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cleaning frets on Fender '57 reissue maple neck


ry1633
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Hi all, I am getting ready to possible sell a Fender '57 reissue maple neck of mine. It has the thick tinted laqcuer and smaller frets. The frets have a minor bit of blue/green corrision on them in a few places from sweat and the elements. What's the best thing to use to clean the frets in a situation like mine? I've heard to stay away from lemon oil or anything like that.

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Things like bore oil, lemon oil, fret doctor, etc are meant to condition unfinished fretboards like rosewood so not related to your situation.

 

I'd do it in steps:

 

1) Use a mild cleaner and microfiber cloth to remove any dirt or grime (I use Meguiars Quick Detailer)

 

2) Mask the fingerboard except for the frets

 

3) Polish the frets: there are a lot of different ways to do this, but if they're in good shape a super fine polishing compound should work.

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Lemon oil is a no-no with a nitro finish. Most "lemon oil" you can buy is scented mineral oil but why take a chance? On acoustics I use steel wool but it gets into magnetic pickups. I used one of those nail buffing blocks (abrasive over a foam core) on my last electric and it worked well. I bought one with various grades of abrasive and used the finest one that would produce results.

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1. take off strings

2. clean with nahptha

3. tape off frets

4. use 800>1000>2000 paper... I wrap around a little block, about 3-4 inches long and move it with the frets, I've even used a closed deck of cards for a block

5. polish with meguiers scracthX2.0

6. clean with nahptha

 

PS just to clean, do above without sandpaper, that meguiers is gold

Edited by billybilly
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The above suggestions are all valid, however when I do find this, I generally go up and down the fretboard, bending strings with good hard three finger bends, and that usually does the job fine.

 

However if the verdigris is not on the playing surface of the frets, a well used scotchbrite dish sponge will take off any loose deposits, just slightly dampen it and then buff over with a soft cloth to dry.

 

If you do go down the fine abrasive pad route, make sure you polish the frets in a linear direction with the frets, ie not across frets, as this will make bends scratchy

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For years I have been using a jeweler's polish cloth. Polish my frets up a bit every string change, as corrode quickly here in Thailand. Easy to find on Amazon or even check local jewelry shop. If good enough to polish gold, I reckon won't cause much harm to frets.

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