Restoring Fret Luster to a Mirror Shine Glaze..yum

bryanarzaga

Well-Known Member
#1
the topic doesnt relate to tone at all, so read through

When you buy new frets from Molotov Bros,Stewmac, Lmii or some goodstores in ebay, new unused frets will come out shiny and have that luster in them..

so some of the problems i noticed when using just 0000 steel wool + carnuba wax or even rubbing compound, is that the shininess of the frets either doesnt last that long(give or take 4 days), or its not shiny at all, just have that metallic gray DULL look, and easily tarnishes when used excessively(the guitar),

well yesterday my boss introduced me to rauen (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.rauenguitars.com/">http://www.rauenguitars.com/</a><!-- m -->), so we talked a bit, and i asked about fret refinishing..since that is the only thing i think in my methods i am really unsatisfied with..so anyway he's the kind of guy that is 'tell me how you do it, and ill tell you if you're missing something', so after all the detailed 'blah blah's. and the steel wool + wax/compound method, he goes 'well that will tarnished indeed', with the reason that finishing up with some wax and abrasive compound is just opening up the frets in a micro-level, and in that dirt and nickel oxidation is at a micro level as well, I needed to 'clean in up and cover it up' as he said, 'metal polish + clear coat'?? not really..there are specific polishes that can do that.. and he uses it around the shop and is done by other builders as well, used in nickel and stainless steel frets..with that i remembered my suhr and some tom andersons' frets how it does really feel overly polish and has that coated look ( i thought that was just the SS fret characteristics? he said no)

the two products suggested was AutoSol or Mothers Mag and Aluminum polish, these as explained, remove dirt/oxidation in the frets and adds that protective layer on the frets, i had to test it to see if i do get any results

so the the thing cost $4.99 that you can use in ALOT of guitars, since you dont need much for 1 guitar(probably the size of a pick??), the best way to try it out was in a really cheap guitar..a SX..(frets were dressed and polished but had gone dull in look after quite sometime)

here's a schecter that was cleaned micro-mesh with wax to layer it off,





here's a SX after being treated with the product







here is a Suhr SS frets compared with the SX treated frets



close up



the product





* the product is safe on fretboards but please do use sparingly and use only on FRETS.
 
#2
That's fairly awesome - when I next change strings on my Carvin I might give it a whirl.

What grade Micro Mesh? I have some 12000 sat here....and any specific techniques you can share? or an order of work for the best results?
 

bryanarzaga

Well-Known Member
#4
ShadyDave said:
That's fairly awesome - when I next change strings on my Carvin I might give it a whirl.

What grade Micro Mesh? I have some 12000 sat here....and any specific techniques you can share? or an order of work for the best results?
i have those but the polish and protect is the important part..some lutheirs dont go pass 400 grit and then buff it with a compound for that shine..


mine would be micromesh/0000 steelwool (if its an old.used up guitar then may need some more work in dressing it)and the mothers polish aint no turning back now, im doing all my guitars, except the suhr..

DrKarnivore said:
I use a compound specifically made for jewellers, wonder if it`s similar.
i was researching on that too, but he said after buffing or polish it, you have to protect the fret, i guess that what he meant by choose any of these because these polish and protects..
 

DrKarnivore

Browsing your web and SMS history
Staff member
#5
How do you apply your mate?

I tend to use a dremel and a soft pad. Fingerboard masked obviously....
 

bryanarzaga

Well-Known Member
#6
DrKarnivore said:
How do you apply your mate?

I tend to use a dremel and a soft pad. Fingerboard masked obviously....

i apply to each fret and for the first time i taped of the fretboard but this sx one never taped it off because the poly on the fretboard is damn thick and then i tried it on rosewood it didnt build up or leave any whitespots, but for open maple necks im going to tape it off just to be sure...

to work with it what you have is more than sufficient, the product works so fast on my first run i did 4 guitars..im doing as much as i can tonight,

man i wish i knew about this years ago!
 

Voodoorider

Can spot a twat a mile away.
#7
Is it bad if i never really do anything like this?? :eek:

How does the fret protection thing work? In my head i can't see you can really protect a fret, as all you do all the time is rub a piece of metal against it?

All mine just get a fairly thorough rub with a duster while changing strings and they tend to shine up fairly well.
 

bryanarzaga

Well-Known Member
#8
Voodoorider said:
Is it bad if i never really do anything like this?? :eek:

How does the fret protection thing work? In my head i can't see you can really protect a fret, as all you do all the time is rub a piece of metal against it?

All mine just get a fairly thorough rub with a duster while changing strings and they tend to shine up fairly well.
not really there is no tone improvements at all, as far as i was told the product adds a layer and how it last depends and varies differently, one thing was explained if a player does sweat alot it will not last that long..other wise i cant comment yet with how long it stays..i have a guitar under observation and a co-worker of mine agreed to let me know how long it stays(he gigs regularly),

on a new instrument one doesnt need to do this when its a high end piece of guitars, if its used an considerably tarnished by dirt/oxidation of nickel..i've tried thinsg before naptha, steelwool, commercial guitars stuff..etc..the end result was the frets were getting duller in appearance..unlike some boutique stuff..

anyway it makes reselling old guitars appealing :D
 

bryanarzaga

Well-Known Member
#10
little experiment, so i left the sx by the window(with the window open 6th floor, lake side)..so i expected some dulling to occur on the fret but it didnt, thats a good sign! but ill still leave it by the window exposed and see how long before the shine wears out and ill play with it as much as i can to see how long the shine and slick feel of the fret starts to fade..







so another piece of info is this is the product that Harley Davidson uses to polish up their chrome hardware..because as what my co-worker doug(harley owner) said, it is somewhat leaves a layer of 'something' to protect the chrome hardware..interesting indeed
 
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