Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Fingerboard Hole Fills and Finish Polish on the Princess Banjo-Mandolin

So, I turned the corner on the Princess.  Things should pick up quickly from here.

You may recall I drove some small nails into the fingerboard to help align it when I reglued it to the neck.  I need to fill those holes.

I filed a small amount of fingerboard wood from the bottom of the fingerboard extension, where it will never be seen.

Then I just took some of that sawdust and made small piles over the holes, and put a couple drops of thin CA on the piles.

Side note: I had been using those Stew-Mac droppers like the one in the picture.  But I switched to using their pipettes instead.  It's a lot easier to control glue or paint with the pipettes.

Let the little piles/heaps of filler dry for a while.  It looks bad, but it will work.

To quote Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Arc, "Trust me."
When the fill is dry, I use a small scraper to level the fill down more or less flush with the board.

Did you notice all the frets that popped out during handling?  I'm pretty sure I'm just going to refret the thing.  The old brass frets are really fragile - they bend if you just look at them wrong.

Then we block sand with 220 or so grit paper.

The finished fills.

The board is still really dirty - in fact you can see the notorious Green Fingerboard Gunk in the fret slots.  So the fills look like they don't quite match, but they'll look perfect when everything is cleaned up.

It's been a couple of weeks since I resprayed the neck and headstock with nitro lacquer, so it's cured enough that I can polish it out.

I'm using my 3" Griots Garage polisher and Griot's Machine Polish 3 - which is a very mild swirl remover.

The neck has a great gloss - a bit hard to see in this picture, but it looks good.

I love necks with a contrasting strip in the middle.

The blue arrow points to the seven (!) frets that just popped out while I was working with the neck.

And the resprayed headstock after polishing.

You can still see the cracks, but they are level and glued and/or filled.

Although, I have to say, unless the cracks are awful, I wouldn't do this again.

Next I'll refret it with small fretwire.


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Miranda Dunn said...
    June 26, 2015 at 10:52 PM
    Hello, there. I'm looking to do some artwork on guitars with sharpie. I've been looking for a sealer that will prevent the designs from wearing off. Do you have any recommendations?
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    July 10, 2015 at 12:58 PM
    Hi -
    Sorry for the delay in my response. That's a tricky one. Most of the finish you would put over your art would also likely remove it! I'd suggest experimenting with clear lacquer sprayed on very lightly.

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