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Cleaning the fretboard guidance

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D
in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 45

I get my guitars set-up yearly from my trusty local luthier, but they take a beating from 100+ gigs a year and the fretboards tend to get gunked up between set-ups. I wipe my strings after every gig, but apparently that's not enough to keep the crud from forming. Does anyone have experience cleaning their own fretboard on a GJ guitar? I saw a thing online that recommended Grade 0000 Steel Wool, F-One Oil & going with the grain of the fretboard, but I dont want to mess it up. Also, it looks like I'll have to take all the strings off at once, which I never do. I change my strings on each guitar once a month, but I always take them off one at a time. Should I mark the bridge position before I cut the strings? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Comments

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 250

    Hey Mike,

    This question comes up often. In fact, there was just a thread earlier this month on bridge position when changing strings:

    Here's a few older posts on fretboard cleaning. I'm sure you could find a bunch more info if you dig around with the search function. Hope this helps get you started.



    Passacaglia
  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D
    Posts: 45

    Thanks Billy, that's all helpful info. I'll try it soon & see how it goes.

    billyshakesPassacaglia
  • edited June 28 Posts: 2,794

    Yeah I picked up a lot of tips from that scotch-brite thread Bill referenced. I also use the pencil eraser as the last step when polishing the frets, I picked that up somewhere on the forum. If I'm doing a quick fretboard cleaning between strings change I still use the human sourced cleaning agent, saliva, ahm my own. It does a good job. I never bothered changing strings one by one. I think it's actually a little faster to get them off/on all at once. I know roughly where the bridge intonates and if not, a small nudge will fix that. For fretboard conditioning I'm now using F-ONE oil. I still have Dunlop Lemon Oil. Can't really say that I noticed a difference between the two.

    Passacaglia
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D
    Posts: 45

    Thanks Buco. I've learned a lot from your comments here & appreciate your steady leadership on the forum.

    BucoPassacaglia
  • Posts: 2,794

    Ah my dear Mike that's just a fluke but thank you for the mention. And you're welcome, happy if it helped.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 145

    Those are the same I've been using, F-One oil now but for ages used Dunlop. Can't say I notice much difference either but solid products overall.

  • Posts: 2,794

    Different topic but the reason I started using the F1 oil is I was trying to find something to give the fretboard slicker feel. It gets absorbed and that's that. But they're very useful product, should be used occasionally.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D
    Posts: 45

    Buco, I changed my strings yesterday on my Altamira M-10 and used the F-One oil & it worked great. I didnt end up needing the 0000 grade steel wool to clean the gunk off my fretboard. I gently scraped it off with a credit card (going with the grain), then wiped it with a dab of the F-1. I then wiped them clean with a dry cloth after letting the oil sit on the fretboard for a minute or so. It looks & feels great! On a side note, you were right about taking all the strings off at once, which I had never done before. The world didn't come to an end. In fact, it was easy to put my bridge right back in the position it was in from my luthier from my latest set-up. The intonation is spot on. I'll be doing this between set-ups from now on.

    BucoPassacaglia
  • Posts: 2,794

    That's awesome Mike. If you ever decide to polish the frets, 0000 steel wool will do a good job. It's funny but I was very surprised to find out in that other thread that actually most people replace strings one by one. If somebody bet me on that one I'd lose a big time. But I always like a to use a chance to give the guitar a quick once over.

    I'll try Dr Duck's soon too and report back in the other thread. Apparently you can use for fretboard conditioning and cleaning too besides as strings lubricant.

    MikeKbillyshakesPassacaglia
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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