As a non-luthier short on cash, what might be the best/easiest/ most economical way to polish my own frets? I've heard of a few products that are touted as doing a good job, such as Gorgomyte fret polishing cloth and Planet Waves fret polishing system, which utilizes superfine sanding papers.

Any other recommendations?

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Liberon brand 0000 steel wool.
For a lot of years I refrained from using steel wool since I felt the Scotch Brite pads were better. I've learned that steel wool definitely has its place. I agree with what Jeffrey says about the steel wool. It does an excellent job of polishing frets. ( and a lot of other things too).
Ronnie Nichols
Steel wool #0000 has got my vote too I use it on frets when I re string and it does a gr8 job..
Do you first mask off the fretboard? I've heard the slotted metal fretboard protectors work well?
On maple necks, I'll mask-off first... but don't feel it's needed on rosewood. The slotted metal fret protectors are great. I bought a dozen or so (they're cheap enough) but have found it necessary make a couple of modifications for special circumstances: (1). when working on the closely-spaced upper frets on some guitars, the frets guards are just a bit too wide, so I took a pair of metal shears and narrowed a pair of them down, {caveat: file and smooth the cut edges or they'll scratch the wood}. (2). I widened the actual slot on another pair by about .020", to accommodate wide frets where the guards tend to catch under the fret.
I like to mask the fretboard and use the steel wool, followed by a tiny bit metal polishing batting ( the label wore off, so I don't know the brand). It's a pink cotton-like material with polishers in it. A little pinch is all you need and, with the fretboard masked, you don't get anything on the wood. A final buff with a soft cloth is all that's needed.

Only mask it off if it's a finished maple board. I recommend to my customers that they should 0000 steel wool the fingerboard and frets then apply a little lemon oil and wipe it off about once every six months or so. You don't want to over do it because you will eventually wear down the board and frets prematurely. If the fingerboard is especially gunked up, I take a little scraper made of pick guard or plastic scrap with a sharp bevel on it and scrape the gunk off, then proceed with the wool and oil. Use Liberon brand 0000 steel wool like Jeffrey said. It is more consistent and lacks oils that are in other brands.

Hope this helps,
I use micro-mesh to finish my fret jobs. They come out like chrome. Start with 1500 and work down to 12000
I do, too. I have some blocks made of garden kneeler foam rubber, with 2 grits on them. I like the way the fret ends jewel up, when I get to 8000.
Please tell me about micromesh. I'm not familar with it.
Micro Mesh: You can buy a little set of foam backed pads from Stew Mac for like $8 and you're on your way to fret sheen nirvana.
Mask or not? Easy on the fretboard?

Fret sheen nirvana sounds like what I'm looking for. :)


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