Don't bash me for asking, but I need advice on some maintainance stuff

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Hello folks,

    So, like any good forum user, instead of posting I searched first and got what I needed: advice on how to clean and oil my Warwick's wenge fingerboard. I went with the Scotch Brite scrubbing pad and lemon mineral oil, and the fingerboard & frets look new...ahhhhh, it feels like the first time, no? :hyper:

    So, along with upright and electric bass, I dabble in classical guitar. I have two from the same manufacturer, both with rosewood fingerboards. The frets on one have some tarnish build up, and I'm wondering if I can use the same approach to clean: completely unstring, scrub down with the grain, lemon mineral oil, wipe down, oil again, let sit, wipe again, restring, and smile? Thanks for your help guys!

  2. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I use the same method on my warwick that i do on my spector! And its the same as you stated above except i do it like once a month so i dont really need the pad! I just a q-tip and oil. I never let it build up. So i couldnt see why you couldnt do the same on youre guitar! But ya might want to wait till one of the luthiers comes on!
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I just found this on a search, but I'll throw down some technique as well.

    If you feel so inclined, go to an auto parts store and find some Mother's Mag Polish ($5) or Billet polish ($12). If you finish off your frets with it, they will shine brighter than anything you could possibly imagine (assuming they are not too beat).

    And a side note, just for grins: I just wet sanded a clearcoat Fender finish, using 1200 grit (auto parts store), then hand buffed it to a mirror shine using the same 2 polishes. It looks better than new.
  4. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    scotch brite is to abrasive imo, i use a good stiff rag ( not terry !) and some lemon oil, or fretboard cleaner ( from Dr Stringfellows i belive )
  5. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    True, but it ended up being mild enough of an abrasive to work out well.
  6. A pencil eraser works great to polish frets.
  7. Don't forget to tell'em what color...white, tan, blue, pink? ;)
  8. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Inside joke?
  9. Well not really. There are about 5 different colors of erasers used with pens & pencils and they all have different characteristics:

    · White - Plastic, used in artwork. Won't tear up paper with repeated erasures. Very clean and doesn't leave any marks behind. This is THE eraser to have in the Luthier shop for erasing marks on wood.

    · Tan - gum rubber, the oldest and messiest type your grandparents used. Doesn't erase 100%

    · Blue - Mastic or "clay" - moldable rubberlike eraser that can be shaped into small points or other forms for specific tasks in artwork.

    · Yellow - Plastic - For pen & ink artwork. They are impregnated with a solvent that helps lift ink from the paper.

    · Pink - the most common. Found on the end of pencils, this rubber eraser has an abrasive in it and is very rough on paper.
  10. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    If your going to do this, make sure you tape off the FB really well. Nothing looks worse than a bunch of dirty mag polish filling the grain of your FB. It will really do a good job cleaning the frets though.
  11. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Yes, good point. I forgot that.
    And actually, I've only done this on a phenolic board, so I was forgetting about 99% of other basses. My bad.
  12. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Ya know, rather than lemon oil, I found this stuff in Home Depot from Howards called "Feed-N-Wax". It is fantastic for maintaining oil finished woods, or for raw wood as well (ie: fingerboards).

    I like it so much that I buy cases of their 4 oz bottles and include one with each bass I build and sell.