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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / So if I'm darkening a raw fretboard...

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 25th, 2018 01:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

...What are my chances of messing it up by getting stain on the maple? The neck is a USACG maple with a pau ferro board. It's being finished by a paint shop as I'm not equipped to try my own finishes yet. I want to sand the board edges a little so I'll be doing that before the finish goes on. But the board is also quite light, so I'd like to darken it before it goes to the finishers so the edges get some darkening before they get laquered over. Is this feasible, if I masking tape the edges, and keep the neck facing fret-side down?

I've read around a lot about darkening boards before posting this, trying to not post the same thread you've all seen 1000 times already. So I've seen that there are a lot of votes for Fiebings leather dye, the alcohol-based version rather than the oil-based. I'll go with this unless there is anything new or more preferred.

I could ask the finishers to leave the board edges unfinished and stain after; I don't know if this would be OK, I'm used to seeing finish on the edge of rosewood boards.

So, stain before finish? What are my chances of getting the stain on or in the maple? Thanks.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 27th, 2018 01:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Anybody? Thoughts, opinions, experiences doing this? I really don't want to mess this up!

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 27th, 2018 04:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I am not an expert, but have used leather dye to darken some fretboards. I just mask the neck and have not had a problem. If you have white side dots they may not like the dye. For the dots on the fretboard I have pot those colored paper stickers you get at the stationary store. However, I've had it creep onto the dots and have been lucky enough to clean them up with an eraser.

But, You;d be best to see what others more accomplished than me have done.

Peegoo
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 27th, 2018 06:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Gat a product called Frog Tape. It's green painter's tape. The sticky adhesive side is formulated to prevent finishes from seeping under the tape.

Lay the edge of the tape along the glue line between the neck and the fingerboard. Drag a fingertip along the taped edge to ensure good adhesion.

And have at it with the stain.

Any oil or alcohol stain will work great. Fiebing's Black Leather Dye is a good choice.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 28th, 2018 05:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Peegoo and Tonyman. I'll cover the dots and maybe touch them in with a weaker stain later. They are clay and some people say they don't take a stain, but it's not worth risking them going too dark. I hadn't heard of Frog Tape, that sounds ideal and it is available over here.

Leftee
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 28th, 2018 05:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

I recently did just the opposite of this. I tung oiled a maple neck that has a rosewood fretboard. I did as the Goo said, except I taped off the fretboard.

I also sparingly applied the tung oil so it would not run.

(This message was last edited by Leftee at 07:58 AM, Jan 28th, 2018)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 28th, 2018 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

One word of caution: Frog Tape is intended for use with *water-based* latex paint. It's the presence of water that triggers the paint-blocking technology. You may not get the same action with an oil- or alcohol-based finish. Better do a test first to see if you get bleed under the tape.

frog tape

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 28th, 2018 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Te, I didn't know about the water action. I checked your link and they have a FAQ's which includes a question about stains, and they say,

"Many end users have successfully used FrogTape® painter’s tapes with and on stains. We recommend that FrogTape® products are tested before use due to the number of commercially available stains (both water and solvent based)."

I take that to mean, yes it will be OK but we're not saying that outright just in case. I'll test it first.

Peegoo
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 28th, 2018 08:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good idea.

I've never had a problem with Frog Tape and oil or alcohol-based stains.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
*********

Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 28th, 2018 09:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've never had a problem with with Frog Tape and oil also, but me and alcohol can be another problem :-O

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 30th, 2018 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I tried the Frog Tape and the Fiebings on a piece of pine, and the Frog Tape was only as effective as ordinary masking tape. If I used the sponge applicator that came with the Fiebings it flooded under the tapes. Maybe because the pine was a rougher surface than the neck would be; I should have sanded a patch smooth to see. But if a small artist's brush was used as an applicator and the Fiebings was 'feathered' in without getting too wet, both tapes worked OK.

I did also try wetting the edge of the Frog Tape first to see if that activated its technology but it wasn't any different.

However, I've decided to not use the Fiebings now, but leave it until after the neck is laquered. The board edges will get some tinted stain and I'll lemon oil the board, or perhaps Fret Doctor which I've never used, but have heard it makes a board darker, and there seems to be a lot of love for it out there in guitar land. I assume I could always use the Fiebings later on if I wanted.

Here's a pic of the Pau Ferro board, it's not too bad, but a bit stripey. And a lighter brown than the pic has captured.

Pau Ferro board pic in profile

Leftee
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 30th, 2018 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like it as-is. :-)

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 31st, 2018 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Leftee, yes, it's not too bad, it is growing on me. When I first saw it, my reaction was a bit, hmm, it's stripey! I've seen less attractive rosewood boards though. I've been bonding with it tonight though as I've done some work to re-shape the headstock. I'll post the results in a new thread.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / So if I'm darkening a raw fretboard...




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