SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#1
I was wondering, why aren't maple fretboards stained in any colours? What negative effects would it have?

I searched a bit and all that came up was darkening and staining it black, but what about a red fretboard for example?

Or would it just look crappy and wear off soon? Could anyone explain this a bit?
skater dan0
ex-mod
Join date: Jul 2006
1,755 IQ
#2
ritter royals have a bass with a stained blue maple fretboard and it looks fantastic,

here's the link

i guess no one does it because most people want natural wood as their fretboard colour
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Dan

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SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#3
Holy ****, a 10-bolt neck!

But that fretboard is really nice, I might just try and stain a regular maple fretboard one day...
Absent Mind
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Join date: Apr 2006
259 IQ
#4
I love that all blue bass, very nice!

I think its more a convention thing than anything, people arnt willing to try new things because they are so use to bog standard natural maple/rosewood/ebony.

I can see no negatives to staining a fret board.




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imgooley
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#5
Don't they only use hard maple for fretboards? I might be wrong, but the grain is so tight on hard maple that you can't stain it. You could use a colored transparent finish, though.
CyanideChris
Face of Melinda
Join date: Sep 2006
823 IQ
#7
Quote by livrockdie

Why are those even legal?
They have to be the worst looking guitars ever fs.

And I think staining a maple fretboard would be really cool, it probably isn't done a lot because of mass producing costs and bothers etc, but a custom with it would be nice.
Tackleberry
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Join date: Jul 2007
288 IQ
#8
It shouldnt be hard to stain just about anything. And not sure the reason for not staining maple fret boards. Things tend to get done the same way for a long time for no other reason than "we have always done things that way". All you can do is try it.
skater dan0
ex-mod
Join date: Jul 2006
1,755 IQ
#9
i've never seen the appeal of those deans, they look god awful, at least the ritter looks classy
Quote by bassmanjoe08
Dan

Don't stop being you <3


Quote by fatgoogle
I think after this relentless adding for the last 10 mins, that Dan is the coolest looking. Goddamn welsh people and my great etc etc etc etc etc granddad is welsh.
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#11
Alright, I have a neck that I defretted (the frets were filed down too low).
Question is, should I fret first or stain first. I think it'd be easier to stain without any frets but I'm afraid that the wood might start playing tricks on me, swelling some fret slots too tight or warping otherwise. Then again, staining once fretted will be a bit more tricky, or not?

I have experience from oiling a body when the TOM bridge holes were suddenly a tiny bit too close to each other... don't ask me how it's possible.
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#13
Yes, but couldn't it somehow mess up fret placement? That's what I'm most afraid of.
rednwhiteblues
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
146 IQ
#14
id say stain then fret, and if you have a problem with the slots swelling, you can always very carefully open them up a bit with a file, just tape of the stained parts before filing them
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#15
Okay, but has anybody even just darkened their fretboards with stain?
I guess you'd just do it with frets on, that's why I'm leaning towards fret -> stain, it seems to be a tested working solution. Or can anyone recall any problems staining with frets on?
rednwhiteblues
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
146 IQ
#16
come to think of it, a lot of people like that vintage tint on their tele/strat maple boards, and they probably fret first, so i don't think it would be a problem at all, its not like the metal frets are going to take the stain or anything
livrockdie
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Join date: Aug 2006
1,382 IQ
#17
Quote by skater dan0
i've never seen the appeal of those deans, they look god awful, at least the ritter looks classy



hahaha, a friend of mine is getting one. She wants to learn guitar. Specs wise they dont look too bad though. It has an alder body. But this is all off topic...
Absent Mind
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Join date: Apr 2006
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#18
I would stain first, much easier! the stain is only going to affect the top surface of the fretboard, and doesnt penatrate very deeply, so the chances of it swelling horizontally arnt huge, even if it did, either saw or file the slots back to width.

Much easier than masking off every fret, even then, if it you stain and it swells then it will push up on the seated frets, which isnt good




Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#19
Okay, seems that both are possible then. It's not actually necessary to mask off any frets, the stain shouldn't do anything to metal, and rosewood fingerboards are quite commonly darkened with a stain - I highly doubt anyone would remove the frets just to do that
Dookie_1988
UG's Brother in arms...
Join date: Oct 2004
764 IQ
#20
What kind of Maple is your neck? Just from a wood point of view stains don't really 'take' to Maple all that well. I mean, it will stain, but I can see it not being long lasting.

I do find if you want to tint or colour a maple neck, coat it in a tinted nitrocellulose lacquer... That will give you the nice gloss colour. I can't see long lasting great effects form a stain onto a hard, tight grain Maple wood.



- Rich
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#22
Quote by Dookie_1988
What kind of Maple is your neck?


How do I find that out?
It's maple, it used to have lacquer on it, it does feel pretty solid. Any specific clues that I should look for?
Dookie_1988
UG's Brother in arms...
Join date: Oct 2004
764 IQ
#23
Well, I'd be guess an american rock maple.

I still maintain you'll get better results form a tinted lacquer. Also, as a personal preference I feel lacquerd necks play nicer.


SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#24
But would a tinted lacquer show off the wood grain the same way a stain would?
Sorry if this is a noob question, wood finishing has always been a bit of a mystery for me, I'm just discovering everything
SenorSmiley
Banned
Join date: Dec 2007
1,532 IQ
#25
I am building some lap steels right now and am staining maple for the neck. It's a hard wood, so your best bet is to steel wool it then apply the stain heavily and over the course of a few days. Leave it on a while and just steel wool between coats.
SKVguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2005
448 IQ
#26
Another possibly stupid question: why should I prefer steel wool over fine sandpaper?
SenorSmiley
Banned
Join date: Dec 2007
1,532 IQ
#27
Use whatever you want. For rubbing out finishes like this I use steel wool.