StewMac tools

Oh no - Pink dots!!!

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Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:06 pm

I installed the "vintage" clay dots from StewMac on an EI rosewood fingerboard. I sanded them level, and after vacuuming off the dust, there was till some white dust in the small pores of the RW, so I wiped it down with alcohol.

Oops!!

The alcohol carried some of the color from the rosewood to the dots making them pink! Ugh!

I turned an edge on a razor blade and scraped the surface of each dot, so they cleaned up pretty well. However, I have some more sanding to do on this neck (I only sanded the dots flush using 220), and would like to avoid having to re-scrape if I could.

I was thinking that some kind of sealer either on the dots or the FB would help, but shellac (my first thought) is alcohol-based, and might repeat the problem.

Whaddya think? I have been meaning to ask what folks use to finish a rosewood FB, but now I'm wondering what to expect when I get to that point.

Thanks!
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Freeman Keller » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:45 pm

I don't "finish" any rosewood (or ebony) fretboards. When I install any kind of maker dots I sand them and the f/b level (usually 320 or 400) and then scrape them with a box cutter blade - they always come out nice and shiny after that. After the frets are in I'll clean the board with 0000 steel wool, no solvents or finish or oil. Other inlay (like headstocks) I scrape back and then clear coat with my final finish, either nitro or water born lacquer.
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:04 pm

Freeman Keller wrote:I don't "finish" any rosewood (or ebony) fretboards. When I install any kind of maker dots I sand them and the f/b level (usually 320 or 400) and then scrape them with a box cutter blade - they always come out nice and shiny after that. After the frets are in I'll clean the board with 0000 steel wool, no solvents or finish or oil. Other inlay (like headstocks) I scrape back and then clear coat with my final finish, either nitro or water born lacquer.

Thanks, Freeman. Sounds like sand-and-scrape is the routine. How do you clean up after sanding (the FB itself, not he dots)? Vacuum? Compressed air? Wipe down with something other than alcohol? This is my first experience with darkly-colored wood other than decorative ebony pegs in some of my furniture, so I'm learning how to work with it.

Have you tried any of the 3M scotchbrite products in place of the steel wool? I stopped using steel wool on furniture a number of years ago, as the dust and little pieces of of steel wool tended to be a PITA. I switched to the super-fine Scotchbrite and haven't looked back.
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby David King » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:36 pm

The white plastic erasers are great for cleaning up most fingerboards. Rub across the grain until the rubbings come off white. Not recommended for wenge boards as the white can get stuck down in the grain.
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:19 pm

David King wrote:The white plastic erasers are great for cleaning up most fingerboards. Rub across the grain until the rubbings come off white. Not recommended for wenge boards as the white can get stuck down in the grain.

Thanks, David. I'll try that. I have a bunch of those erasers parked at various points throughout the shop.
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Freeman Keller » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:15 pm

Steve, I used either vacuum or air from my compressor to clean sanding dust. I'll also sometimes put a coat of shellac on wood that I don't want to pick up color from sanding - spruce tops in particular - but obviously I wouldn't do that on a f/b. I don't use any solvents on the wood if possible.

I haven't used the Scotchbrite pads but I do use micromesh for very fine polishing. And while I don't care for steel wool, it seems to work fine for cleaning fretboards and frets (keep it away from pickups LOL)
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Re: Oh no - Pink dots!!!

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:24 am

Thanks, Freeman. Now that my son FINALLY returned my compressor, I'll have some compressed air to work with! :D

I'm going to do the final sanding today in prep for fretting.
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