Finishing all maple neck, esp. help with fretboard


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Hello!  I just ordered a maple/maple strat CBS neck.  I finished my last neck (maple/kingwood) with tru-oil and then a little satin poly over that and it is perfect for my tastes.  Anyway, or course I did not have to finish the kingwood fretboard.  Now I do have to finish the maple fretboard - should I finish it just like I do the maple back?  Or should I add more satin poly to the fretboard relative to the back?  Maybe just tru oil?  Any suggestions?  Thanks!

- TS
I've only used nitro to shoot all maple necks with to date; but principle should be basically the same...

For a couple of builds I'll probably wind up keeping I just shot 2-3 light coats of nitro on the fretboard as I want it to quickly wear and get that darkened "relic" vibe.

I did an upgrade for a friend's Strat from a typical plain jane boring Fender stock neck to a AAA flame maple; shot 12 coats of nitro on that as he DIDN'T want that look in the future.

So dependent on what you want the fretboard to look like after some degree of wear, you may want to apply more topcoat finish of whatever your using to the fretboard or not....

Hi guys, I'm new here and went thru some post. I'm looking for info on finishing maple fingerboard. It seems that all of you guys get full neck. IAs an hobbyist luthier I took a project to removed and replaced a worn fingerboard. The removal and reistallation went well. I'm just wondering if I should fret the fingerboard before or after finishing it. I read on the net (Reranch I think) that they spray over the fret ...just wondering which is best since both option are available to me in this particular project...


jerry8jb said:
finishing maple fingerboard
I'm just wondering if I should fret the fingerboard before or after finishing it.

First I'll 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the nitro-on-the-neck approach.*  DEFT, at Walmart.  Get 2 cans, gloss only please.  The gloss will shoot "satin", which you can buff out to full gloss, or play as is.  Tru-Oil is gonna gunk up from finger wear.  Not good on fretboards at all.  Lacquering a neck is really really easy. 

On a RE-fret, some guys fret over the existing poly finish on modern Fender necks, with new frets sitting in the spaces provided in the finish by the old frets.  I don't like that idea - however - Dan E (StewMac) insists on it.  To me, too much variable in the neck finish, means variables in the fret seating, all needing to be leveled... I just dont like it.  However, on a new neck, get the neck as straight as you can with no truss rod tension on it (or just a very very little... almost none) then fret it.  Straight neck=straight fret tops.  Very little leveling needed.  You spray over the frets, scraping them every few coats, to keep the buildup to a minimum.

*the fifth I keep in the desk drawer for stress relief
asking wrong guy, I'm a nitro fiend

Nitro lacquer is easier to use, faster drying, easier to sand and level... other than being smelly... it works REALLY WELL for guitars

The thing is - shoot on warm days, not too hot, shoot in the shade... outside ONLY not yer garage, unless you build a special exhaust setup

DEFT works wonders too... its hard to mess up - cheap too!