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 Post subject: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Strat
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:06 am 
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I've played my guitar a ton since buying it in December 2010 and there appears to be a coating on the fretboard of its maple neck that has chipped off where a few of the frets meet the face of the fretboard. I've always noticed that really worn-in maple necks have noticable wear marks from bending notes and that sort of thing, but I always thought that was worn away varnish not a clear plasticy coating as there appears to be on my guitar.

Is this something that I should remove all together for improved feel or should I just let it wear away over time with use?

Anyone else noticed this happening, any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:23 am 
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Is the guitar you bought in 2010 used? This tends to happen a lot when refrets are done on necks with maple fretboards. This is the reason why it costs more to do a refret on a maple fretboard than it does on rosewood. We have to take more time and care in removing frets. What happens sometimes is that when they shoot the board with the the clear coat (which is awesome looking imo), they dress the frets afterward. Sometimes, they dont clear the coating off the entire fret, and some remains where the fret meets the board. When I shot a nitro tinted finish on my neck, i intentianally only dressed the top, so theres still some tint on the sides of the fret. I did for looks, when you look at the fretboard from an angle, the frets look gold due to the tint.
Anyways; when I remove frets; I start by taking a soldering iron, and touch it to the fret ends for a few seconds. This causes the wood to heat up, and release some of the oils in the wood. It acts as kind of a lubricant, and allows me to pull the old fret, with less of a chance of pulling up some of the finish with it.

It is unusual on a new guitar though, if indeed it is new. If it were me, and i didnt want to remove the frets, refinish the fretboard, then refret it (and i wouldnt want to do this);

I would take a some 0000 steel wool. Then use the steel wool to make the edges of where the finish is coming off smoother. So that instead of finish right to the wood, which you'd be able to feel with your fingernail, it would be smooth to the touch. It'll lessen the chances of the edge of the finish getting caught on a fingernail, and pulling up and chipping it worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:28 am 
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Have to add; are all of your fret seated properly?? can you see any gap between the edge of the fret and the fretboard? You may have some loose frets moving around, and causing the hard finish to chip off. If you bought this new, and its still under warranty; contact Fender. They'll have you take it to an authorized Fender warranty repair place. You'll have to find someone who does refinish, and does it well. If there's a bigger defect in the neck (like on some American Deluxes. Those had a lot of issues with the necks twisting, if it is, you may be able to get a whole new neck from Fender, this is rare, but we were able to get Fender to do it for some customers), it may need to be replaced.

So; in closing; any pictures will help me figure out what the problem is.
If you dont have pictures, give me the info I mentioned; Bought new/used?

Cheers. Unless you did something that you shouldnt have, this shouldnt happen. I have to say though, Ive seen some new American Standards w/maple fretboards, and it looks like there is a gap on some between the edge of the finish, and where the fret begins.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:35 am 
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Thanks for all of the comments and ideas Windwalker. Some of what you were describing re: refinishing the neck I do not understand so probably best I take some photos of the issue and post them up for you to see on your own. It isn't a major issue and hasn't affected my playing so I don't want to pretend this is a bigger deal than it really is, but I was surprised to see what looks like a clear coating on the fretboard and the frets themselves as some chips of the coating have come off the side of the fret. Hopefully the photo's will do a better job of describing what I am talking about.

I bought it brand new from Steve's Music in Toronto in December 2010. American Standard Strat, maple neck as I mentioned. I'm not sure what you mean about the frets being seated properly, so maybe the photo's will answer your question.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:42 am 
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Yeah, they put a coating on all necks, and highly polish the fretboards on the American Standards, Eric Johnson's, etc.

Ok, is there any chips on the finish on the fretboard, or are you saying there's finish on the frets themselves, and those have chips of the finish coming off?


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:10 pm 
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rdevooght wrote:
I've played my guitar a ton since buying it in December 2010 and there appears to be a coating on the fretboard of its maple neck that has chipped off where a few of the frets meet the face of the fretboard. I've always noticed that really worn-in maple necks have noticable wear marks from bending notes and that sort of thing, but I always thought that was worn away varnish not a clear plasticy coating as there appears to be on my guitar.

Is this something that I should remove all together for improved feel or should I just let it wear away over time with use?

Anyone else noticed this happening, any thoughts?


Its natural relic'ing. Think about it, your rubbing a metal wire up and down a shiny clearcoat. Try rubbing coat hanger against your car. Same effect, the wire slowly wears out the clear coat. Just a sign that you are really playing your guitar! Nothing like making a guitar naturally road worn!

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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:00 pm 
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On a different guitar, i'd probably agree, but not on a year old American Std. Nitro finishes relic and wear pretty easy. He has an american standard. they use a eurathan, and a lot of it. normal wear is just that; wear. This is chipping as I read it, this isnt natural. They put that finish on the fretboards of the Am Stds thick, so it has that heavily polished look. No, there's something else at play here. I still dont know if its the finish on the fretboard, if he he's talking about overspray on the frets, and the finish on that is chipping. id expect that. It goes onto metal, it will probably come of in chips. Fretboards wear out their finish, it shouldnt crack off, unless the thing got stick in a deep flash freezer, then pulled out in a hot room. (BTW, this is one of the ways they relic custom shop items. blew my mind when i heard it at a workshop; they spray it with something like freone(or however you spell it), or something that makes it get real cold real fast like that, its hwo they get it to check.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:08 am 
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I had a MIM tele that got played so much that the clear coat wore off the neck.
I wouldn't worry bout it just adds character


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:22 am 
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Yeah, wearing down is fine, but chipping isnt, especially on whats essentially a new guitar. This is why i want to know if its chipped on the fretboard, or if theres overspray on the frets, and that finish is what's chipping.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:24 am 
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Speaking of replacing frets, I was thinking of replacing the frets on my 82 Smith Strat and was wondering if this would in any way reduce it's value. I currently play a newer Strat and keep the other in its case. Thanks in advance for any help...


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:31 am 
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First off, that's areal nice guitar. Its obviously been taken care of. Second; No, as long as it's done properly, a refret isnt going to affect the value. It really isnt at a point where it has an increasing value yet. But even if it did, a properly done refret (which is harder on a maple fretboard, but is achivable) is better for resale than a guitar with worn out frets. You may not even need a full refret, you may be able to get away with a partial refret.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Thanks Windwalker for your advice. I probably could get away with a refret on the first through fifth frets. The rest are in pretty good shape. I realize these guitars aren't big collector pieces as of yet but will continue to keep it in its present shape and see what happens down the road with value.

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:19 am 
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Gator10069 wrote:
Thanks Windwalker for your advice. I probably could get away with a refret on the first through fifth frets. The rest are in pretty good shape. I realize these guitars aren't big collector pieces as of yet but will continue to keep it in its present shape and see what happens down the road with value.

Thanks again


Keeping it in proper playing condition wont drop the price, as long as the refret doesnt damage anything. If you decide to replace something, like hardware,make sure its a drop in replacement, and you keep the original.
Is that picture of a newer strat, or your 83? Because if its an 83, I wouldnt worry about a refret dropping the value, its in such incredible shape, im sure even a bad refret would be overlooked. Christ, the body on one of my strats is from 07, and it looks 20 years older than that one you have a picture for.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:41 pm 
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It's actually a picture of my 82 Strat. I would call it close to mint condition. There is some normal wear and tear scratches on the pick guard but the rest of it is original and super clean. Sat in a case for 20 years.
I had an offer recently of $1,900.00 but not sure if I want to part with it and not sure if that's a fair offer.
Take care.


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 Post subject: Re: Clear coating on fretboard of 2010 American Standard Str
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:16 am 
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Gator10069 wrote:
It's actually a picture of my 82 Strat. I would call it close to mint condition. There is some normal wear and tear scratches on the pick guard but the rest of it is original and super clean. Sat in a case for 20 years.
I had an offer recently of $1,900.00 but not sure if I want to part with it and not sure if that's a fair offer.
Take care.


Its more than fair.


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