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Cleaned rosewood neck with guitar polish now white grained

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mathewjg, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. mathewjg


    Dec 26, 2009
    I thought I would make a nice job of cleaning my rosewood fretboard with some very old guitar polish that I had knocking around the studio for many years. It made a nice job of the body and then I got tempted to use it on the fretboard. It looked pretty good at first but now that the polish has dried it has left a white residue in the grain of the wood - I suppose it does make it look quite different but anyone got any nice simple way of removing it?
  2. Sounds like you dried it out. Youjust need to mostureize it.

    I use Music Nomad's F1. Great sutff and better than lemon oil.

    Put a little inbetween fretts and rub with your finger. Let it set for a few min. and rub off with a rag.
  3. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    try naptha.(lighter fluid)...start in small area first.
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    It's not dried out. You just used a polish on open grained wood that's meant to be used on clear coats. A toothbrush should remove it with no problem. You may optionally add a little fingerboard conditioner, Murphys Oil Soap, or boiled linseed oil if you want to condition the surface of the rosewood.
  5. Naphtha isn't lighter fluid, lighter fluid is generally butane and the range of compounds classified as naphtha are hydrocarbons larger than pentane.

    Sorry, I've got to stop doing that. They do sell actual naphtha though.

    I use lemon oil and find it works great.

  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Just remember that unless you're buying pure lemon oil what you're using is mostly petroleum distillates with citrus oil and fragrance added.
  7. Lol yeah, it probably is. Still works, though, my rosewood-board instruments look good. :p

  8. Coleman Fuel is naptha. Lighter fluid. Ronsonol, Zippo, etc., is a perfectly good substitute.

    Butane is lighter FUEL, not lighter FLUID.
  9. :eyebrow:

    It doesn't matter anyway, that was just me kind of being a PITA. lol

    I was picturing something like the Behlen stuff as naphtha.

  10. mathewjg


    Dec 26, 2009
    Many thanks for the swift responses - glad to hear that I have not permanently given the neck a new style of wood grain effect!
  11. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    A taste of your own medicine,

  12. All right, I get it, I apologize. I'm not above acknowledging I'm wrong.

  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Sorry, but butane is a gas. Lighter fluid is ... well, a fluid. And it's mostly naphtha.
  14. I realized. My initial train of thought was mistaken. As steveaux pointed out, I interchanged the words "fuel" and "fluid".

  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You left goop in the grain in the fretboard. Use a damp cloth to remove it. You don't need to add anything to rosewood, so skip the oil, polish and other goo.
  16. This isn't always true. While naturally oily, rosewood will eventually dry out. This is exaggerated by what he will have to do to get the polish out. It's in the grains and a damp cloth is going to take a LONG time to get it all out.
  17. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Lots of nit pickin goin on here.

    I've been using lemon oil sparingly to clean
    basses for 30 years. Contrary to popular
    beliefs, it only has three ingredients. It has
    been protecting wood for longer than any
    of your guitar cleaners that usually share
    ingredients with lemon oil, and some of
    them have ingredients that just should
    not be used on a fine instrument. It is
    gentle and doesn't infest the wood with
    a bunch of corrosive chemicals.

    I think the reason folks don't like it is
    that it requires elbow grease,

  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You're right that it's going to take a while. My general opinion about oiling necks is based on a 1972 neck on my 1963 Precision. It has lived in the western US in low humidity environments and has never been in a climate where humidity doesn't dip below 10% on a regular basis, at least in winter. It has never been touched with any oil or conditioning agent. It looks, feels and acts like it did in 1972.

    I don't oil or condition the necks on any of the dozen basses I own, including the ones which date to the 60's and early 70's.

    It appears to me that for some reason, there are people who feel compelled to add conditioner to bass necks. I've read the threads with interest, and I've seen posts from people who put so much goo on necks that I'm surprised the bass doesn't squirt out of their left hand and the frets don't fall out.

    But I don't think that a very occasional wipe with a very light application of something to keep the wood "fed" would be inappropriate at all. However, I wouldn't use a variation of lemon oil, linseed oil or the other weird stuff that people post about. I have a bass that I de-fretted, and after lightly sanding that rosewood neck, I put one moderate coat of Homer Formby's Tung Oil on the neck. That was around 10 years ago and it looks great. I didn't try to build a shell finish with the Tung oil, I just wanted to get a sealing coat on the neck. If I had wanted a harder finish, I would have used multiple coats of Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil. (Which I realize is a mish-mosh of linseed oil and various other things, but I've used it on gunstocks and I know what it can do.)

    If I were to do anything for a rosewood board, it would probably be once a year or less frequently, and it would be an extremely LIGHT wipe with plain old mineral oil, which is the same thing I use for wooden knife handles in the kitchen. I'd wipe off any visible remains and call it good for a year or longer.
  19. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    if the white stuff still bothers you try one of the oils suggested and use a worn out toothbrush to scrub with the grain
  20. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    Lemon oil is not good for open grain woods like rosewood. As it evaporates it dries the wood. Linseed oil works best on rosewood.