Hi guys, long time lurker, only just signed up though

about 4 years ago i bought this guitar. at the time i'd been playing for less than a year, and wanted an ibanez for no reason other than i thought they were cool. at the time i had no idea what a floyd rose bridge was, no idea what a locking nut did, and absolutely no idea that the guitar was already 6 years old at the time. i also had no idea i'd struggle so hard to identify exactly what it was.

anyways, skip forward 6 months or so, and i'd realised that floyd rose bridges were an absolute ass to tune for a n00b. i also learnt that i was missing the locks for the funny looking nut on my guitar. that certainly wasn't helping my cause. i fitted the tremolo arm off my china strat (it didn't come with that either..), made some locks for the nut, and played the ass out of the thing for a while. buuuut, the electrics in the guitar were pretty haggard. the volume knob was either full, or off. the pickup selector would drop out if you tuched it, and the tone knob crackled terribly when you turned it. none of this made much of a difference to me until a few months back when i started jamming with people and actually had to use the volume knob.

here's a before pic..

you can see my sweet sweet custom nut locks (2 washers, some 3/16 nuts, and some overly long cap screws) and my totally rad strat trem arm. anyways..

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bits i have so far incluse an EMG 81, an EMG 85, 3 way switch, black tele style dome knobs, black locking nut, and some black screws. i'm waiting on a black pearloid pickguard (with the centre pickup hole deleted), a new black low profile floyd (from what i've read, and from the measurements i've taken, it should be a direct replacement for the original ibanez TRS, hope i'm right..), some black tuners, and some black straplocks.

should look something like this once it's all here, but with more blackness

anyways, onto my questions..

the neck is maple (obviously), but i _think_ it's bare unfinished maple. it gets absolutely filthy really quickly, and feels a little rough to the touch. it does play great though.

what would be the best way to clean that without damaging the wood at all? and is there anything i can finish it with, or should i just leave it as it is and deal with having to clean it often?

next question.. you can kinda see in this picture, the holes that hold the locking nut are not quite central, the nut sits ~0.5mm off the side of the neck on one side, and has a gap of the same size on the other. it's hardly noticable, but i know it's there so it annoys me. what would be the best way to fill and redrill those holes, keeping in mind the new holes would have to overlap the original ones in a pretty big way..

or would i perhaps be better off just gluing the new one on or something?

cheers for any comments, and any help that you can give, and sorry for such a long winded frst post haha!
For cleaning and finishing the neck, use some fine steelwool for both. 0000 grade is great for finishing. You can spray lacquer on the neck but oil finishes are nicer IMO try some tung, linseed or tru-oil and just wipe it on and let dry.

You can fill the hole with putty but it won't be that strong. the best way is to fill it with some wood. You could make up a maple plug or possibly use a bit of wooden skewer to fill the hole and then redrill.
Last edited by matt154 at Apr 2, 2011,