Masking frets

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by detracti, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I've got an unfinished neck arriving next weekend, and have been thinking about how to get finish on without then having to scrub the frets.

    What I figured out on an old junker neck I have laying around, is that I can put a strip of masking tape across a fret, and then take like a box cutter blade, and lightly trim down to the base of each fret. Just lightly score the tape, and it peels away, leaving just the fret covered.

    Has anyone ever tried this? Hoping it will work.
  2. Manton Customs

    Manton Customs UK Luthier

    Jan 31, 2014
    Shropshire, UK
    Luthier, Manton Customs
    Probably won’t work too well and be quite fiddly. You’ll likely get an obvious ridge of finish/bare area by each fret. Not saying it wouldn’t be possible, but not worth the effort and chances are you wouldn’t get every one right.

    It’s not a big deal to clean the frets during and after spraying, that’s how most people do it. At the Fender factory they used to use a nail with a groove cut in it to scrape the fret tops in between coats.
  3. Could work out. Let us know how it works if you go that route. My only thought is that if it’s an inexpensive neck you might end up leveling the frets anyway.
  4. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    Like so: