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How can you get that worn look on a maple fretboard?


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I had my MIM Fender Stratocaster now for three and a half years now,and the fretboard doesn't even look the least worn.In fact it still looks like it did when I brought it home.I like the looks of the older guitars,I have seen a really old Tele,or Esquire with a very worn fretboard. They look so cool. I guess I don't dig in enough when I play,or use heavy strings or something.I use Ernie Ball Hybrids .009-.046,they feel great and I really don't feel like changing gauges,not in this guitar anyways. Other than with age,how can you get a fretboard to have those worn marks?

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Originally posted by KATMAN

I had my MIM Fender Stratocaster now for three and a half years now,and the fretboard doesn't even look the least worn.In fact it still looks like it did when I brought it home.I like the looks of the older guitars,I have seen a really old Tele,or Esquire with a very worn fretboard. They look so cool. I guess I don't dig in enough when I play,or use heavy strings or something.I use Ernie Ball Hybrids .009-.046,they feel great and I really don't feel like changing gauges,not in this guitar anyways. Other than with age,how can you get a fretboard to have those worn marks?

 

nitrocellulose laquer

 

Fender uses this on their necks

 

I could be wrong though, cuz its sort of illegal to use in its pure state, so since the 70's they've been mixing it in with Polyester laquer

 

your guitar has a poly coat, so it wont relic, get worn, fade, or look cool

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Other than with age,how can you get a fretboard to have those worn marks?

 

If you're talking about those grey/brown wear marks on the fingerboard, then I don't think there is another way. Gotta play it alot. Unless you want to use sandpaper to speed up the process. Doubt that would look as cool though.

 

Just play the hell out of the thing!:thu:

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The maple neck and fretboard on my 1979 strat still looks new and shiney bright. The frets are all worn down from years of playing but the neck still looks new. Only the headstock has yellowed pretty dark but the rest of the neck and board is still clean and bright and probably only slightly more yellowed than new. Even the white body hasn't yellowed much. The finish is all cracked up with checking, but still pretty white in color.

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Originally posted by Treborklow

The maple neck and fretboard on my 1979 strat still looks new and shiney bright. The frets are all worn down from years of playing but the neck still looks new. Only the headstock has yellowed pretty dark but the rest of the neck and board is still clean and bright and probably only slightly more yellowed than new. Even the white body hasn't yellowed much. The finish is all cracked up with checking, but still pretty white in color.

 

I think you will find the necks on 70s Strats were poly with the headstock face nitro.

 

Easy way to chew up your fret board is to not keep your nails short!

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I did a relic maple neck simulating some worn spots with amber "tobacco smoke in a bar" type staining using a 3# cut varnish wash. I then shot some clear poly over it while wet to simulate some checking. Do not try this at home. I used to refinish VERY high end furniture.

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My 76 strat has reliced differently from the CBS strats. The poly has chipped all around the edges of the fingerboard, but where it hasn't chipped, it looks sorta new, except that it needs a fret job and a good cleaning. :(

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I've seen guys take sandpaper and screwdrivers to it in order to replicate the effects of your nails and the strings digging into the board:freak: Doing a relic body is one thing, but if you dont relic the neck properly it can effect your playability so dont go all crazy with it.

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Older Fenders had a thin coat of laquer on the necks. Those dark spots you see on old Fenders is where the laquer has been worn away down to the bare wood underneath. Since your strat doesn't have laquer on the neck, this effect can't be achieved. You can make it look real worn and dirty by just not cleaning it, but it's a different look.

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Originally posted by Robert Kortus

Older Fenders had a thin coat of laquer on the necks. Those dark spots you see on old Fenders is where the laquer has been worn away down to the bare wood underneath. Since your strat doesn't have laquer on the neck, this effect can't be achieved. You can make it look real worn and dirty by just not cleaning it, but it's a different look.

 

I don't know that that is entirely true - I don't see why you can't wear down the finish whatever it is until wood is showing. It may take a lot longer and be practically impossible, but not completely impossible.

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Originally posted by walt0915



I don't know that that is entirely true - I don't see why you can't wear down the finish whatever it is until wood is showing. It may take a lot longer and be practically impossible, but not completely impossible.

 

He can still get a good worn-in look by playing the heck out of it, but the "look" that he's refering is becasue of the laquered neck. Newer Fenders don't have laquered necks (unless you get one of the Vintage series) thus why it will look different. Trust me on this, if you take a look at the neck of an old Fender you can clearly see the laquer around the frets, but inbetween it has been worn away and doesn't have that shiny look any more.

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