Best steel wool for polishing frets

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by beyondcosmos, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. beyondcosmos

    beyondcosmos SS.org Regular

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    What's the best steel wool for cleaning up and polishing frets? I've got a prestige Ibanez 7 with nickel frets that could use a cleanup since my strings tend to get cruddy more quickly than on other guitars I've had.

    I know one needs a very fine, 'weak' if you will, grade of steel wool, but I'm open to specific suggestions.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Any 0000 will work just fine.

    I tend to skip the steel wool and grab some micro mesh, pretty much anything between 6000 and 8000 works well.
     
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  3. Scordare

    Scordare SS.org Regular

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    Steel wool & taping off fretboard is a pain. Try some Gorgomyte..great stuff!
     
  4. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I use 4000, 8000, then 12000 grit polishing papers with a touch of polishing compound, frets come out like lil mirrors, burnished nearly as smooth as stainless frets. It's a lil more work, but the results are worth it.
     
  5. beyondcosmos

    beyondcosmos SS.org Regular

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    Thank you SSO members, very happy I can consistently rely on this site.
     
  6. goobaba

    goobaba SS.org Regular

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    I use 0000 steel wool, works great.

    You can use it on unfinished fret boards too, just have to be careful about it. I have a '99 RG7420, I carefully scraped a lot of caked on finger crud off with a pick, then lightly scrubbed with the grain of the rosewood, then taped off the board and polished the frets. A couple drops of fret board oil and it was playing like brand new again.

    Be careful though, because steel wool can take off a lot of fret material fairly quickly.
     
  7. goobaba

    goobaba SS.org Regular

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    Also you might want to tape off your pickups first as well. All the metallic dust from the steel wool will collect on the pickups if you're not careful.
     
  8. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Nice to see various methods from folks.
     
  9. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I usually tape off the fretboard/pickups and polish with 0000 steel wool I got from Home Depot. It's not too much extra hassle since I only polish the frets on my nickel-fretted guitars every other or third string change.
     
  10. TheRileyOBrien

    TheRileyOBrien SS.org Regular

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    The best steel wool is no steel wool.

    There are so many better options available these days. Micro mesh/nail files work much better and require much less prep. I always hit them with some flitz metal polish on a dremel(you could do it by hand but it requires more elbow grease).

    Aside from the steel wool getting stuck to pickups if you don't tape them perfectly, if any dust gets into a pore of the wood it will rust quickly. It also cannot get nearly as much of a shine as micro mesh and polishes.
     
  11. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    I've never heard of micro mesh before. Any recommendations on what / where to buy? Amazon?
     
  12. The906

    The906 Hella rad Contributor

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    Thanks for the Gorgomyte head's up. I have some on the way.

    FF to about 2:10, clean those necks and you're fired!

     
  13. Frostbite

    Frostbite Periphery Shill

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar SS.org Regular

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    The gorgomyte stuff is great, it works just fine (be sure to cut the cloth into several smaller pieces, don't just use the whole cloth) and I'm glad I'll never have to tape off my fretboard and deal with steelwool dust getting on to my pickups.
     

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