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Polyurethane as fretless fingerboard finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassophile, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. I have fretted 6string Cort which I'm planning to do defretting on. It has pau ferro in its fretboard and I'm now thinking which is better to do: oil finished pau ferro or polyurethane over it? How these options affect the sound in general? I want to use nickel plated roundwound strings on it.

  2. tried it, hate it. Use epoxy or CA. I prefer epoxy now that I've tried all three.
  3. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
  4. I used poly on two of my fretlesses, specifically Minwax spray-on poly.

    I gently sand between each of the three coats. 220 grit is fine, just to 'rough up' the surface in between.

    You must let the poly completely dry- it can no longer be tacky to the touch anywhere.

    Then- I use a radiused sanding block that matches the fingerboard, and sand with very fine 320, then 400 grit sandpaper until the board is smooth.

    Finish with a very light coat of lemon oil to smooth out the surface and wipe off any remaining poly dust.

    This poly technique works great and is very durable.

    I've also used just straight tung oil on fretless boards- but only with nylon or flatwould strings. It's fine if you occasionally gently sand the board with a radius block and reapply a top coat, as needed.