Steel Wool to polish frets? - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 120
Steel Wool to polish frets?

So I called a local music store to find out if they had any fret polishing cloth because mine are shot. The guy gets on the phone and tells me that I want to use steel wool. Am I crazy for thinking this is absurd or is this guy wacky?
LoverMan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 120
Okay, so I've just looked online and apparently I am in the wrong here. Sorry to waste the space.
LoverMan is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 06:34 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: A Mile High (USA)
Posts: 2,990
I've always used #0000 steel wool for removing tarnish and polishing frets. Of course, I also use masking tape to tape off the fingerboard and pole pieces of the pickups before doing so. It works fine as long as you're careful. After the steel wool, I like to use Flitz to get the frets extra shiny. It's a blue metal polish that comes in little tubes. Great stuff!
vaijem777 is offline  
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 03:12 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Italia
Posts: 4,725
LoverMan,
dont forget to mask the fretboard while you're polishing frets! and if you're going to clean the fretboard itself, you want to follow the grain of the wood.
and of course, dont do that on a maple f-board!
nuno is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 120
Much appreciated vaijem and nuno.
LoverMan is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 04:53 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Posts: 1,813
that's #0000 steel wool...not the kind you use to scrub your dirty disty with.
RSVampire is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:59 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,234
I've never felt the need to mask the fretboard, as long as I follow with doing the wood with the grain. In fact, it seems that the only negative about NOT following with the grain is that you get light scratches remaining - purely aesthetic. Is I wrong?
JESTER700 is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 11:22 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
Quote:
Originally Posted by JESTER700
Is I wrong?
Well your grammar is, but your idea is not The only trouble there is that if those little scratches represent .000xx" of wood removal, eventually you have put more wear on the fretboard. But once or twice a year is nothing. If you only use steel wool, and not polish, then going with the grain will put the abrasive in the direction of the strings. So bending will be a little gritty for awhile, until your strings "polish" the frets themselves. So if I have to use steel wool, I will go in the direction of the frets, or cross-grain. But then again, I'll usually mask the board. If the board has gunk on it, though, the steel wool is gentle enough to remove the grime and pretty much leave the board alone. So sometimes I'll intentionally go against the grain with steel wool. Just make sure it's 0000, because even 000 is unacceptable.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 01:46 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,234
Yeah, I was assuming 0000. And that's why I go across grain - for that "smooth bendiness". Even the Scotchbrite I've used doesn't get 'em so sparkly. I have to try that flitz stuff...

So, what do you recommend to knock down some light tool marks from a fret level & polish that wasn't really "polished" much? I hit a fret for 30 seconds with 0000 and it's still rough on a bend. I'm living with it, and I may just let the string do the job over time, but is 000 OK for this purpose, or would you use some grade of paper?
JESTER700 is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 01:56 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,714
More than likely it's grooves from 220 or 320. I always finish running 320-400-and 600 with the fret [against grain] to take them out, then polish.
Rich is offline  
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 02:55 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,215
Rather than masking my fretboard, i use a pair of Post-It notes. Slap one down on either side of the fret being polished, buff away, peel them up and move on to the next fret. If they start wearing through, i just peel off a fresh one and stick it down.

I find that using this method, i can very quickly give the frets a "final shine" when i change strings, and it's not very much bother at all. No gummy tape residue, either!
darren wilson is offline  
post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 03:19 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Upstate N.Y.
Posts: 1,086
Go to Rich's web-site and follow that, I did.....
bob mclaughlin is offline  
post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 04:36 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,714
Don't follow it, it needs alot of updating [I think I wrote most of it 3 years ago]. Go to an art or drafting supply and buy an eraser template [just a thin piece of metal with a 2mm slot cut in it for using as an edge to erase on blueprints, drafts, etc.] it's perfect for everything but jumbo frets but still works plety fine even on jumbo's [it just doesn't fit flush to the board]
Rich is offline  
post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 05:33 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 249
so your fret board cleaning thing isn't good then?
The Madness Here is offline  
post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 05:37 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,714
Fretboards should not be "cleaned" with steel wool, you're removing wood everytime you do. Every now and then just to blend the wear to the wood out is fine, not as maintanence. Use a cloth like everybody else
Rich is offline  
Reply

Tags
fret board , fret level , jumbo frets , local music store , music store , steel wool

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
maple fretboard cleaning, steel wool method shredgar Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 3 01-09-2011 11:28 PM
Steel wool in the UK? Adagio_777 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 4 10-02-2005 03:40 AM
Fretboard cleaning without steel wool Pesso Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 3 09-13-2004 01:34 AM
Pearloid & steel wool Jyda Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 2 09-06-2003 03:19 AM
steel wool IVsakeN Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 6 11-01-2002 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome