Sadowsky Guitars Web Forum
October 01, 2014, 12:00:56 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: SMF - Just Installed!
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Advice on cleaning your fretboard?  (Read 16666 times)
JC
Newbie
*
Location: London, England
Posts: 6


View Profile
« on: September 10, 2010, 07:10:57 AM »

Hi everyone

Though I have previously read forum posts elsewhere on the web on this topic, it would be great to get some advice from Roger and/or others about fretboard cleaning.  It is the part of the instrument that accumulates the most grime and, after the strings themselves, is of course the part that we have most physical contact with (hence the grime!).

I would imagine there is different advice depending on the fretboard material and finish.  Any pro-shop tips are very welcome!

Bearing in mind the grime that accumulates must be a  mixture of sweat, dirt and, most probably, dead skin cells (yuck), I've always thought some attempt at removing this delightful substance would be desirable.  Can this be done without excessive removal of otherwise presumably desirable natural wood oils or moisture?  Most advice seems to be to use lemon oil or some such on a rosewood or similar board, but this is adding to the mixture surely - though I guess it also helps lift a little muck in the process.  However, it also darkens and adds the oil itself to the surface, which can result in an undesirably oily feeling.  I'd like to get back as close to the newly made look and feel if that's possible?

I guess the other issue is the technique used and method applied e.g. the type of cloth or other material used to apply a cleaning agent and whether or not you should only apply in direction of wood grain or otherwise.  How, for example, do you get in close to the fret wire, where most grime accumulates?  I have seen fretboards scratched or otherwise marked by attempts at cleaning which are presumably caused by these issues.

My Ultra-vintage PJ has a stunning Brazilian board and I want it to look and feel as good as it did when it was new.  Any and all advice very welcome....
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 07:29:13 AM by JC » Logged

JC
P. Bass
Full Member
***
Age: N/A
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Posts: 175



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 08:43:43 PM »

Here's what I would do to remove built up grime on a rosewood fretboard. If you try it the responsibility is yours as I've never had to do it, but have done it on other wood. BE AWARE as you work.
1st of all soften the hardened dirt with boiled linseed oil. (wipe off excess oil from the bd soon after application but let the oil sit in the dirt for awhile) http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9084933&postcount=1
Use a kitchen veg. knife or a small kitchen utility knife w/ a straight cutting edge - not serrated). After the dirt has softened enough to come off a bit w/ your finger nail you can start.(for heavy buildup you may have to add oil to specific spots). Holding the knife, place the blade(near the tip) flat on the bd, between 2 frets. Place the 1st 2 finger tips of your other hand on the top of the blade & partially over the back edge, about 1" from the tip & apply gentle downward pressure. Rest the heal of that hand on the fretboard.THAT is important for stability. Now - raise the BACK edge of the blade SLIGHTLY & PUSH the blade across the bd & into the fret, w/ the 2 finger tips. DON"T move the knife w/ the hand you are holding it. Adjust the tilt of the blade slightly if needed but IF it bites into the wood- STOP & lower it a tad. Be careful not to catch the tip into the wood.  When all the grime is removed scrape the surface of the fretboard GENTLY w/ the knife blade in ONE direction - AWAY from the fret, w/ the blade vertical & the cutting edge trailing slightly, while the board is still a bit wet w/ oil, & clean well. I am confident this works. I would suggest you try it on a Single buildup, on one side of one fret to start, just to get confidence that it works.  Be well bro.
B.

EDIT: Just a precaution - You want to use a sharp knife but NOT razor sharp like a box cutter or it'll be too difficult to manage without cutting the wood grain. You want to slice the buildup, not the grain.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 11:53:56 PM by P. Bass » Logged

*Fingers On Flats*
dragonbass
Guest
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 09:39:13 AM »

Pbass,

 While that may work for you, I wouldn't recommend using a sharp object on the fingerboards.

Easiest and safest way to get the grim off ANY fingerboard.....use an old toothbrush!

What I use...
-Foam Windex (staples or any place should sell it)
-Old Toothbrush
-Paper towels
-Planet waves Hydrate or Boiled Linseed Oil (Rosewood/Ebony Boards ONLY)

It's simple and effective. (and it won't harm the wood).

-Spray Foamy Windex on fingerboard ( do about 7 frets at a time)
-Use Old Toothbrush,"brushing" both length and width of board.
-Wipe off dirt with paper towel.
Once this is done, let dry for a minute or two. (or if you have an air compressor you can blow it out.)

*If you have a Maple Fingerboard your done.*

**I would normally steel wool the board (Rosewood/Ebony) now, but I would skip this step as it could leave scratches on the board if your not careful**

For Rosewood or Ebony boards only.....
-Using Planet Waves Hydrate (We Sell it.. Grin) or Linseed oil, apply to board. Not too much, but enough to cover the entire board. Wipe on with paper towel. Let it sit to soak in for a minute, wipe off excess with paper towel.
-Let dry, restring .

 That's it.

                     Robert
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 09:41:17 AM by dragonbass » Logged
Gerard Burick
Guest
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 07:21:40 PM »

Does linseed oil come boiled?  Or is the boiling something you do at home?  I've never ran into it before. 

I've actually used the Sadowsky everyday cleaning with a very soft cloth that doesn't shed... like an old tshirt, and had great success at maintaining cleanliness under the strings. 

I'm interested to try the linseed oil, though. 
Logged
Asher
Newbie
*
Age: 47
Location: suburban Boston
Posts: 28


If you can read this you're not practicing enough


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 01:49:39 PM »

I've had good results with the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes Fretboard Conditioner on my Metro RS4, whenever I change strings.
Logged

58super
Newbie
*
Location: Canada
Posts: 5


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 03:16:56 PM »

Does linseed oil come boiled?  Or is the boiling something you do at home?  I've never ran into it before.  

I've actually used the Sadowsky everyday cleaning with a very soft cloth that doesn't shed... like an old tshirt, and had great success at maintaining cleanliness under the strings.  

I'm interested to try the linseed oil, though.  

Linseed oil comes as either raw linseed oil (not boiled) or boiled linseed oil. Linseed oil is flamable.
You can buy a bottle at Home Depot and get a lifetime supply.
Be sure to wipe the excess oil off the board as the oil can get gummy.
As far as scraping dirt off the board, old credit or bank cards do a good job with no marks.
 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 03:22:10 PM by 58super » Logged
dragonbass
Guest
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 09:03:50 PM »

Does linseed oil come boiled?  Or is the boiling something you do at home?  I've never ran into it before. 
I'm interested to try the linseed oil, though.

Gerard,

 If both your basses have Maple Boards, then Linseed Oil is not for you. I would stick to what you've been doing, or try what I wrote above.

 
                    Robert

 
Logged
IntenseJim
Moderator
Full Member
*****
Age: N/A
Location: Tahoe Reno with oodles of ski terrain
Posts: 135


I <3 pow, boobs, and Sadowsky


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 12:26:13 AM »

My first Sadowsky was purchased brand new in 1990. It's never been cleaned....obviously:





Logged

"I think the only repeat customer we have ever had is some Dr schmuck out in Reno." --Roger
P. Bass
Full Member
***
Age: N/A
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Posts: 175



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 01:14:44 AM »

My first Sadowsky was purchased brand new in 1990. It's never been cleaned....obviously:



I've got a wood rasp you can borrow Jim.  Roll Eyes
B.
Logged

*Fingers On Flats*
Musicfreak1988
Newbie
*
Age: 26
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 15


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 10:10:06 AM »

Hi Rob,

They don't sell windex foam over here. Will any foam glass cleaner work?

Thanks,

  Sam
Logged
Sadowsky
Administrator
Full Member
*****
Location: New York City
Posts: 187


Sadowsky Guitars


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 10:02:22 AM »

Where is "over here"??  Please add your location to your profile.
Do a Google search for Windex foam aerosol glass cleaner
I can only vouch for Windex but others are probably fine....

R
Logged

Please do not send me messages through the forum.  Please email me directly.  Thanks.
Musicfreak1988
Newbie
*
Age: 26
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 15


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 10:23:05 AM »

Hello Roger,

I live in Belgium... I already googled for Windex foam, but they don't seem to sell it here.
Logged
Gerard Burick
Guest
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2010, 12:48:16 AM »

Does linseed oil come boiled?  Or is the boiling something you do at home?  I've never ran into it before. 
I'm interested to try the linseed oil, though.

Gerard,

 If both your basses have Maple Boards, then Linseed Oil is not for you. I would stick to what you've been doing, or try what I wrote above.

 
                    Robert


Thanks for the info!  I'm sticking to my method, since it's working out.  If I think of it, I will try out the foamy windex tactic as well... and yes, both of my Sadowsky basses have maple fretboards.
 
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!