#1
Hey guys,

I wanted to ask a question about maintenance. I have just bought a PRS SE Custom 24 and I wanted to make sure I am maintaining it correctly.

I currently have a cloth that I use to wipe it down with after each use and if I have something that I can’t get off I use Dunlop 65 polish. I have read that using this too much can strip the finish on the guitar, is this true? And how often is too much?

Every week I use the Dunlop 65 string cleaner.

What should I do when I change the strings? Obviously I would give the whole guitar a dusting but what about the fretboard. Should I just the Dunlop 65 fret board cleaner every time or just twice I year of example?

Is there anything else I should be doing?

I think I'm sorted for humidity as the guitar is in the same room as my large marine tank so there is a level of humidity from that?
#2
Seeing as you have an import guitar it should have poly (hard plastic) finish so wearing it away in the next 20 years really isn't an issue. I wouldn't clean it too much, just me, but it won't hurt it, seeing as its poly coated.

Be careful about over oiling what I assume is a rosewood board. That could be bad. Don't oil a rosewood or ebony board until it feels dry. Cleaning with a dry or damp rag is fine, but over oiling can cause damage.

As far as humidity, I wouldn't worry with a poly finished solid body guitar.
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#3
Thanks Kevin thats great,

I usually just use a dry polish cloth but every month i was going to give it a proper polish the the dunlop 65 polish.

In terms of the fret board, should i clean it with the dunlop fret cleaner everytime i take the strings off or should i just use a damp soft tooth brush to give it a gentle clean?

Thanks for the advice about oiling the fret board. I was planning on having it professionally serviced once a year, would they just need to oil it then or is it likely that i might have to oil it before then. I.e might i need to oil it twice a year or will once a year be more realistic?
#4
Quote by mark.c
Thanks Kevin thats great,

I usually just use a dry polish cloth but every month i was going to give it a proper polish the the dunlop 65 polish.

In terms of the fret board, should i clean it with the dunlop fret cleaner everytime i take the strings off or should i just use a damp soft tooth brush to give it a gentle clean?

Thanks for the advice about oiling the fret board. I was planning on having it professionally serviced once a year, would they just need to oil it then or is it likely that i might have to oil it before then. I.e might i need to oil it twice a year or will once a year be more realistic?


You probably won't need to oil it that often. If your tech knows what he is doing it shouldn't be a problem. If he doesn't oil it in his servicing and you notice the board getting dry then give it a little (very little) lemon oil when you change strings. All assuming your guitar has a rosewood fretboard.
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#5
excellent.

In term sof changing strings, i have read conflicting info on whether its ok to change all of the strings at the same time or not?

I would like to change all of the strings at the same time as i dont play that often so its not like im going to be spending a fortune on strings and will allow me to wipe down the fret board each time?
#6
The Dunlop products are all pretty severe; this is a godo thing. It means you don't have to use them that often. The downside is that if you do use them too much they can damage things pretty quickly.

The finish is one area you don't have to worry about. That poly finish will take a right beating before it starts to strip. In fact they're hard to strip even when you want to strip them.
Just keep the finish polish away from the bare wood (fretboard), metal parts (bridge, frets, pickups, pots, jack, switch) and plastic parts (mounting rings, knobs, nut, binding). Really there's no reason to use it anywhere other than on the largest unobstructed sections of the front of the guitar body.

For the frets and strings, go easy on the string cleaner. There's no benefit to using it more than two or three times in the life of the strings (how long this is depends on how quickly you usually wear through a set of strings) and putting it on all the time just means there's one more excess chemical to get on the fretboard.

Whn it comes to the fretboard wood itself, less is more. The Dunlop fretboard cleaner and deep conditioner should always be used together (cleaner first, conditioner second) and this shouldn't be done more than once a year. In fact even once a year is a bit too frequent for some boards. The cleaner will remove any dirt on the board but it will also take out most of the natural oils on the board which the wood needs. The deep conditioner replaces those oils, with a little extra. The Dunlop bottles have instructions on how to best apply them, but if you're in doubt, use a clean, inkless microfibre cloth, add a little of the product to the cloth and wipe on with a soft, smooth, circular motion. Don't scrub, don't apply anything directly on to the wood straight from the bottle and don't use any more than is absolutely necessary; one bottle of the Dunlop stuff should last you years, we're talking about just a few drops at a time.

There's also lemon oil, which is a lighter conditioner which should be applied to rosewood fretboards if they have become dried out but aren't actually dirty enough to warrant a full clean and condition. Again, use this very sparsely and only if the fretboard actually needs it. Storing a guitar near heat sources (radiators) or simply not playing it for a long time can lead to the board drying out; how well it will stay in top condition with regular play depends on the oils in your skin, everybody is different. If you notice the wood becoming lighter and greyer then it may need a small amount of oil. Again, less is more. You can always go slow and add more oil if need be but it is very hard to rush things, add too much oil and then take the excess off. No fretboard has been damaged by not getting enough oil but fretboards can be damaged by being given too much. Same goes with cleaners and conditiners.
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#7
Generally on a floating trem its easier to change one at a time, but not necessary. On a hardtail it really doesn't matter.
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#8
thanks for all your replies guys, very helpfully.

I sounds like if i am going to get it professionally serviced each year that i dont have to do much other than keep it shinny, clean and replace the strings and give the fret board a wipe down when i am replacing the strings. And now i know what to look for to know if the fretboard is dried out i can take action on that if i need to.

When i am changing the strings and i want to give the frets and fret board a quick wipe down before putting the new strings on do i use anything to clean the fretboard or just wipe it down with a dry clean cloth? As already said not to use the dunlop stuff very often.

Also is it a good idea to get a plastic toothpick, cotton bud or something and just get in between the fret and the board to get out any gunk?
#9
I had a service with the fretboard lubricated and the twat soaked it in lemon oil.

I didn't pay them and I spent the whole day soaking the stuff up. What a nightmare.
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#10
Quote by Mephaphil
I had a service with the fretboard lubricated and the twat soaked it in lemon oil.

I didn't pay them and I spent the whole day soaking the stuff up. What a nightmare.


Good point. Don't think that because you have someone you think you can rely on you shouldn't be able to tinker with your own stuff. You should still learn as much as you can. It will make you a better consumer even if you never mess with your own stuff.
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#11
yeah thats a very good point.

Ok so in summary;

1. Wipe down the guitar and strings with a dry cloth after use.

2. Clean the strings now and then

3. Change strings regulary and wipe down fret board with a dry cloth and remove gunk from between the frets and the fret board with a plastic toothpick before restringing

4. When the fret board is looking very dirty use the dunlop fret board deep cleaner and conditioner

5. Once the fretboard has dried out apply some lemon oil to it.

How about the frets themselves. I have read that covering the fret board with some masking/painters tape and then using some 0000 steel wool to remove the dirt is a good idea. Do i just need to do this when they are looking gunky or tarnished?
#12
Don't bother if you aren't experienced. Really there are better ways to polish frets. If you don't cover the pups well with steel wool you can damage them by using steel wool near them.
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#13
Ok, i think i will leave that for now then lol.

I had one more question about changing strings. I have read and watched lots about it and there are a whole host of opinions of what to do at the tuning peg. Some people just push it through and wrap the rest under, some do like a knot before winding, some wind twice on top and then the rest under. I was wondering what was considered the right way to do it?