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scotch brite brillo fretboard

A luthier once said he used this to clean my frets and it felt fabulous afterwards... Can I hurt my guitar fretboard doing this alone, using too much, or is it relatively safe?



  • psychebillypsychebilly Kentucky, USA
    edited January 2017 Posts: 40
    I use scotch-brite pads, along with 4000-grit finishing pads, and a buffing wheel for fretboards and frets...the scotch brite will be OK for cleaning the oxidation off the frets...use some lemon oil and a soft cloth to clean all the gunk off after you're done...
    Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  • Thanks, this doesn't actually sand the wood off the fretboard does it? I have some small dings (indentations) in my 0 fret that my strings seem to slip out of and make a very annoying clicking noise also, do you think the pads might help with this? I got them re crowned and a week later they already had new indents. Thanks again. @psychebilly
  • psychebillypsychebilly Kentucky, USA
    Posts: 40
    No...the Scotch-Brite pad won't remove wood (unless you really bear down hard, and even then, it would take a long time).

    Your zero fret issues are a different thing than your original question...soft frets...heavy strings...tension...could be a combination of those things.
    Charlie Castelluzzo
    Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  • Be aware that there are a number of grades of scotchbrite and the coarser ones will leave scratch lines that will have to be polished out
    Charlie Castelluzzo
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • psychebillypsychebilly Kentucky, USA
    Posts: 40
    Yes...get the finest (highest grit) you can find...1000...2000...
    Charlie Castelluzzo
    Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    edited January 2017 Posts: 1,251
    If you're looking to polish frets because they get sticky after several months of bending notes & such, you can also try good 0000 grade steel wool. Note that there are big differences in the quality of steel wool. I use Liberon because it is consistent and it cuts well, but there are a few good makers of steel wool. Just don't overdo it and don't do it too often, because you are removing metal. At the risk of being repetitive, don't get big-box store steel wool. Restoration grade steel wool is an entirely different sport. A roll of it might cost $20 vs the $5 you'll pay for a bag of generic, but for what you're doing, it's well worth the extra few bucks.

    If you're concerned about harming your fretboard as you polish the frets, get some fret protectors. If you're careful and you use a fret protector, you'll be fine.

    JazzaferriCharlie Castelluzzo
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • ronzo4600ronzo4600 PNWNew Eimer's, Hahl, Holo and Busato
    Posts: 24
    If you can find it, use bronze wool rather than steel as it's less likely to stain your guitar and it's non-magnetic. Bob is correct, use the best possible grade available.
    Charlie Castelluzzo
  • ShmockiebabyShmockiebaby Elkton, MDNew
    Posts: 10
    I've bought a fretboard guard from Stewart McDonald, and I pick up the lightest nail files that you can find. I found out that my wife's nail files have a very very fine surface on the back - I guess you are supposed to file your nails with one side and then smooth up the filed area with the fine side. I put the front guard over the fret, and use the very fine side on each fret. It's smooth and polishes them very nicely. Then I finish up with fretboard conditioner as described above. I've tried many brands, and I prefer the Paul Reed Smith Guitars PRS fretboard conditioner. I'm sure it is just made for them by somebody else. You can also buy small ultra fine grit sanding pads from many other sources. Among other places, they are commonly used to recondition clear plastic headlamps.
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