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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / clay dots


62 Strat Man

Jul 15th, 2017 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

my clay dot position markers on my 62 have gotten so dark that when I am playing standing with a strap you cant see the small ones on the top hardly at all and the big ones on the board are flat so you cant see them either, Any way to get them to look normal again safely? thks :)

Contributing Member

The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Jul 17th, 2017 06:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

You can't do anything to the existing dots themselves on the edge of the fingerboard to improve them. Real 'clay' dot material gets dark over time.

If it's an older original Fender, making permanent mods will reduce its value. If that's what you have, you need to decide how to proceed because permanently modifying a vintage guitar is something you might later regret. Or maybe you won't regret it because you can play it easier. It's your call.

The least intrusive thing to do is make a little dot atop each existing side dot marker with Liquid Paper, Wite-Out, etc. I recommend Liquid Paper brand because it was invented by Bette Nesmith, who had a famous son named Mike. You've probably heard of him (the music connection adds mojo factor). However, this stuff wears off over time. And because it's not glossy, it also collects dirt/scunge, so you scrape it off with a fingernail and reapply it when needed.

The best option is to place a small white dot of nail lacquer atop each side marker. Not a drop, a dot. Best way to do this is to carefully slice one end off a Q-tip with a sharp knife. The cut end needs to be a clean cut, leaving a perfectly round stick. It helps to roll the stick as you press down with the knife. Use the little brush in the cap to paint the cut end with lacquer, and 'stamp' the dot over the existing dot. It helps to practice on a piece of glossy paper to get the right amount of lacquer and get the feel for doing it--before going for the money shots.

On newer guitars, the white dot material is usually white ABS plastic rod material. You can drill these out just a little bit (about 1/32" deep) and do a drop-fill with the white lacquer. The color fills the little divot, and you build it up over time with several layers (dry time between).

Monkee Bidniz!



Jul 17th, 2017 05:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Original 62 or reissue?

On a reissue they can be drilled out and replaced with another material. The side dots aren't too bad, and the face dots are best done at the same time as a refret, but not necessary. Besides, if you're like me, you only ever need the side dots. If I have sides and no face dots I'm fine, but if it is reversed I get lost.

On newer guitars you can actually just leave the new side dot material flush, gap fill with super glue, and buff it out. Most can't tell what is shiny ABS and what is shiny clear coat, since they're awfully close anyway.

I don't recommend it on a vintage piece. For a reissue it will only matter if you're concerned about resale or if you think it'll come out less than stellar.


62 Strat Man

Jul 18th, 2017 11:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

its a original 62

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / clay dots

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