cleaning wenge fingerboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by marijn van gils, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. marijn van gils

    marijn van gils

    Jan 23, 2002
    Well, the palms of my hands seem to produce quite a lot of grease. Not so much that people try to avoid shaking hands with me, but the typical greenish goo is building up quickly on the wenge fretboard of my Thumb n/t.

    Cleaning this from a high gloss varnished fretboard is a quick and straitforward process, but I have found that the open poored wenge can make it slow and difficult. The grease-oxide-mix gets stuck in the poores and is virtually impossible to get out. I am rather affraid that the use of any solvents/cleaning products might damage the wood.

    So, someone knows any solvents or cleaning techniques that will make my life easier?



    PS: no other complaints about the wenge though, it's an awesome neck wood!
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I'd be curious to find out how to solve this too. I just ordered a Warmoth all-wenge fretless neck for my Fretless Jazz project.
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    I'd feel safe using Dr. Duck's Axe Wax since that's what Santa Cruz Guitar Company recommends on their fretboards (pricey acoustic guitars).

    It contains:
    No Wax, No abrasives, No synthetics, No silicones, No acids.

    It says, "Excellent for fretboards... helps prevent fret oxidation."
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i use guitar honey.

    it seems to do the trick.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Just go to a hardward store and buy the finest grade steelwool they have. Clean the board with it making sure to go with the grain. That simple

  6. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    another vote for Dr. Duck's Ax Wax!

    this stuff rules... i don't have experience cleaning wenge, but when i worked at sam ash, i cleaned countless unfinished rosewood fingerboards with this stuff

    i would take the strings off, use a razor to scrape off all the dirt and grease between the frets (a razor works very well on rosewood, but if you don't feel comfortable using it on wenge, then don't), then use a very fine steel wool to smooth it out, and finally put a little dr duck's on, rub it in, let it soak for a few minutes, then buff it off... beautiful

    just DON'T use lemon or any kind of citrus oil. It's cheap and it will make your fretboard look shiny at first, but it will dry it out badly... i wish manufacturers would just stop making it
  7. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Check with the manufacturer of your instrument before using this stuff, though. It will void the warranties on some instruments, and lately, it's been known to cause finish problems on Santa Cruz guitars. (I sell these at work. They are pricey, but to me, not worth the money. There's much better).
    The best stuff I've ever seen is the Virtuoso Cleaner and Virtuoso Polish. Usually, after using just the cleaner, I don't need to polish the instrument, but if I want it extra shiny and new looking, I'll use it.
  8. Copied from the Warwick Website...

    "To remove the film from the neck you can use synthetic steel wool (3M Scotch Brite scouring pads are perfect), then use fretboard oil to lightly finish the neck. After this has dried, you can put on a light coating of Warwick wax - work it in well, let it dry 15 minutes & buff with a towel or T shirt. Do the same on the body (eliminate the steel wool if it's not chalky) and we recommend re-waxing once a month or more if conditions are dry."

    When I first got my Warwick (used) I cleaned my fretboard with the Warwick Beeswax and it really came up nice. Waxes clean when being applied. Once they dry they seal in anything under it. The point being, keep applying the wax until the board is clean, then wipe it all off. Once you're happy with the condition of the board, put another coat of wax on...let it dry for 10-15 minutes and buff.
  9. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Trust me, I've owned lots of oil-finished basses. Just polish it with turpentine and a clean cloth. This will remove the old wax too! Then, when the bass is dry, just wax it. It would be great if you made this on all the bass, not only on the fingerboard. You'll not regret it! :)
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Grade 0000 is what you're looking for.

    Lemon oil is excellent for cleaning unfinished fingerboards, also.
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's not done anything of the sort to the Pau Ferro fretboard on my Spector, which I've been cleaning since I bought it back in '95.
  12. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Or my '92 Alembic. Alembic recommends lemon oil for their ebony fretboards.
  13. I have an MTD with a Wenge fingerboard/neck.
    Mike Tobias says to use a damp,(NOT SOAKING) cloth, (warm water) to wipe off the sweat and grime.
    Take a medium stiffness, dampened tooth brush and rub with the grain to remove the crud from the wood pores.
    The water will only hurt the wood if you saturate it or keep it wet for a long period of time.
    The thing to do is wet it to remove the dirt then quickly dry it with a clean towel.
    Mike also recommends to use the Lemon Oil every so often when you change strings Etc.
    It works for me..........Good luck!