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Cleaning/Conditioning Wenge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by superheavyfunk, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    Howdy folks.

    I've got an old bass with a wenge neck and board and it needs a little love. On all of my guitars and basses, I use lemon oil and some light steel wool to clean and condition them but wenge is a wierd wood and I'm not sure whether I should use this method or something else.

    I'm sure many of you have had experience with this before, so I'm hoping someone could give me a quick rundown of the proper methodology for this.

  2. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011

    To clean, I would use a scouring pad with a little water and soap. Wenge is a porous wood, so I would avoid steel wool because of the fine particles that could get stuck in it. Also, it is a toxic wood and breathing its dust can be dangerous.

    For conditioning, I think there is no need but if you want to do it, you can use whatever product you are used to.
    MrLenny1 and superheavyfunk like this.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I use a soft terry rag and a bit of Howard's Weed 'n Feed...okay, Wax. Wipe on, wipe off immediately. As @Vinny_G suggested, soap & water is your best friend. There's no "conditioning" of wenge...it may look a little nicer with a quick oiling but that's about it. Do not allow any preparation to sit on the fingerboard for long as it has the nasty tendency to wick-up exposed end-grains (fret slots, etc).

  4. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thank you both! I appreciate the tips. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Vinny_G likes this.
  5. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

  6. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Wenge, rosewoods (includes pau ferro, cocobolo, katalox, and others), and other oily woods don't need any conditioning, as the natural oils provide stability as-is. I agree, though, that a scouring pad and some light soap would work for cleaning (done lightly, carefully).
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
    Vinny_G likes this.
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I would never use steel wool on an electric instrument. The particles that rub off as you use it are attracted to the pickups and it is impossible to remove all of it. 3M pads are usually recommended.
    Vinny_G likes this.
  8. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    You're right, but that's okay if you take care to cover the pickups with masking tape, or just remove the neck when possible.
    imabuddha and RSBBass like this.
  9. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    Never once had a problem in 20 years, personally. Ymmv, of course.
    imabuddha likes this.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I have a wenge fingerboard and use lemon oil on it.
    Apply a couple of times if needed.
    As mentioned it has a open grain and steel wool
    could get trapped in the pours and ouch.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 14, 2021

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