#1
So I'm starting to build up a nice collection of guitars, some cheap, some expensive. The more I play the more I seem to want to buy more lol.

Now that's all well and good, but what I'm not doing is maintaining them well, which I should be, since some are worth quite a few of my pay cheques.

So just wondering, what is everyone's maintenance routine? I'm a rookie in this department and need to get into a good habit of looking after my shit feel free to go in depth with exactly what you do, how often you do it and the products you use, if you please
#2
I get my main guitar reviewed and setup by a local tech about every 6 months. I change the strings on that guitar about once per week or two weeks.

For older guitars that you don't play much, just make sure the strings don't rust out and keep the fretboard clean - I would suggest having them looked at once a year just to keep them in check.
#4
When I started playing, after about a year, I bought this book for $13. Since then I've done my own set ups and modifications. They sell used on Amazon for about $2.50.

#5
I clean the body and fretboard, clean the parts and then set the thing up if its needed.
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#6
I do very little maintenance, a good guitar shouldn't need a lot.

I don't use any cleaners, just a dry cloth, usually an old worn out T shirt, they are usually pretty soft by the time they start developing holes. I just cut out a large square. Same for fret board, if it's getting grungy, use a soft toothbrush. I keep a cloth in every guitar case and wipe them all down after a gig or practice. Takes less than a minute and keeps them in pretty good shape.

Other than that, once or twice a year I check intonation and action and put a drop of 3 in 1 oil in the tuners. One drop is all you need. I also wiggle the strap pegs now and then, if it's getting loose, I put in a piece of a toothpick with some wood glue, put the screw in and let it set for 24 hours before putting it under any stress. It should last up to 10 years maybe more unless you're really rough on them. Look at the frets for fret grooves. For tight places like under the strings next to the bridge, a Q tip will work, and I've used a dry paintbrush or camera brush. Check all the pick guard screws.

All that takes about 5 to 10 minutes, unless you have to do the toothpick thing.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
I'll add that I use Gorgomyte for my frets and boards - takes all of the corrosion, oxidation, and funk right off. Frets are all shiny again.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#8
Quote by Paleo Pete
I do very little maintenance, a good guitar shouldn't need a lot.

I don't use any cleaners, just a dry cloth, usually an old worn out T shirt, they are usually pretty soft by the time they start developing holes. I just cut out a large square. Same for fret board, if it's getting grungy, use a soft toothbrush. I keep a cloth in every guitar case and wipe them all down after a gig or practice. Takes less than a minute and keeps them in pretty good shape.

Other than that, once or twice a year I check intonation and action and put a drop of 3 in 1 oil in the tuners. One drop is all you need. I also wiggle the strap pegs now and then, if it's getting loose, I put in a piece of a toothpick with some wood glue, put the screw in and let it set for 24 hours before putting it under any stress. It should last up to 10 years maybe more unless you're really rough on them. Look at the frets for fret grooves. For tight places like under the strings next to the bridge, a Q tip will work, and I've used a dry paintbrush or camera brush. Check all the pick guard screws.

All that takes about 5 to 10 minutes, unless you have to do the toothpick thing.



Yeah Paleo Pete nailed it down pretty good I have 14 guitars wiping them down with a soft cloth after every session will go along way, rotate between them you will for sure have a couple of go to guitars but be sure they all get a turn on the amp from time to time.

Quote by Kimt0wn
So I'm starting to build up a nice collection of guitars, some cheap, some expensive. The more I play the more I seem to want to buy more lol.


What you are experiencing is Gear Aquisition Syndrome or GAS, we all have it and there is no known cure
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Sep 9, 2016,
#9
Yeah, I don't think that you should need much maintenance on a guitar unless you just bought it used and it needs work.. Even though I would just set it up myself, If you take the time to learn how to do it yourself you save money. I am only 16 with a minimum wage job, I do not have the money to be getting guitars worked on like that. Re-string, and adjust the truss rod if needed. You can get string "lube" and I personally like it. It makes it real nice when sliding just don't put a shit ton just like 3 quick passes and wipe it with the cloth. So point being unless you are purchasing a used guitar that has been treated like shit you really shouldn't need that much work on it. Rock on dude keep playing
#10
Quote by Kimt0wn


So just wondering, what is everyone's maintenance routine? I'm a rookie in this department and need to get into a good habit of looking after my shit feel free to go in depth with exactly what you do, how often you do it and the products you use, if you please


First, buy a book called How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great by Dan Erlewine.

It's available on Amazon, etc. for something around $20. It will be the best $20 you ever spend on your guitar.

1. I keep my guitar clean. I wipe it down with a microfiber cloth after playing (including the underside of the strings) and I keep that cloth clean as well. Tossing a sweaty cloth in on top of your guitar is just not a good idea .
2. I keep my guitar in its case when I'm not using it. I don't leave it on a stand or hung on the wall ("ready to grab") for several reasons. One, the case slows down the effect of climate changes. Two, the guitar doesn't get dusty and the strings last lots longer. Three, I keep a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor emitter in the case with the guitar. Look up VCI on theruststore.com to find out why. Four: three athletic cats. Five, I live in Los Angeles. Earthquakes.
3. I change strings frequently. On the guitars I use most often, I use cheap strings (usually GHS Boomers purchased in bulk). I change well before they turn black and rusty and develop rusticles on the underside of the string. On the guitars I don't play very often, I use the expensive coated strings and leave them there longer. I pull ALL of the strings off the guitar (no, I don't change them one at a time, even on the Floyd-equipped guitars) and I give the guitar a little attention. Every few months I'll wax the guitar, including the metal bits. Remember that both nitrocellulose lacquer and polyester/polyurethane are car paints originally, and you can delay nitro cracking, checking, discoloration, chalking, etc. by keeping it waxed (no silicone-based waxes, please). It doesn't make them "waxy" and you don't develop "build-up." But it will help prevent acids and dirt from sweat, etc., from ruining the paint. Wax the metal bits as well. Same reason you wax the chrome on your car.
4. I occasionally use a few drops of mineral oil on the fretboard. Wipe it on, wait a minute or two, wipe it off. Do NOT let it "soak in" overnight. You're not "conditioning" the fretboard. You're just helping to reduce the penetration of moisture and sweat acids/dirt, and you're making it look pretty. You do NOT want some tiny bottle of goo that claims it will penetrate deeper, etc. You're just paying for someone's college education. Cheapass Mineral Oil (what, $11 a gallon?) is the best thing to use. Do NOT use real Lemon Oil (designed for cooking) or Rosewood Oil (designed for aromatherapy) on your fretboard. Don't bother with Gerlitz fretboard honey or Doctor whomever's Scientifically Proven goo. When "lemon oil" is mentioned, what is meant is something like Olde English Lemon Oil Furniture Cleaner. It's mostly mineral oil with some tiny amounts of cleaning solvent and usually no actual lemon anything in it. Perfect.
5. My guitars *rarely* need a setup after the original Master tuneup. I have over 50 guitars and I can count on my fingers how many times I've needed to dick with the truss rod. OTOH, I'm not regularly changing tunings or string gauges. My original tuneup for a guitar that's new to me may include a fret level on a PLEK machine and some work on the nut and saddles. Unless the strings saw down the nut slots or create burrs on the bridge or seriously divot the frets, it'll stay good for some years.
6. On guitars that I know will probably be stored in the case for a while, or that will be in their cases for traveling or mailing, I'll put a piece of plastic between the strings and the frets. This helps prevent the strings from indenting themselves into the frets and prevents electrical currents (that produce corrosion) between the strings and the rest of the metal bits of the guitar.
7. I'll have the frets of guitars that are new to me...superglued. Check stewmac.com for the information on why this is done. Google fret superglue stewmac. The main reason is to prevent flyer frets when the climate changes. The cork-sniffy reasons are that it eliminates "dead" frets and even MORE cork-sniffy, it enhances the tone of the guitar. Custom guitar makers used to use titebond to glue their frets in, but major manufacturers don't. It's cheaper not to, and it saves production time.
8. I don't use string lube. Ever. Ever. It's essentially just mineral oil and it dulls the strings.