View Full Version : Maple fretboard treatment

05-12-2017, 06:17 AM
Hey everyone,
I'm going to use a maple fretboard on a tenor uke for the first time.
Here is my question:

How do you treat the playing surface of the maple fretboard to keep it from getting all grungy after awhile? (Like I've seen on some electric guitars) Do you just oil it like most other fretboards? Do you place your finish material on it like Fender does? Or have you found another method that works for you?

05-12-2017, 07:47 PM
I think one reason fretboards were traditionally dark is that they will be hard and not show wear. Fender broke this rule with the light maple fretboards which of course became an iconic classic look. However you are probably not Fender or Eric Clapton so dark is best. I think the reason that the mineral oil says to not use the stuff on maple is that there might be a varnish on the fretboard which would retard absobrtion resulting in an oily drippy fretboard. Not good. Personally I always thought the varnished maple fretboard was a stupid idea. Still, the Stratacastor was a beautiful instrument. It was a marketing thing.

Michael N.
05-12-2017, 10:28 PM
Fender put some pretty thick gunge on their maple fretboards, probably nitro. There's just no other way of keeping a maple fretboard relatively clean. Oil won't do it. You need a thick and hard finish. . . or just go dark wood in the first place.

05-13-2017, 02:09 AM
Heres how I do e'm ..http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?81268-Baked-Maple-Fretboards&highlight=baked+maple

05-13-2017, 06:11 AM
I built a cigar box uke with a maple fretboard a few years ago. After I got the board the right thickness and slotted it, I gave it a couple coats of super glue. Sanded and polished it a bit then ran the saw blade through the slots to clean them out. Then fretted and glued it onto the neck. It only gets played by the grandkids but it still looks like it did when I first built it. Don't know how it would work if it was played a lot, but could be touched up easily.