Polishing frets with MicroMesh pads.

ArchEtech

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I am not a luthier so I don't do this often, but sometimes when the fret ends get a little rough, I cut a little pin hole out of card stock paper, put it over the fret end and use 4000-6000 grit sand paper to smooth it out. This prevent scratches on the fret board and binding.
 

cmjohnson

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My method is to first fully tape off the fingerboard and then work my way through the sanding grits from 400 grit to 1000 grit and then I carefully hold the neck or guitar in such a manner that I can roll each fret across my 6" Scotchbrite wheel on a 1750 RPM motor that I have dedicated to just that task.

Then I switch over to my buffer which is another 1750 RPM fractional horse motor equipped with a stitched muslin buffing pad, which is charged with green chrome polish. Carefully polish every fret with it and marvel at the perfect shine.

This is the way I deal with every fret job, every time. Once I started using it I never have done it another way, because it works that well for me.

Pro tip for making the fret ends feel perfect: Use gap filling superglue at every fret end. It will fill in any tiny little gap and make the fret end feel just that much better if you have any tiny little space between fret and wood or binding. It's your body filler for the fret end. Shape it when you shape the fret ends. Works like magic!
 

fatdaddypreacher

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i just use wet or dry paper (dry, of course), after i crown. i start with 320 and stop with 2000, then use polishing compound, then swirl remover. of course i mask off the fretboard, using three layers of blue painters tape. i do one at a time and move down once i finish with the compound. never had any complaints. i'm not what one would call a volume builder....if you know what i mean.
 

pshupe

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i just use wet or dry paper (dry, of course), after i crown. i start with 320 and stop with 2000, then use polishing compound, then swirl remover. of course i mask off the fretboard, using three layers of blue painters tape. i do one at a time and move down once i finish with the compound. never had any complaints. i'm not what one would call a volume builder....if you know what i mean.

Hi Bob - What do you use to polish with the compound? I have those fret polishing wheels but I do not really like them. Maybe I should just give them another go. Thanks.

Cheers Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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Flitz, Maas, Simichrome. Any can be had at the local hardware store. All give similar results and can polish your frets to look like they were chromed.
 

ehb

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I have pads, paper, erasers, and 3M synthetic steel wool (white)...

Quickie, turn eraser sideways, flat, cover three or so at time till close to nut then two. I move up ONE fret at the time. Think it out, covering multiple frets with eraser. Good for a quick slick at string change.

3M wool is same as 0000 but NOT metal and doesn't shed like steel wool.

Slicks all kinds of stuff...
 
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fatdaddypreacher

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Hi Bob - What do you use to polish with the compound? I have those fret polishing wheels but I do not really like them. Maybe I should just give them another go. Thanks.

Cheers Peter.
i have used a soft clean cloth with a little dab on the end of it, and sometimes i use a soft buffing wheel on my dremel, turned down a little low. i generally use cloth, though. if the dremel snags the edge of the binding it wil burn it pretty quick. i can't tell the difference between doing it with a cloth or the dremel.
 

Thrill

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I love the polishing pads, been using them for years. They can be a little bit of a pain in the ass, but they get the frets smooth as glass.

Do gotta be a little careful with them, cause they can throw off the level if its already just on the verge of going unlevel. Doesnt happen often, but Ive had it happen a time or two.
 

redking

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I bought the fret polishing wheels like this -
View attachment 521355

But I find them a little agressive. I was testing on a couple of frets and you had to be very careful. I might try some polishing wheels and a little compound. Frankly you may be able to get away with the erasers and then just a polishing wheel.

I was thinking of something like these from amazon -
View attachment 521357

Cheers Peter.
Yep, I found out first hand they are aggressive and also, the shank is not really long enough for effective use with a dremel (or at least my dremel). Hard to get the shank perpendicular to the fretboard. I think they might be designed for those Foredom rotary tools.
 

redking

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The polishing papers are wonderful. I use them on nuts along with the abrasive cord. They do a good job polishing frets as well if they aren't super corroded. I've used them partially on a new fret level, but I start with regular sandpaper first. The polishing papers are also quite helpful for fixing blemishes/chips on the finish after filling them in.
Yep, I love the polishing papers - easy to cut them into little strips and be economical with them.
 

ehb

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Try the 3M synthetic 0000 wool when changing strings to get off any oxi or finger kank.

The white pad ain't gonna take of much of anything but oxi and kank.... Smooth em up real quick like with a brisk rub...

On my initial fret 'glassing', I finish by using one of my leather cloths to burnish the frets... Just abrasive enough to take down any hair you can't see.... I also will clean neck back of kank with leather...
 


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