#1
I looked around the different boards and I read the stickies and I still wasn't sure where to post this. I hope I'm in the right place.

I need advice on cleaning a guitar. I googled and I watched a bunch of youtube videos and they all seem to use a different products to clean the fret board. They say "if your fretboard is made out of this type of wood, use this". Problem is I'm relatively new to guitars and I have no idea what kind of fret board I have. I took a few pics.

http://i.imgur.com/2WZzIH1.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/103H9lm.jpg

What product would you recommend to clean this fret board?

Secondly, is it ok to remove all the strings? I heard somewhere that when you have a Floyd rose you shouldn't take off all the strings, that it's somehow bad for the guitar. I'm guessing that this is caused by the springs in the tremolo cavity still pulling on the bridge when the strings are gone? So should I remove the strings, then unhook the springs? What would be the best way to go about doing this?

Thanks.
#2
That's a rosewood fretboard.
Quote by clem84

What product would you recommend to clean this fret board?

Lighter fluid and a clean rag to remove any dirt. You do not need much lighter fluid to do a lot of work. As the lighter fluid evaporates, it'll dry out the moisture in the fretboard that was once there, so after it all dries and the fretboard is clean, apply either mineral oil or linseed oil to the fretboard. Only use half a dozen drops. Apply evenly with a clean rag, then wipe off the excess. Done.
Secondly, is it ok to remove all the strings?

Yes. It's necessary to remove the strings to clean the fretboard properly.
I heard somewhere that when you have a Floyd rose you shouldn't take off all the strings, that it's somehow bad for the guitar. I'm guessing that this is caused by the springs in the tremolo cavity still pulling on the bridge when the strings are gone? So should I remove the strings, then unhook the springs? What would be the best way to go about doing this?

Thanks.

Removing the strings all a once causing damage to the guitar is a load of bollocks. Some people like to wedge something (it can be almost anything) between the Floyd Rose block and he vibrato cavity to make it easier to set up the guitar after it's restrung. Like this:



You see the block of wood in front of the floyd rose block? (the side closer to the springs) Just wedge something in there (like a handful of pennies or something, something small so you can slide them in the space without needing to remove any springs) and that'll prevent the floyd from falling into the guitar as you remove the strings.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Nov 16, 2014,
#3
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Great tip about the piece of wood. I'll do that.
#4
Quote by clem84
I looked around the different boards and I read the stickies and I still wasn't sure where to post this. I hope I'm in the right place.

I need advice on cleaning a guitar. I googled and I watched a bunch of youtube videos and they all seem to use a different products to clean the fret board. They say "if your fretboard is made out of this type of wood, use this". Problem is I'm relatively new to guitars and I have no idea what kind of fret board I have. I took a few pics.

http://i.imgur.com/2WZzIH1.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/103H9lm.jpg

What product would you recommend to clean this fret board?

Secondly, is it ok to remove all the strings? I heard somewhere that when you have a Floyd rose you shouldn't take off all the strings, that it's somehow bad for the guitar. I'm guessing that this is caused by the springs in the tremolo cavity still pulling on the bridge when the strings are gone? So should I remove the strings, then unhook the springs? What would be the best way to go about doing this?

Thanks.


Block the Floyd Rose. I usually stuff a wad of PostIt notes under the butt end of the Floyd (you can fine-tune the thickness you need to maintain the Floyd at level) on the top of the guitar, rather than worrying about the underside. When you remove all the strings, the springs will help keep the PostIts in place.

Ronsonol lighter fluid is naptha, and is about the only solvent that you want to use on a guitar. You can actually buy larger cans of naptha at hardware stores (more economical), but you don't need much naptha to clean your fretboard, and you really only need that if your fretboard is exceptionally grotty. I usually work over the fretboard with a terrycloth towel, perhaps slightly dampened with some water and a few drops of mild dish detergent.

Once the fretboard is dry and clean, a few drops of mineral oil (NEVER USE LINSEED OIL) is all you need to recondition it a bit. Wipe it on sparingly, wait a few minutes (do NOT let it "soak in") and then wipe it off. You can also use "Lemon Oil Furniture Polish" (Olde English is one obvious brand). There's generally no actual lemon in those products; it gets the name from the smell of the small amounts of cleaning solvent that are incorporated into the mineral oil base. Almost all of the guitar fretboard products have mineral oil as the main ingredient and honestly, plain old mineral oil works as well as any of them and runs about $11/gallon at discount hardware stores. There are several of the tiny-bottle (an ounce or two) products that cost you that (and more) per ounce. At 128 ounces per gallon, you work out the profit structure.

Linseed oil is a polymerizing oil that may or may not ever dry; it's easy to be left with a sticky mess if you use ordinary linseed oil. The same goes for tung oil and walnut oil. Boiled linseed oil would be a better choice, but you'd want to use it extremely sparingly and make SURE it's dry before you put strings back on. All in all, mineral oil is still the best choice.

Never use real lemon oil (designed for cooking) or rosewood oil (aimed at the aromatherapy market, this stuff isn't even from the same kind of tree that your fretboard comes from).

You can wax your guitar's finish and hardware with something like a good carnauba paste wax or Meguiar's Cleaner Wax (burgundy bottle at Walmart). This helps protect both your finish and your hardware from corrosion and damage, and it even shrugs off light pick wear. Remember that guitar finishes are generally just repurposed automotive paint. Nothing special about them, and that includes nitrocellulose finishes on Gibsons.

Once you've got the strings back on your guitar and you get them tuned up to pitch, you'll find that you can remove the post it notes about as easily as they went in. You'll still need to do a bit of retuning, but nothing very significant. Remember to unscrew each of the fine tuners to about 2/3rds of its overall travel. You may have some strings going sharp when you first cinch down the lock nut (thus the remaining 1/3rd of travel), but after that, the majority of your slight retunings will be for strings that have gone slightly flat (string stretch, etc.). Be sure to stretch each of your strings (there are YouTube vids that explain this) once they're on.
#5
Thanks for your post. I think I'll use Naptha and mineral oil.
#7
I use a damp rag to clean, dry rag to dry, lemon oil & #0000 steel wool on the rosewood, and also polish about once a year. I hit the lemon oil and steel wool on the rosewood in the direction of the grain and polish the frets with it, as well. Let sit 5-10 mins and wipe clean. As far as polishes, I currently have the 3 bottle Planet Waves kit that does well. Used to use Virtuoso polish and it did well, too. After a couple of polishes, I found the bodies tended to stay much cleaner.
#8
Quote by perilio
If you want something more fancier, dunlop has some pretty great cleaning kit products.
http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/body-and-fingerboard-cleaning-kit.


Dunlop fretboard oil is mostly mineral oil.
Dunlop Carnauba cream is carnauba wax.
Dunlop polish, however has about 5% silicone in it, and while I don't have issues with it at all, you should know that it can interfere with repairs that require refinishing.
#9
Ok well, the job is done. I used lighter fluid, gave it a good scrubbing, wiped off the residue. Then mineral oil, applied a small amount, let it sit there about 1-2 minutes, then wiped everything off. It was weird. Just when I thought I had wiped off all the mineral oil, a few minutes later there were more. Almost like the wood was "spitting" mineral oil. I did this a few times until it stopped. Maybe I put a little too much? I don't know.

I put the new strings on then I tried to tune them. It was a pain. They kept detuning themselves. I did a little bit of string stretching, then I tried tuning them again. It was a bit better but the strings are almost impossible to tune perfectly. Is this normal for a new set of strings? Anyway, I locked the nut for today and played a little. I'll try retuning it tomorrow.