Fret dots procedure with fretboard oil finishes ?

donnyb

Member
Messages
566
Hello,

Because I intend to use Hard Burnishing Oil or Scandinavian oil to a new fretboard as its matt or satin playing surface, I'm looking for advice on the best procedure for installing the top of fretboard fret marker dots, which is normally the next step before installing the frets.

My concern is if I drill the positions and glue in 6mm black pearl dots, radius sand them flush, install the frets and then apply the oil finish, the dots may be discoloured by the oil.

How should I attack this ?

Ive considered wad punching out some 6mm masking tape dots to cover the black pearl dots before applying the oil.... or flush sanding the dots, take them out noting where they came from, and glue them in later after the frets are in and the oil finish is completed.

Or maybe the black pearl dots will not be affected by the oil finish going over them ? That's the best answer !

Thanks for any advice you can give.
 

DamianP

Member
Messages
5,878
I can't imagine that the oil will affect the dots at all. You could always test first to put your mind at rest but I really don't think you will have a problem.
 

Musick

Member
Messages
81
I've never dealt with black pearl or those particular oil finishes but, I don't think you'll have a problem. I've used oil finishes with white pearl without incident. Besides, oil finishes on the finger board will most definitely have to be reapplied at some point unless this guitar is not going to be played. Also, I would apply the oil before the frets go in. Cleaning the glue from the fret install will be easier and you won't have to clean the oil buildup where the frets meet the finger board. Good luck.
 

donnyb

Member
Messages
566
Thankyou for your replies. While not the subject, I am quite interested in Musick's reply regarding when to oil the fret board. I can see the advantages, especially with my preference to use Hard Burnishing oil.

Ive been experimenting with this product, which (Ive read) gets its hardness and sheen from 600 grit sandpaper wet buffing damp HB oil into a slurry on a timber surface. Of course, I cant do that on a radiused fretboard ! So Ive have been trying using a felt buff on a dremel and a cloth buff on a medium speed drill to raise the surface temperature on an offcut of the fretboard. The result is a hard, low satin (but not matt) finish. It also brings out a nice colour of the wood. If I can do that process before the frets go in, it will be better.

Are there any disadvantages in doing the oiling before the frets installation that I should be aware of ?

I've never dealt with black pearl or those particular oil finishes but, I don't think you'll have a problem. I've used oil finishes with white pearl without incident. Besides, oil finishes on the finger board will most definitely have to be reapplied at some point unless this guitar is not going to be played. Also, I would apply the oil before the frets go in. Cleaning the glue from the fret install will be easier and you won't have to clean the oil buildup where the frets meet the finger board. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Musick

Member
Messages
81
Thankyou for your replies. While not the subject, I am quite interested in Musick's reply regarding when to oil the fret board. I can see the advantages, especially with my preference to use Hard Burnishing oil.

Ive been experimenting with this product, which (Ive read) gets its hardness and sheen from 600 grit sandpaper wet buffing damp HB oil into a slurry on a timber surface. Of course, I cant do that on a radiused fretboard ! So Ive have been trying using a felt buff on a dremel and a cloth buff on a medium speed drill to raise the surface temperature on an offcut of the fretboard. The result is a hard, low satin (but not matt) finish. It also brings out a nice colour of the wood. If I can do that process before the frets go in, it will be better.

Are there any disadvantages in doing the oiling before the frets installation that I should be aware of ?
Just make sure you don't get oil built up in the fret slots. I will typically only dampen the rag with oil and then apply it.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,984
Ive been experimenting with this product, which (Ive read) gets its hardness and sheen from 600 grit sandpaper wet buffing damp HB oil into a slurry on a timber surface. Of course, I cant do that on a radiused fretboard !
you can't? why not?

600 grit isn't gonna change the shape of anything if you're hand-sanding.
 

Musick

Member
Messages
81
Thankyou for your replies. While not the subject, I am quite interested in Musick's reply regarding when to oil the fret board. I can see the advantages, especially with my preference to use Hard Burnishing oil.

Ive been experimenting with this product, which (Ive read) gets its hardness and sheen from 600 grit sandpaper wet buffing damp HB oil into a slurry on a timber surface. Of course, I cant do that on a radiused fretboard ! So Ive have been trying using a felt buff on a dremel and a cloth buff on a medium speed drill to raise the surface temperature on an offcut of the fretboard. The result is a hard, low satin (but not matt) finish. It also brings out a nice colour of the wood. If I can do that process before the frets go in, it will be better.

Are there any disadvantages in doing the oiling before the frets installation that I should be aware of ?
If you have enough oil to make a slurry, you'll have to clean it out of the fret slots with either a fret saw or fret slot cleaning tool. If it's a hard oil, that can be a pain.
 

donnyb

Member
Messages
566
you can't? why not?

600 grit isn't gonna change the shape of anything if you're hand-sanding

Walter, the process used by furniture makers with HB Oil is done with an orbital sander. If you don't get this product in the USA, its Organoil Hard Burnishing Oil, made in Australia. I'm just experimenting with it at the moment.
 

donnyb

Member
Messages
566
The black pearl dots are glued in now. Been looking for advice on the grade of sandpaper to radius level the dots down flush, but found very little.

Would 360 or 320 be OK in the radius block? then move up to finish with 600 ?
 




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