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previous: Joe Gagan Re: Rosewood buffing, part6 P.S. -- 1/11/2001 4:03 PM View Thread

Re: Rosewood buffing, part 7.

1/11/2001 5:06 PM
Re: Rosewood buffing, part 7.
(from lurking trying to learn pedal electronics) I know your a frequent player, so you may need to clean more often than most. From the hundreds of guitars I've worked on (some mine, some friends, and some for $$) what I've noticed is a "ramping" effect of dirt (probably a combo of skin oil and sweat, and dead skin) as brownish or black oily "gunk" from the surface of the fret board to the fret. (kind of like the way snow looks plowed up against a guard rail) Some times if it's real stuborn, I'll use a tooth brush with a little lemon oil to remove it. Rose wood is also very porus, and the dirt and finger oil can get "locked" into the wood grain, making it feel smooth, but distructive to the wood. Some oils may seal this into the wood. Over time, if this build up gets added to with the wrong type of oil, it can begin to loosen your frets, causing "fret pop" or the "fret buzz" that everyone hates. Sometimes they can be "superglued" and pressed back in place, but if the wood is decayed any, and won't hold the fret tight enough, you have to refret with the next size of fret wire for the tang to have "good" wood to hold on to. Kind of a pain. The lemon oil extract I use is called "amerian eagle" it comes in a small milky white squeeze bottle, and has a black and white label with picture of an eagle on it. Stew-mac use to carry it, I bought a dozen bottles several years back, and still have a few left. A little goes a long way. If you "soak" the finger board with oil, this effect can happen faster. Next time you "oil" your board, try the lemon oil and let us know what you think. After cleaning and conditioning with the lemon oil, personally, if it were my guitar, I'd let the finger board dry out quite a bit before applying any more oil, to slow down the "fret loosening" process I mentioned. You want to keep the wood "hydrated" so as not to shrink away from the fret, but too much oil or moisture can cause wood to decay. Sorry for being so "windy" I really "dig" this part of guitars; to me they are like "art"!!!