to be mainly sold for guns, so not sure if there is anything else that is specifically for guitars / wood.

Axeminster are selling a "Liberon Finishing Oil" that is resistant to water, alcohol and food acid etc so this sounds as if it would fit the bill.

Anyone tried anything like this?


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tv1
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09/03/2021 5:18 pm  

This as well as being very expensive seems to be mainly sold for guns, so not sure if there is anything else that is specifically for guitars / wood.

I've used Tru-Oil on guitar woods - it's not *just* for gun stocks, though it is very popular for those too.

A maple fretboard won't absorb much oil (of any kind).  The smallest bottle of it is about £12, and will be way more than you'll need for one neck.  So, not hugely expensive really.

But, oil (of any kind) won't give you the same amount of protection as a lacquered finish.  The oil will wear more easily and faster and so your protection from moisture/dirt (which is why you're applying it) will not be as long-lasting.  Sure, you can then re-apply it, but you'd have to make sure that you remove all traces of dirt from the fretboard before applying new coats of oil.  Which will be a pita!

How much that's a problem will depend on how much you play the guitar.  If you're going to be playing pro-level amounts, then the oil finish will wear through in weeks/months.  If you're going to pick up the guitar for an hour every week or so, then it's obviously going to last a lot longer.

If oiling was the cheaper/easier/better option, then Fender would use it on their maple-necked Teles & Strats.  They don't.

I generally avoid maple fretboards on my builds because it's easier to finish other types of wood.

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mikeyrjiom
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09/03/2021 5:53 pm  

Thanks Again @tv1

Looks like its lacquering then 😀. I prefer a satin type finish on the necks, so I think that should still work on the fretboard

I presume you would still need a sanding sealer coat underneath to start the spraying process off. I don't know if there is the need for the grain filler on maple though

 


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Boo
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09/03/2021 6:09 pm  

@mikeyrjiom Here is my contribution to this conversation about finishes on maple fretboards. Hope it helps and saves you some time and effort. 👍

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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Boo
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09/03/2021 6:14 pm  

I presume you would still need a sanding sealer coat underneath to start the spraying process off. I don't know if there is the need for the grain filler on maple though

@mikeyrjiom This is covered in the finishing course, check out the whole thing, it’s a good overview of paint/lacquer/clear finishing. 👍

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tv1
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09/03/2021 7:16 pm  

Here is my contribution to this conversation about finishes on maple fretboards

That is brilliant @boo.  

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Deej
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09/03/2021 7:28 pm  

Nice vid @boo. Got to agree with you on that...it’s why I prefer ebony, rosewood or other dark boards.

I have too many guitars...said no one in the world..ever!


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Boo
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09/03/2021 7:57 pm  

@tv101 and @deej Thanks. I experimented and it didn’t work so it’s only right that I pass that knowledge on so others won’t (maybe 🤣) make the same mistake. 
I have avoided spraying maple fretboards because of the frets, I was unsure of what to do. Now I’ve watched Mark’s finishing course, I will now take on spraying them. It means my scope of materials (wood) has now increased, I am not limiting myself any more. 
Like I said, taking note of what the bigger boys have done before us (Fender, Gibson etc) is a good start, they figured it all out so we don’t have to. 

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mattbeels
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10/03/2021 7:28 am  

Good job @boo, thanks for the vid. 👍

Pratice on scrap...


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mikeyrjiom
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10/03/2021 11:46 am  

Thanks  @boo 

The video was very useful.

Just need to find the part on the finishing course that talks about how Lewis sprayed @rashdown_online (Roland's) guitar neck.


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Boo
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10/03/2021 11:51 am  

Thanks  @boo 

The video was very useful.

No problem 👍

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Roland
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10/03/2021 12:07 pm  

how Lewis sprayed @rashdown_online (Roland's) guitar neck

Not sure if that'll be on there (likely not professional enough). The reason I say that is that the only way I can think that a mortal completed that job was when Carol told Lewis the "difference between a Buffalo and a Bison" joke whilst Lewis had a mouthful of Irn-Bru, and sprayed the Irn-Bru over the neck/fingerboard at the punchline.

Irn-Bru, you see, is the beverage/liquid of Champions.

HOW OLD AM I??? (See: Joined...)
Signed: (legit grumpy) OLD bloke... 😛


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