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FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
30644 posts

Cleaning a guitar fretboard.

I have some minor crud on a guitar I've disassembled. What's a good option to use here?

Is Murphy's Oil Soap acceptable for this application?


ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
5697 posts

0000 steel wool and then lemon oil. Be careful not to scratch pickups.


FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
30644 posts

The neck is detached, Brotato Chip


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Pepe Lepew
USA Fan
Looney tuned .....
Member since Oct 2008
35260 posts

Lemon oil


LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
25457 posts

Ballsy.

Took the neck off but asking fretboard cleaning question?

Tougher than me.

I've read "no" on murphys oil soap. But I am only looking at acoustic discussions. I have to assume you're talking electric since you took off neck.


FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
30644 posts

It's a Squier Strat I'm going to refinish, so no great harm if I screw it up. I'm using it as a learning project.


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19
LSU Fan
Flux Capacitor, Fluxing
Member since Nov 2007
29588 posts

Murphy's on my rosewood and ebony fbs.
Aren't strats just the naked maple?

Please tell me you're not refinishing the fretboard/ fret side of the neck...


PPL
Member since Nov 2010
447 posts

quote:

0000 steel wool and then lemon oil. Be careful not to scratch pickups.


This. You can use a credit card to scrape off large grime deposits.


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FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
30644 posts

quote:

Murphy's on my rosewood and ebony fbs.


This is a rosewood fretboard.


quote:

Please tell me you're not refinishing the fretboard/ fret side of the neck...


Hell, no! Just want to clean it up.


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dnm3305
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2009
13130 posts

I use some Dunlop fretboard cleaner/conditioner with q-tips and then finish it with Dunlop Lemon Oil and a rag.


TheFretShack
Member since Oct 2015
935 posts

Use a credit card or a driver's license to remove built-up crud on the fingerboard.

Unfinished rosewood or ebony fingerboard - lemon oil or fretboard conditioner. Good examples of the latter are Gerlitz's "Guitar Honey" and D'Addario's "Hydrate." Dunlop has a lemon oil that does the trick too.

Gloss or satin-finished maple fingerboard - If it's grimy or sticky, use guitar polish. I use Dunlop 65. If it's not grimy or sticky, a damp, soft cloth (think old T-shirt).

Oil or unfinished maple fingerboard - naptha/VM&P

Do not use steel wool to clean a fingerboard.
This post was edited on 4/14 at 3:44 pm


FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
30644 posts

Thanks for the advice, guys. FretShack, you're apparently in the guitar business.


WonderWartHawg
Arkansas Fan
Member since Dec 2010
9917 posts

Yeah, 0000 on the frets and lemon oil works well.
But lately I've been using a cloth that works really well at cleaning the fretboard (if it's not ankle deep in grunge) and polishes the frets at the same time.

Gorgomite cloth. Available from Stew-Mac, and probably some other places as well.
This post was edited on 4/14 at 7:04 pm


19
LSU Fan
Flux Capacitor, Fluxing
Member since Nov 2007
29588 posts

Note to self: no buying guitars from MB.

Steel wool. On frets.

Laaawwwwd.

How dirty can the fret be?


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TheFretShack
Member since Oct 2015
935 posts

If any of you guys insist on using steel wool, use it on the frets only. Go on top of the frets back and forth, don't go up and down the neck, and don't dig in too hard. And mask the fingerboard - you don't need even an "extra fine" abrasive on the board, especially if it's gloss on maple.

And MASK the pickups and especially all electronics controls. The filings shed can make their way inside pots, inside switches and produce scratch and noise. Granted, it's rare, but masking tape is cheaper than replacing scratchy pots and switches so don't roll the dice.

Get rid of the filings before you pull the tape. Use a vacuum hose. A brush attachment is quite handy for this. If you don't have a vacuum, use the sticky side of another piece of tape.
This post was edited on 4/14 at 8:53 pm


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dbeck
Arkansas Fan
Member since Nov 2014
26977 posts

Any way I could make my unfinished ebony neck a little darker without losing the raw wood feel? The only thing it's got on it is oil from my hand.

Thanks


TheFretShack
Member since Oct 2015
935 posts

There are pro dyes just for ebony to give it the uniform black color that most consumers desire. Most ebony harvested today is black with varying degrees of chocolate-colored streaking in the grain. The dye darkens the chocolate streaks. Most manufacturers, including high-end guitar producers, utilize that dye today due to the high cost of ebony and the premium solid-black blanks command. Using the dye, the fingerboard looks like what we consumers "think" ebony should look like, and in turn it still feels like it should.

Do a Google search for "luthier ebony dye" and you'll find more information on it.


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