No announcement yet.

Cheap gift suggestions

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cheap gift suggestions

    1. I'd like to permanently stain/dye/darken (whatever the proper word is) some of my fret boards. Which is a better choice, or do you have a suggestion of your own: (I'd be looking at the black 5040)
    and they would need to be compatible when I use my Howard's Cutting Board Oil for cleaning. I don't want this stuff coming off when I play or when I clean.

    there's also this one:
    but some of the bottles say "mix well", while some internet posts say to just use it. And some of the bottles specifically say for fountain pens while others say not for fountain pens.
    And what will shellac do to fretboards, inlays, and binding. Plus, I have seen some say that you need to top coat it because it comes off with alcohol?

    it looks like it will work on the 590 because it works on the Schaller S-FRT II.
    Do you think it will work on the 580lp? It doesn't work on the Floyd Rose Pro but does work on a Lo-Pro and Edge III.
    Working on the JT-6 would be awesome, but that will be determined if it gets bought for the other units.
    Last edited by pianoguyy; 12-03-2019, 06:59 AM.

  • #2
    anyone looking to dye a fretboard....
    i got the big bottle of India Ink. Which, in hindsight, may have been overkill - but I will never need to buy it again. And, since I have so much, I guess I could do a coat every 6 months or so, they will eventually be blacker than black.

    I have 2 things to say:
    1. results will vary based on the amount and type of cleaning/conditioning you do.
    For example. So far, I have tested it on 2 cheap guitars. One was a First Act which has never had Howard's Cutting Board Oil (or any cleaner) on it. And the other was an Ibanez G10 which has been treated. The First Act went from dried out (aka light) brown to very dark brown after just one coat. The Ibanez, after 3 coats, went from streaky, but moist and brown, to a less streaky slightly darker brown. It just wasn't soaking it. I assume it was too soon after the treatment.
    2. rubbing alcohol will work wonders for cleanup.
    they say to apply and wipe off the excess. And people complain about it getting on the frets and inlays, and it being hard to wipe off when it dries. and others talk about the results being blotchy.
    rubbing alcohol will take it right off of everything (including the fretboard). But the stuff that soaked into the fretboard will remain. It only removes the excess that is on top of the fretboard. And it easily cleans the frets and inlays.
    So, while it may make your blotchy, obviously dyed, black look a more natural looking dark brown.... you can always do more coats. And it certainly beats having to work hard to clean the frets.

    *Plus, You can use it to touch up chips in black guitars. It will dye the wood. Making the exposed wood less noticeable.


    • #3
      Following this thread with great interest and hoping to see "before and after" pics if possible.

      My kingdom for a dyeing method that is permanent, easy, not laborious, as black as possible, and won't rub off when I clean my fretboards using 0000 steel wool.

      My previous foray into this experiment:


      • #4
        No pictures this time. It was just a quick test because I needed to give the bottle to my mom to wrap for me because she always insists on everyone having something to open. So there won't be anymore experimenting for a few more weeks. Yes, i am 40+ years old and "santa" still brings presents to my parents' house. (no, I don't live in the basement or above the garage)

        I wanted it "in the now" for two specific guitars. And, of course, for all guitars in the future because of CITES. But between my results, which are similar to what I have read from others, I think I have used too much "goop" on the two I wanted this for. So I will either be waiting until they dry out, or not doing it at all.


        • #5

          I ran out of cheap guitars to toy around with. So, I needed to use a Model 6.

          My goal (this time) was not to blacken the board. It was to just get some color into the white cracks.

          I diluted the india ink with alcohol. (see note at bottom)
          I applied it with a paper towel using up and down strokes going with the grain. one fret at a time. --- i could actually see it being wiped on with the up strokes and wiped off with the down strokes.

          My theory is -
          1. diluting it allowed the india ink to get down into the bad spots better
          2. the one fret paper towel method instantly cleaned it off of the surface preventing pooling and blotchy spots.

          in these pictures, you will see the "matched" before-and-after results of a single coat, taken about an hour after application. definitely dry at this point. it think it looks fairly good.
          I did not clean up the frets, inlays, or binding because my plan is to make the entire board darker (why clean it twice). I simply wanted to get this first step done.

          *Alcohol and india ink
          I tried this on other woods (including a fretboard). I think it takes the shine away, which makes it look much more natural. But it also doesn't get "blacker than black".
          Last edited by pianoguyy; 02-18-2020, 02:42 PM. Reason: moved picture link to top so that it is more visible


          • #6
            I don't know why. But it looks like the india ink on this Charvel Model 6 is a bust.

            I have applied it. Reapplied it. Wiped it off with alcohol. Started over. Tried different techniques and applications.
            Nothing seems to be working.

            The only thing left for me to try is to remove the frets and sand the board. But I don't want to do that.

            The results right now are..... the cracks are filled in. And the fretboard, after so many failed coats, is only slightly darker.
            I guess after 30 years of being pressurized (fretting), and oiling, there is simply no place for the ink to go. But, at least with the cracks filled in, it does give an overall darker appearance.

            I mean, I can't even get 'even' results - with some frets looking like a mess and others looking decent.

            Therefore, I have to put my dye jobs on hold. I don't want to do it to any nice guitars without having consistently good results on cheaper guitars.
            And since just about everything I own has been treated/conditioned with something. I just have to wait until I either pickup a few cheap guitars or until I dry out the boards on some of these others.


            • #7
              the good news....
              i am finally the proud owner of a Charvel Model 6 with a gorgeous black board.

              up close, when specifically looking for flaws, there are a few. flaws in the wood. flaws in the dye job.
              but from from a distance, awesome. up close, when not looking, awesome.
              when freshly lathered with oil, awesome. the oil even hides the up close flaws.

              in fact, I had left it sit out. I just happened to catch a glimpse of it and for a moment I thought I had a Soloist out.

              pictures to come


              • #8
                *I play guitar much better than I take photos.


                compared to the old board

                Last edited by pianoguyy; 03-19-2020, 12:21 PM.


                • #9
                  at this point, 3 months in and on various items, here are my thoughts of india ink -

                  1. i prefer using a sponge to apply. or a cotton ball/q-tip.
                  apply it to the sponge, not the surface. it prevents excess from pooling, which also prevents it from running. but the downside is that you have to work with smaller areas (perfect for fretboards). and i think you use more ink because so much gets soaked into the sponge.
                  the paint brush is just too darn messy.

                  2. i have found no rhyme or reason as to why it worked so well on some items and not so well on others.
                  for example, the Model 6 was a pain. And I don't know why it came out so well this last time. Pretty much the only thing I did differently was - I used a hair dryer and a scouring pad.

                  3. Frets, inlays, and binding -
                  it came off of some very easily and others were difficult. again, no rhyme of reason.

                  4. alcohol will clean it up

                  5. diluting with alcohol
                  seems to make the end result to be less shiny. and it seems to dry much faster.

                  6. this is not paint. it soaks in. this makes edging with accuracy difficult.