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Cleaning an Unfinished Maple Neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassicallybob, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. EDIT: I'm concered about the *Fretboard* not the neck itself.

    I've got a somewhat rare configuration of the Brice HXB 405 (rondo music brand) and it's got an unfinished maple neck. Yes, I'm positive there's no finish.

    Damn thing gets full of finger gunk fast. I'm afraid to use any sort of cleaner to get it off, and I'm afraid of scratching the fretboard if I just use elbow grease and a sharp ish edge. I know lemon oil and most fret cleaners are a big no no

    Anyone know of any lubricant that is safe for cleaning unfinished maple? I'd really prefer not to just let it get full of gunk...
  2. First I can't believe a maple board would be unfinished, that's a grime magnet. Personally I would sand the board starting with 400 or 600 grit (I know you don't want to sand), but I don't think there is any other way to get the grime off a board. Once it's clean I would put a coat of Tru Oil on it. It's pretty lightweight and will prevent that gunk from building up.
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  3. Yeah it's friggin weird, but it's a great feeling fretboard. I'm kind of spooked on sanding it, but maybe steel wool will do?
  4. I'd try naptha. That's what I use to wipe down and clean unfinished wood (including maple) prior to finishing.
  5. That won't dry it out too much? Alcohols tend to do that...
  6. I haven't ever had a problem with it drying out wood.
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Naphtha has no alcohol in it; it's petroleum based, basically lighter fluid for a Zippo lighter. No, it won't dry it out woods.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
    96tbird, bassicallybob and RobTheRiot like this.
  8. Besides, even if the maple gets a little dry (which it won’t) the TruOil will take care of that.:thumbsup:
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 to naphtha, that's the go-to for removing grime and gunk without hurting even delicate finishes or raw wood.
  10. got my alcohols and hydrocarbons mixed up, my bad!
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Is it grey? Raw maple will get grey with grime. If it cleans off, it ain’t raw wood.
    sissy kathy likes this.
  12. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Not really worth an argument; let him believe it's raw wood..
    96tbird likes this.
  13. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    +1 naptha to clean. I wouldn’t use steel wool, useless stuff IMO, it leaves tiny particles everywhere that will oxidize, sticks to pups, etc. Fine scotchbrite pads will do the same job. I like the Stewmac Fingerboard oil, seems to dry faster than Tru-Oil, and hardens up the surface a little. It doesn’t really add much sheen unless you keep putting multiple coats on, never gets beyond satin even then.

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