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Removing Sharpie from fretboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mikey5701, Apr 27, 2010.


  1. Mikey5701

    Mikey5701

    Jul 13, 2009
    I've held on to my first bass mainly because it was my first but I never play it and I'm thinking its time to let her go. However there's one problem. The guy I had bought it from had also learned on this bass and he had written in the notes on the frets with a black sharpie marker.

    It never bothered me before because you can't really see it from 3 ft away but I'd prefer not to try to sell it like this because aside from the sharpie, its in near perfect condition. Any advice on how to get the sharpie off?
     
  2. Try Oops, goof off or Naptha.
     
  3. krafty

    krafty

    Mar 22, 2010
    Holland, MI
    Acetone (nail polish remover) should remove it, although I'd re-treat the fretboard with lemon oil or whatever you use to keep it from drying out after you're done with the acetone.
     
  4. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    None of those.

    Simple alcohols are what you want. Methanol is the original solvent for Sharpies. If you do not have MeOH then isopropanol will work. If you have a Q-Tip and some good vodka (above 100 proof) then use a little one for the fretboard, one for you. Two for the fretboard, one - two for you :)
     
  5. PaulNYC

    PaulNYC

    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    write over the permanent marker with dry-erase markers, and then erase.
     
  6. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    If you have mice, getting cats is not a solution. How do you get rid of the cats?

    Adding more pigment with the MeOH from the dry erase markers does not help the OP.
     
  7. Cy_Miles

    Cy_Miles

    Feb 3, 2005
    +1

    I spent some time carefully graduating my shellac bottle with a sharpie, to then realize that alchol removes sharpie very easily. I no longer have sharpie marks on my shellac bottle.
     
  8. 251

    251

    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Try a Janitorial supply. You're looking for something to remove Graffiti. The best I've ever used was n-propanol (not rubbing alcohol which is iso-propanol). It's sold through chemical supply companies & most individuals can no longer buy, even simple chemicals for personal use. :cool:
     
  9. I know it's an old thread but I had to bump this with a +1. This got a whole bunch of blue sharpie off my Fender AM STD P-bass' maple board last night.
     
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    It may sound crazy but nothing will work as good as mosquito repellent.
     
  11. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    It is crazy. Ethanol is the solvent in mosquito repellents. Why would you spray needless things on your instrument what you could use the proper solvent?
     
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Do not use Acetone. Naptha or Alcohol is what you want.
     
  13. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    It's helpful if you wanna play in the key of D(eet), I would imagine.

    And yes. Isopropyl.
     
  14. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Go to walmart, target, or any drug store, and pick up a box of alcohol wipes.
    really cheap, small for controlled use, and easily disposed of.

    Just a thought.

    wraub
     
  15. Hair spray. I have used this trick many times to remove Sharpie ink . Spray it on and wait a few seconds and wipe off. then clean the surface again and you're good.
     
  16. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Why?! Why would you add useless chemicals in attempt to solve one problem only to create another?!
     
  17. What if you mix together some pine tar, tung oil, and japan drier, rub it in with a magic eraser and let it dry, then apply some naval jelly and warm it up with a torch, then sand it down and treat it with 50/50 lemon oil and bondo.

    popcorn.

    Watching Mikey get spun up and transform into the Hulk is waaaaay more fun than any tonewood trainwreck.
     
  18. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Apr 5, 2009
    England
    I'm sure Mike's answer is more correct, but Methanol smells like a tramps underpants and Acetone does work on Sharpie.
     
  19. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Yeah, no one said acetone didn't work, but if you're not careful acetone also makes short work of screwing up your finish too.
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Because not everyone has some ethanol laying around, but most people have a can of Off. There is nothing else in it other than deet, (which will do nothing to the finish), water, and propellents.
     

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