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Volksball

Polish/care

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Hey friends,

I just picked up the Virtuoso cleaner and polish for my guitar body, but am now looking for the best recommended fretboard cleaner.  I have a 2014 Quilt Hummingbird with a rosewood fretboard. 

I've looked at the Nomad F-1 and the Dunlop fretboard duo. 

Any other suggestions for keeping my fretboard clean and conditioned? Or should I go with one of the above?

Thanks,

V

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Believe it or not I use oil for a brass instruments mixed with water. I can't remember the brand right now. I will look when I get home. I had Nomad F-one and it left gunk build up on my ebony boards.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Ha. No kidding.  But that would be the same for rosewood? I should have also asked about the ideal cloth for body/fretboard.  Some say cotton, others say microfiber.  

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2 minutes ago, Volksball said:

Ha. No kidding.  But that would be the same for rosewood? I should have also asked about the ideal cloth for body/fretboard.  Some say cotton, others say microfiber.  

As long as the fretboard is unfinished. Maple is usually finished so no go for maple.

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How much gunk are we talking about? Usually a cotton polishing cloth works fine for the rosewood board, but if it’s really bad you could go light with some 0000 steel wool first.

And, just curious – is your Quilt bird one of the more cherry bursts or…?

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Barely any gunk.  Quite a clean guitar.  Would like to keep it that way, if possible. A bit of fingerboard cleaner and conditioner should do the trick.  The Nomad F1 looks pretty good for  my application.  Have some old cotton tshirts that I heard should do the trick. 

I've got the Cherryburst. Here's a link to the exaxt same guitar as mine, to give you an idea. Posting personal pics on here is tough, so this is alot easier.  

https://www.laguitarsales.com/index.php/gibson-hummingbird-44035.html

V

 

 

 

Edited by Volksball

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I've had good success with the mineral oil used to clean cutting boards for food prep.  About once a year I remove the strings completely and gently clean the bridge and fingerboard with just a small amount of oil and a rag, usually a scrap of terry cloth.  It's worked well for more than a decade.

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For rosewood or ebony you can use 0000 steel wool to remove crap from the fret board. 

Cover up your sound hole on an acoustic   or pickups on an electric  first,  I use blue painters tape.   

Just rub a small pad of steel wool up and down the neck, (in the direction of the grain.)

 I clean the steel wool particles off with a (clean) 2" soft bristle paint  brush, (one that was never used to paint with!)  I keep a couple in my too box.

After the steel wool gets the wood cleaned off, rub in some F1 or Guitar Honey (two that I use but there are others too), just out a drop on a cotton rag, and use your finger nail along the fret walls get all that spooge off.   Another drop on a different spot of the rag when needed.  Not a lot is needed, just a drop or two usually.  When your done that, take a clean rag and wipe off an excess oil.  It will leave a nust luster on the wood, (and now that wood is amply hydrated)

All it needs is like twice a year max.

 

 

Edited by kidblast
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1 hour ago, 62burst said:

How much gunk are we talking about? Usually a cotton polishing cloth works fine for the rosewood board, but if it’s really bad you could go light with some 0000 steel wool first.

And, just curious – is your Quilt bird one of the more cherry bursts or…?

 

6 minutes ago, kidblast said:

For rosewood or ebony you can use 0000 steel wool to remove crap from the fret board. 

Cover up your sound hole on an acoustic   or pickups on an electric  first,  I use blue painters tape.   

Just rub a small pad of steel wool up and down the neck, (in the direction of the grain.)

 I clean the steel wool particles off with a (clean) 2" soft bristle paint  brush, (one that was never used to paint with!)  I keep a couple in my too box.

After the steel wool gets the wood cleaned off, rub in some F1 or Guitar Honey (two that I use but there are others too), just out a drop on a cotton rag, and use your finger nail along the fret walls get all that spooge off.   Another drop on a different spot of the rag when needed.  Not a lot is needed, just a drop or two usually.  When your done that, take a clean rag and wipe off an excess oil.  It will leave a nust luster on the wood, (and now that wood is amply hydrated)

All it needs is like twice a year max.

 

 

Enough that it was noticeable. I would put it on let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it off. I used a microfiber cloth to wipe it in and then off. The gunk was up against the frets. Threw that stuff away.

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I've used this stuff for a number of years. But based on other threads here (do a search, there are several) I now wonder if "snake oil" might be a better name for this type of product. 😁 On a new guitar that is already pretty clean, I'm not sure whether you need to do anything more than wipe it off. But this stuff hasn't done any harm to my guitars, so I suppose it's allright and I'll probably continue using it once a year, as I have in the past. One bottle is certainly a lifetime supply for me.

https://www.jimdunlop.com/formula-65-fretboard-ultimate-lemon-oil/

Edited by Boyd
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I use bore oil on ebony boards , lemon oil on Rosewood.  .  As like someone mentioned. Fine steel wool prior to get the grime off first. 
 

the bodies just a light dish soap   and  water for any prints or residue. 
 

 

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Fret Doctor (which is bore oil) is the one to use.

2nd choice would be F-One (natural oils, no petroleum distillates).

Many of the other fretboard cleaners, such as Guitar Honey, do contain petroleum distillates.

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I never use steel wool on a guitar fretboard. It sheds small steel particles that can and will rust eventually. You may think you're getting them all off, but you probably aren't.

You can buy bronze wool at any decent hardware store or marine supply outlet. It does the same job, and doesn't rust. It also isn't magnetic, so it won't mess with your pickups.

You can also use a fine Scotchbrite pad.

For removing well-stuck gunk along the edges of frets, not much beats a single-edge razor blade, used parallel to the wood grain as a scraper. I use the same technique a bit more aggressively to minimize developing divots. Yes, you are taking the fretboard down slightly when you do this, but you are taking it down evenly if you are careful and change the blade angle very slightly as you work across the board. For simply removing gunk, you aren't taking down the board at all with this technique.

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3 hours ago, bobouz said:

Fret Doctor (which is bore oil) is the one to use.

2nd choice would be F-One (natural oils, no petroleum distillates).

Many of the other fretboard cleaners, such as Guitar Honey, do contain petroleum distillates.

That is what it is, I have bore oil.  Could not remember it to save my life. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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3 hours ago, bobouz said:

Fret Doctor (which is bore oil) is the one to use.

2nd choice would be F-One (natural oils, no petroleum distillates).

Many of the other fretboard cleaners, such as Guitar Honey, do contain petroleum distillates.

After going on their website, I just ordered some Fret Doctor. The oil I have been using for years contains petroleum distillates.

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13 hours ago, j45nick said:

I never use steel wool on a guitar fretboard. It sheds small steel particles that can and will rust eventually. You may think you're getting them all off, but you probably aren't.

You can buy bronze wool at any decent hardware store or marine supply outlet. It does the same job, and doesn't rust. It also isn't magnetic, so it won't mess with your pickups.

You can also use a fine Scotchbrite pad.

For removing well-stuck gunk along the edges of frets, not much beats a single-edge razor blade, used parallel to the wood grain as a scraper. I use the same technique a bit more aggressively to minimize developing divots. Yes, you are taking the fretboard down slightly when you do this, but you are taking it down evenly if you are careful and change the blade angle very slightly as you work across the board. For simply removing gunk, you aren't taking down the board at all with this technique.

good pointer Nick, I'll check for bronze wool, and I used to use scotchbrite.  I watched a video from one Taylor's techs  a while back, and they were using 0000 steel wool.  I had a bunch so I tried it a few times.  I've not noticed anything unusual but after this advice, I think I'll change my ways.

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Nothing a vacuum cleaner with brush attachment can’t take care of.  no need for me to be removing wood from the fretboard with a razor anytime soon.

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Coconut Oil... been using it about 5 years. On ebony and rosewood. Like everyone, I clean off the fretboard first so I'm not layering new oil on top of dirt, etc. , but use Mrs.Murphy's (no relation!) Wood Soap (a Vegetable based liquid soap diluted) to break up / melt away the oils previously soaked into the wood that steel wool wouldn't touch.  Get's rid of gunk I suppose, but I take care not to have gunk on my hands when I pick up my guitars.  Let fretboard dry for a day before applying coconut oil.  

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44 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Nothing a vacuum cleaner with brush attachment can’t take care of.  no need for me to be removing wood from the fretboard with a razor anytime soon.

Every vintage guitar I've bought needed this type of fretboard detailing. Every single one of them.

I had a one-owner 1947 L-7 which was owned by a musician who was a chain smoker and apparently was a bit lax in keeping his guitar clean. I put a whole weekend into detailing the frets and board, which was caked with 50+ years of nicotine residue. It looked like a totally different guitar when I finished.

If your guitars all have clean fretboards and frets, careful maintenance will help keep them that way. Playing your guitar wears frets and fretboards, and no matter how clean your hands are, gunk builds up over time, especially if you go a long time between string changes and opportunities for fret/board maintenance.

I've  come to appreciate ebony as a fretboard material because it is much harder than rosewood. However, if you're  a vintage Gibson fan (as I am), you just learn how to take care of rosewood boards to maximize longevity.

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None of the old rose’ boards showed any problems such as that- not the 1936 L-00, not the ‘46 SJ, (however,  that board was planed which really brought the split parallelograms back to life, a couple of frets replaced), neither of the boards on the Banners needed anything, either. Also wondering could they have been sealed? Or was rosewood simply of a higher quality, and more dense. 

I do notice how on modern boards the unused frets on the fretboard extension seem to, for lack of a better word, oxidize, showing a whitish cast, and could use a little buffing from time to time.

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I use boiled linseed oil on my clean fretboards and also on bridges. I put a few drops on a microfiber cloth, rub it into the board, let it soak in, and then buff off any excess with another clean microfiber. I mask off the soundboard around the bridge withb blue painter's tape to make applying the oil to the bridge easier. I find that the linseed oil beautifies and protects. It not only gives the wood a rich appearance, it seals it and prevents dirt build up. 

Red 333

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Folks, how frequently do people clean and condition their fretoards, is it a once a year thing, or could it be stretched out to every couple / few years (I have heard concerns of doing it too frequently and causing gunk build up)?

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16 minutes ago, billroy fineman said:

Folks, how frequently do people clean and condition their fretoards, is it a once a year thing, or could it be stretched out to every couple / few years (I have heard concerns of doing it too frequently and causing gunk build up)?

I do it once in the summer, once in the winter. 

I keep a note in the case where  I write the date of the string change, and what kind of strings, (don't always use the same ones)  

I keep track so of what I did and when.  (eg: Polish frets, clean/hydrate fretboard, check intonation etc) 

When I had only a few guitars, I didn't keep record, but with  16 guitars, I'd never be able to remember if I didn't keep track.  This might be a little OCD, but it works for me..

 

 

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13 hours ago, Red 333 said:

I use boiled linseed oil on my clean fretboards and also on bridges.

Me too.

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On 1/30/2020 at 1:11 PM, kidblast said:

For rosewood or ebony you can use 0000 steel wool to remove crap from the fret board. 

Cover up your sound hole on an acoustic   or pickups on an electric  first,  I use blue painters tape.   

Just rub a small pad of steel wool up and down the neck, (in the direction of the grain.)

 I clean the steel wool particles off with a (clean) 2" soft bristle paint  brush, (one that was never used to paint with!)  I keep a couple in my too box.

After the steel wool gets the wood cleaned off, rub in some F1 or Guitar Honey (two that I use but there are others too), just out a drop on a cotton rag, and use your finger nail along the fret walls get all that spooge off.   Another drop on a different spot of the rag when needed.  Not a lot is needed, just a drop or two usually.  When your done that, take a clean rag and wipe off an excess oil.  It will leave a nust luster on the wood, (and now that wood is amply hydrated)

All it needs is like twice a year max.

 

 

Thank you sir!  Twice a year is about 4x what I was thinking, what's the danger of doing it less?  (This is for a daily player so not something spending most of the time in a case if that makes a difference).

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