Kevin Chilcott

Luthier

REPAIRING NAIL-GOUGES IN A FINGERBOARD

After a guitar has been around for a while, which doesn't have to be too long, and is used on a reasonably frequent basis, certain things start to become apparent to the owner - the hardware seems to dull off and tarnish even rust, the screws, nuts and bolts etc become dull and 'grubby', the body has sticky marks all over it  and the fingerboard seems to collect "all manner of crap" a lot of which is actually pretty smelly ;0)  
Most of this can be easily sorted to a certain extent by
cleaning, but another problem that arises are nail-gouges in the fingerboard,
essentially caused by
long fingernails that overtime dig little trenches along the string lines between the frets in the 'most used' areas.

The major problem in trying to repair these areas is that the fingerboard is usually very dirty and greasy, and so repair is made very difficult.
The easiest time to do this is when the fingerboard is being
re-fretted - as in the initial example I'm going to show.

 

Cleaning The Fingerboard

After the frets have been removed (Please see the relevent section if you want to see how o do this), the fingerboard needs to be cleaned thoroughly, and the best thing I've found to do this is Methylated Spirits (Which is highly Flammable) on a rag wiped all over the fingerboard several times.
Be careful not to get it on the guitar finish..... it shouldn't do much harm on a normal gloss type finish, but care must be taken anyway.
You will be amazed on how much '
crap' comes off.

 

Sanding The Fingerboard

The surface of the fingerboard needs to be sanded... as part of the process of doing a re-fret.

PIX COMING...

Cleaning the Area to be Filled 

PIX COMING...

 

I'll continue this section as soon as possible...

 

REPAIR & MAINTENANCE

 

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