Advice for fretboard chips and finish

vagabond09

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I recently got a Les Paul Traditional 2010 in Desert Burst for a price that I couldn't resist used with the original hard case included.
The owner pretty much had it in the case for the last 5 years, so the condition of the guitar aesthetically, especially the body and the neck, is mint.
The guitar plays and sounds great! The frets will need a bit of conditioning as it's pretty corroded from being in the hard case in these years.

However, there are two things bothering me at the moment. The first one being the fret board. It has a few scratches from the 1st - 5th fret. They actually look more like scratch chips. And in one of the pics, you can clearly see that the chips do expose the inside of the fret. What I would like to know is will this be a problem later on in the future? Possibility of the chips causing cracks on the rosewood? I've seen a Stewman video on youtube where Dan fills in some chips on a fret board. If it's just a minor problem that doesn't really feed any repair, then I plan on just leaving it as it doesn't affect my playing.

And next, looking at the picture I've uploaded, the finish on the headstock on the areas of the A, D, and B string posts have some strange finish bubble. It seems to be the lacquer as it has yellowed. Is there any way to fix this? I asked my local luthier about refinishing the headstock, but he told me that I would need to get a silk screen logo, too because it'll will/might get erased in the process.

Anyways, any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks!!
 

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mikejr

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I don't think I'd let those bother me unless they are in some way affecting your ability to play the guitar. If you've already purchased the guitar, and there's no real return window, I'd play it like it is for a month or two and if they still bug you, put it up for sale or send it away to have the headstock refinished the board re-fretted (and sanded/radiused).
 

vagabond09

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I don't think I'd let those bother me unless they are in some way affecting your ability to play the guitar. If you've already purchased the guitar, and there's no real return window, I'd play it like it is for a month or two and if they still bug you, put it up for sale or send it away to have the headstock refinished the board re-fretted (and sanded/radiused).
Thanks for your words, Mikejr.
This one is a keeper for sure for the price I paid. I was only worried about the possibility of the chips gradually getting bigger or causing other cracks.
 

anorton

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I’m no expert, but it seems if you use a little Fret Doctor on the board about once a year to keep it conditioned, you shouldn’t have any problems. I can’t help you with the headstock bubbles. Hopefully, someone around here can.

Let’s see some pics of the whole guitar!
 

jvin248

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.

Fretboard, just oil it. Those are scrapes from something, gouges in the wood. They will be there forever unless you sand the fretboard but then you'd have scoops from sanding. You could sand lightly to blur their edges. No long term problem to worry about other than you know they are there and if that bothers you or not. Play the guitar enough and you'll wear divots in the fretboard and obliterate the scratches.

The tuner finish spots, I'd remove the strings, remove the tuners and see if the clear top coat is flaking off. If 'Nitro' you can reapply and melt that back together or if modern poly finish I'd get "thin" CA adhesive (super glue) and let that wick under the bubble finish to stick it back down then after it dries put the tuners in and forget about it.

.
 

endial

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Unless you know about sandpaper grits and how to sand a fretboard...between the frets...I would take caution. Maybe better to let it be, unless, as suggested above, it affects your playing. A competent repair guy (keyword; COMPETENT) should be able to touch that up (he may use a razor to scrape it lightly, instead of sanding it) to make it a tad smoother so it will be less likely to cause problems in the future. Probably cheaply too.
As for the nitro bubbling up at the tuner, do a google search on it. It's not that uncommon on Gibson's and there are a lot of tricks to get that to lay down, I believe.

Edit: And after you've read this reply, go take some pictures of that thing for us and post them. Congrats on your deal!
 

vagabond09

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Unless you know about sandpaper grits and how to sand a fretboard...between the frets...I would take caution. Maybe better to let it be, unless, as suggested above, it affects your playing. A competent repair guy (keyword; COMPETENT) should be able to touch that up (he may use a razor to scrape it lightly, instead of sanding it) to make it a tad smoother so it will be less likely to cause problems in the future. Probably cheaply too.
As for the nitro bubbling up at the tuner, do a google search on it. It's not that uncommon on Gibson's and there are a lot of tricks to get that to lay down, I believe.

Edit: And after you've read this reply, go take some pictures of that thing for us and post them. Congrats on your deal!
Thank you so much for the advice and your words. Will surely keep those in mind.
I was only able to take a few pictures of the guitar. The body of the guitar is in absolute good condition (only 3 small dings on the back of the body) and it still has that "vanilla" smell that most of us like. And the original owner seems to have left the "plek/d" sticker still on the pickup cover. I'm not much of a "flame" guy on my Gibsons, but I really dig the subtle/minor flames on this one. And another thing is that I was never really a fan of the perimeter aka rim burst finishes, but boy did this desert burst prove me wrong. It is absolutely stunning in person. I also removed the pickguard as I felt like no pickguard complements the perimeter / rim burst finish more. :) If I had just one to change, it'll be the black back. Wish it was more chocolate brown or dark back. But the finish seems to have sunken in a bit because I can see the traces of the grain on the back of the guitar.


377296

377297
 

endial

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Wow!

Not a perimeter fan myself, but that girl is STUNNING.
 

dCi_king

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Whoa... That's an absolutely amazing work. It looks flawless. I'm think about giving it a try. Any tips or things I should be cautious about?
Nothing special, except when passing the steel wool, do it in the direction of the grain of the wood, and cover the pups with some masking tape or similar, in order to prevent the steel wool get stuck in them.

And make sure that you are using only steel wool with a 0000 grade. It is the finest, and you will get the best results.

Finally, apply some lemon oil and you will see extraordinary results.
 
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