How to clean a fretboard properly?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by GeorgeSunset, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. GeorgeSunset

    GeorgeSunset Member

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    Hey gang.
    I tried a search – without result.

    I want to clean up the fretboard on my guitars – but I have only a little idea what I have to do.
    So I ask all you, how do you clean a fretboard properly?
    What for oil do you use?
    – I have an Ebony board with maple binding and a rosewood board with whit plastic binding. What to use if I don´t want discoloration (over the years) of the maple/plastic?

    A step by step guide, with a list of the needed materials, would be enormous helpful!!!


    Thanks for the help
     
  2. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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  3. GeorgeSunset

    GeorgeSunset Member

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    :rolleyes: to know what to look for is an art!

    Thank you for the tip
     
  4. henry_the_horse

    henry_the_horse Member

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    Dan Erlewine recommends naphta (lighter -Zippo- fluid). Doesn't damage the wood and removes anything very quickly.

    Regards
     
  5. 5er Driver

    5er Driver Member

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    Maybe this is not an "approved" method but it's what I have done to my 4 rosewood boards for many years with no ill effects. With all strings off I use a brush with soft short nylon bristles like a hand/finger nail brush to get the gunk off. I rub both parallel and perpendicular to the frets. What doesn't come off with the brush is scraped off with a pick. When the gunk is off and out of the wood grain I rub in Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil. This really darkens up the wood, looks almost like ebony. I do this about twice a year.
     
  6. Dana-L

    Dana-L Supporting Member

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    My technique for rosewood fingerboards:

    0) Remove strings, cover pickups completely with the blue-colored painter's masking tape.

    Always going with the grain:

    1) Use a toothbrush to remove debris along the edges of frets.

    2) Use OOOO or finer steel wool to gently polish frets and further remove debris.

    3) Use toothbrush again to remove steel wool residue.

    4) Rub fretboard with a soft cotton cloth treated with naphtha to remove grease and gunk.

    5) Apply Gerlitz Guitar Honey using soft cotton cloth.

    6) Wipe fretboard with clean cloth.

    Remove blue tape from pickups, restring and enjoy.

    Cheers,

    -Dana
     

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