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Wenge fingerboard problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mukaiya, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Mukaiya


    Aug 10, 2005
    I have an MTD 535-24 with wenge fingerboard for 8 years. At various frets, where the fret meets the fingerboard, there is a whitish substance that developed on the fingerboard over time (see attached pic). I can remove it using a soft metal brush, but it will return in about a week or two's time.

    Appreciate anyone's input on what this is, and how this can be removed permanently.

    I live in Singapore. It's in the tropics where temperature and humidity are high.


    Attached Files:

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    It looks to me like skin dust rather than something oozing from the wood.
    Low84 and imabuddha like this.
  3. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    It could be salt, from the sweat of your hands.
    Lownote38 likes this.
  4. It's residue from your hand of some sort. I'd get fine steelwool, rub with the grain, then oil the fingerboard. You may have to do this every so often, but I'd agree it's something getting on it, not coming out of it. Of course, you could contact MTD's Customer Service and run it by them.
    imabuddha likes this.
  5. Mukaiya


    Aug 10, 2005
    Appreciate the various responses. It's not salt/sweat/things from my hands. There were times when I scrubbed the white stuff off, applied lemon oil to the fingerboard, didn't play the MTD for several weeks, and the white stuff reappeared.
  6. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    How do you store the bass?
  7. Mukaiya


    Aug 10, 2005
    On a multi-bass rack. I previously stored my basses in gig bags, but humidity got trapped within them and developed a foul odour, so I stopped doing that.

    I have 2 other basses stored on the multi rack. Those (one maple, the other ebony fingerboard) never had this mysterious white stuff on the fingerboard.
  8. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    That was my second guess, some kind of mold due to storage.
  9. dax21


    Nov 26, 2011
    Looks to me like it's simply wood drying up a little bit, like any other fingerboard. Except wenge pores are quite big so you actually can see the discoloration. Also explains why it returns to normal after you oil up the fingerboard.
    I don't think you should worry about it, and also shouldn't oil it up too often either. Excess lemon oil can not only cause the fingerboard to pop out but also cause the frets to get loose due to the reaction with the glue.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Almost looks like old wax...I see some caked in the grain, as well. I'd hit it with some naptha and a soft (...not wire) brush.

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