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It's official.

Today I drove for a total of 12 hours (968 kilometers) to buy my first Gibson, a 2014 Firebird sunburst 

A more or less unused guitar for a bargain prize with all the papers and case. 

My first electric since my adolescent Ibanez PL1440 which I still got, but it's beyond repair. 

I haven't played electric actively in 20 years, but it was time. 

So let the plinky plonk begin. 

I have two questions:

I have lemon oil for my Martin, is that to be used on the bird?

The frets are as good as new and not a single ding on the guitar except some small marks on the head after hanging for ages in some not so nice wall rack, however, it is kind of dirty.

Easiest way to get rid of grease? Windex?

Looking forward for a deep dive in the forum. 

Have a nice day 🌸




Edited by Elmacogbg
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  • Elmacogbg changed the title to Have you heard about..🐦

I would NOT use lemon pledge on a Martin, either. I use a product called Cory Super High Gloss Piano Polish on my guitars and black Baby Grand piano. It is made to safely clean polyurethane and Lacquer finishes. Cory does make one specific for guitars, but I think it is basically the same thing. Available on Amazon. Protect that Beautiful Guitar, and the Martin, too.

Edited by GuitarsAnn
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your first Firebird  well done.

to your questions.

Lemon oil, as long it is in fact sold as a guitar maintenace formula is fine to use on the fret board.

for polishing frets  there are a few things you can do.

What you need minimum

  • pad of 0000 steel or brass wool
  • a few different sizes of painters tape.
  •  a clean / unused paint brush
  • paper towels
  • clean cotton rag
  • Guitar Polish
  • Fret board conditioner  (Guitar Honey, or F1 Nomad Fret Board Oil are good products, 100% safe to use)
  • optional A fret Polishing tool kit.


To clean the fretboard,    DO BE SURE TO COVER THE PICKUPS FIRST!  Use the blue tape!!

Make a small pad out of some of the wool, and going with the grain  rub the neck down. After a few times, you'll see the difference

For fret polishing, you can also use the wool,  but you want to protect the rosewood as you'll be going cross grain now. 

Again, painters tape works great. you can use the thinner rolls to fit in between the frets, tape em all up covering the fretboard between each fret.

with a small pad of wool, polish your frets.  they will get nice n shiny!

when done,  use the paint brush to brush all the steel wool dust off the guitar and pickups. 

Remove the guitar from surface where you've done the work, and get the rest of the  wool dust picked up. 

I use a towel under the guitar,  I just shake it all off. away from the work area.  

You can now take off the tape from the pickups

For a cleaner job on the fret polish,  frines fret polish kit will do it

Note that brass wool is not as messy

Now condition the fret board: Wet some conditioning oil on a  dry paper towel and work the oil into the fret board,  just a few dabs to 3 or 4 frets, keep going till you've done entire neck.   Don't drench it on, but you can put a fair amount on and let sink/soak in for a few minutes.  It's hydrating the wood so...

Wipe the neck down with a clean cotton rag.

Polish the body (I still use Gibson Pump) 

put on some new strings, tune up, plug in, rock!




Edited by kidblast
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Gorgomyte for cleaning the fretboard and polishing frets. No need to tape the fretboard or use steel wool. At least, that's how I do it.

Like kidblast says, the lemon oil for guitar use (e.g. Dunlop) is fine to use, Freshly squeezed lemon juice is not.

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5 hours ago, Pinch said:

Gorgomyte for cleaning the fretboard and polishing frets. No need to tape the fretboard or use steel wool. At least, that's how I do it.

Like kidblast says, the lemon oil for guitar use (e.g. Dunlop) is fine to use, Freshly squeezed lemon juice is not.

Everyone has a method, I've stuck with wool for a while.  It is a bit messy tho. 

 Gorgomyte, I've never used, but a lot of players do. 

You can rule out anything you'd get in the "household cleaners" isle at the grocery store, or places like Home Depot & Lowes.  There's "things" in the commerical cleaners that your guitar wont like.

Amazon is loaded with vendors with just about any guitar maintenance item you'll need

I like this product here:

Amazon.com: MusicNomad F-One Fretboard Oil Cleaner & Conditioner 2 oz (MN105) : Musical Instruments

and if it MUST be lemon oil...

This: Amazon.com: D'Addario Lemon Oil : Musical Instruments


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Thanks for all the input, a bottle of gibson pump and a cloth is ordered to remove the grease on the body.🌸

About the lemon oil. Bought a bottle for my second hand really dried up martin fretboard several years ago. I've used it once to recondition, not sure if it is speacial by any means, but I got it in a music store.  And my question was more or less if it would work on the bird as well.

Sorry if I was unclear,

Kind regards 


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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a similar firebird, a 2012. I notice yours has the Steinberger tuners like mine. How do you like them?  When I was doing research on these, the tuners had a lot of positive comments. I took a chance on them & like them. I don’t think Gibson is using them anymore. They really take a lot of weight off of the headstock.



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