Polish Frets - Dremel?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tildeslash, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    I want to use a Dremel but wanted to know any tips, techniques and caution. I know it can be dangerous but I plan to be careful and have a spare neck to practice on.

    I guess some polish and on a medium setting with a felt bullet dremel attachment is the best way to go?
     
  2. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

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    I use a medium hard wheel with some jewelers rouge.The wheel does a better job of conforming to the shape of the frets.
     
  3. K-man

    K-man Member

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    Why use a Dremel? 0000 steel wool works great, just cover your pickups before you do it or the fibers will stick to them.
     
  4. AndyFender

    AndyFender Member

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    Be very,very carefull with the dremel. Even if you use a buffing wheel, at high speeds you can burn your fretboard. I advice against it!!!

    AK
     
  5. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    Use 0000 steel wool. Way safer than the Dremel. I know from exp. on this one :jo
     
  6. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    tape off the fretboard before you start, you'll be fine as long as you go slow and watch what you're doing.
     
  7. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

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    http://www.gorgomyte.com/

    Never dremel again. And don't bother with scratchy steel wool. I'll never use anything else again.
     
  8. Colt14jr

    Colt14jr Member

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    Get you a tube of Blue Magic. I've been using it for years. It will make the worst tarnished frets shine like new. You can probably pick some up at your local motorcycle shop.
     
  9. Colt14jr

    Colt14jr Member

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    Oh, and Lemon Oil will cut the Blue Magic residue off of your fretboard when done.
     
  10. patpark

    patpark Member

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    micro mesh. i stopped using a buffing and or dremels. they generate too much heat and can cause frets to lift.

    the micro mesh brings up to a mirror like shine in no time. way less messy.
    i go steel wool, 8000 micro mesh, 12000 micro mesh.
     
  11. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

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    I've always hated steel wool for woodworking or fret dressing.I use the dremel and a buffing compound several times a week and have never had a problem.
    Maybe it just takes some experience to use it correctly for polishing frets as I've done hundreds of them that way.Mine is actually a Foredom and not a Dremel.It's easie to control the handpiece.
     
  12. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 :AOK
     
  13. laflamme

    laflamme Member

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    I use the Dr stringfellows lem oil for the fingerboard cleaning and oiling of the rosewood or ebony. Let it set for a while. Then I wipe it down with at cotton cloth (old tshirt). Lastly I cover the pickups and use steel wool 0000 going from the pickups toward the headstock. You do not have to push very hard, but it will clean and buff the frets and fingerboard.

    Then put on some new strings and you are good to go. don't forget to clean the nut grooves so the strings won't bind. I have also heard using nutsauce is great to keep the nut lubed.
     
  14. Crunchyriff

    Crunchyriff Member

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    Mask your fingerboard with masking tape, and usee a thin cotton wheel with either Blue Magic or SimiChrome polish.Be very careful not to hit the FB.

    Works like a charm.

    Don't use steel wool. You have to be VERY careful that EVERYTHING is masked near the electronics (esp the p'ups) or you can get a naughty surprise with loose steel wool in electronics.

    The gorgomyte looks VERY interesting...
     
  15. levelfrets

    levelfrets Member

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    Tape the fingerboard off with some low tack tape leaving just the frets exposed. Use a piece of an old clean t-shirt and double layer it onto a palm sander. Rub some Brasso or Mother's Mag Polish into the cloth. Turn the sander on and go back and forth accross the frets. Then take the cloth off and use the clean side to wipe the frets clean. This gives you a mirror finish in seconds. Its a waste of time doing any other method. I've done fretwork on tons of guitars and this works the best and you can make more money for less time getting better results too. My little trade secret of the day.
     
  16. George Johnson

    George Johnson Member

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  17. VTX-XTC

    VTX-XTC Member

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  18. countandduke

    countandduke Member

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    Yep, LOVE my dremel for getting those frets nice and shiny. I use steel wool in varying degrees to get close and then finish with a bullett shaped cotton dremel attachment with some finishing polish. Works great. You should tape off the fretboard for sure and you don't need to spend a lot of time on each fret. I use one pass at a modest speed and then another pass after done with all the frets at the lower speed. Works great. Make sure to wipe off the black residue from any polish you use before removing the tape. Lighter fluid is good for that.

    The more I do my own frets, the more I see that fret jobs from most companies blow....

    Good luck....

    Chris
     
  19. Gorgomyte

    Gorgomyte Member

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    If your frets have no damage, that is nicks and scratches, Gorgomyte will bring them up to a luster and smoothness that nothing else will, and a whole lot easier. Gorgomyte is also great for polishing stubborn sweat marks on nickle humbuckers. The repair department at the Fender Custom Shop in Corona uses Gorgomyte regularly as part of their customer service. http://www.gorgomyte.com
     
  20. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    I used dremels in the past, but like a few others in this thread I use micromesh nowdays. No steel wool particles to deal with which can really mess up your pickups if you are not careful.
     

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