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DB Maintainence

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by babaseen, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. babaseen

    babaseen The BJFE Blueberry for sale Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2001
    Boston, MA
    I've searched most of the DB posts and can't find any help with this topic, perhaps someone can provide a link to website that has maintainence tips.
    Anyway I've started to shed on my 60's Kay upright (haven't played it for a year but that's another story) and I've been going at for it for a couple of weeks. When I first started I noticed the neck seemed a bit sticky and figured as I played it the perspiration and friction of my hand would smooth it out. Unfortunately it seems to be still slightly sticky and I am wondering if there is any non intrusive way to restore the neck to smoothness. Maybe it's due to the summer humidity but I figured I would ask the experts before I did anything other than just play it.
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I would recommend going at it with a fine hobby pad [synthetic steel wool] and Butcher's wax or bowling alley wax-available at any hardware store.
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Sorry, Bud, but I don't like the feel of wax on the neck. My suggestion is Tung oil, and my suggestion is better than your suggestion, so there!!...
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Easy, guys... EASY!!! I'd suggest you take it outside: Endpins at 20 paces, winner takes all.
  5. joon


    Mar 16, 2002
    Manila, Philippines
    Being that the waxes or oils mentioned in this thread can be a bit hard to find here, can I use turtle wax instead?

    Also, how do I clean the fingerboard?

    I'm also thinking of applying Pledge to the body. Will that be ok?

    Thanks :)
  6. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    No Turtle Wax...any hardware store or Home Cheapo will have Formby's tung oil or Butcher's wax. Skip the pledge; find some Oz polish or Guardsman polish instead--no greasy silicones to creep into delaminations and tiny seam openings. If those get full of greasy kid stuff, they'll never glue up properly.
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    joon, you're reminding me of how excited I was when I got my bass. I wanted to do everything in the world to make it great. But...
    Slow down.
    No Pledge, or anything the gets sprayed.
    The best thing to do is wipe off the dust and rosin every day with a soft, dry cloth, so you don't get to the point of needing a Simonize job.
  8. joon


    Mar 16, 2002
    Manila, Philippines
    Oh boy... A few days ago I applied Pledge at the back of the neck, and also on a portion at the back body, just for testing. Good thing I didn't proceed witht he rest of the bass and consulted you guys first. I didn't damage my bass by doing the above just once, did I? :eek:

    arnold: Hmm, I think Oz polish is available her locally. I'll visit the hardware store this weekend...

    Don: Haha, yes you could say I'm a bit enthusiastic with my new pal :p

    BTW, how about the fingerboard? Can I apply something on it for cleaning / keeping it "in shape", or do I simply wipe with a soft cloth?

    Thanks all!
  9. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    You can clean the crud off your board with 0000 steel wool or a nylon scrubby (white=fine). I like to apply walnut oil or mineral oil to feed the ebony and keep it feeling smooth. Wipe it off after 5 minutes, let dry for an hour or so, then play your fingers off...
  10. Bobplaysbass


    Mar 22, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Hey this is a little bit of a tangent from the origination of the thread, but...Arnold can you achieve that highly polished look on your ebony fingerboard with with scrubby/oil approach? Or is that polished look just a function of the quality of the ebony??

  11. I assume that Arnold won't mind too much if I attempt answer this one. The scrubby/steel wool and oil treatment will give you a nice sheen that is more like a matt finish than a highly polished finish. If you want a highly polished look on ebony, the best way I know of is the use of Micro Mesh. Micro Mesh is a cushioned abrasive made with a cloth backing. It starts off where the finest sandpapers leave off. The roughest is a 1500 grit and the finest is an unbelievable 12,000 grit. It was originally developed for polishing the Plexeglass windows on jet airplanes, so you can imagine what it will do to a piece of ebony without anything added. The wood can be made absolutely smooth with a near glass like finish. Of course, the better the quality of the ebony, the better the finish will be. Most good wood working supply houses carry Micro Mesh kits.
  12. Bobplaysbass


    Mar 22, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks Bob I'll look for it and give it a shot with my board.

  13. Lemon oil okay?
  14. Lemon oil IS mineral oil (not to be confused with mineral spirits) with 1 percent sythetic lemon oil added simply for the fragrance making it more attractive to consumers. (And more expensive of course.) The 1 percent synthetic lemon part has no advantage or disadvantage over straight mineral oil. (According to THE WOOD FINISHER by Bruce Johnson) (An excellent book BTW.)
  15. pea


    Aug 10, 2002
    south west england
    lemon oil is the oil for the fingerboard, oh and pancakes,,,,,,,mmmm yumm.

    I used to make furniture, and our lecturer said that tissue paper is great for cleaning finished peices, very gentle, and not abrasive. Try it, ya might like it!!

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