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Thread: black residue?

  1. #1

    Default black residue?

    A few frets have this hard, black residue on one side or the other (see photos). Is this normal, or a sign of some process left unfinished?

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  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: black residue?

    Most likely, glue was used to install the frets, but wasn't cleaned up very well before the final sanding and polishing. It's probably a combination of glue, ebony dust, and steel wool particles.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: black residue?

    ..Or buffing compound? I'd be surprised if this basic mandolin had glued-in frets.
    Mineral spirits or naptha (lighter fluid) will wipe it right off if it is buffing compound, with no risk of harm to the finish.

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