Cleaning my old friend

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Geysd, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    I have my guitar (LTD MH-400 STB) for about 9 years now and I played it every day when I was young, but I've never cleaned it. I paused for about 5 years and now I saw how dirty it is and now and want to clean it.

    Maybe you can help me how to do it. I only found instructions of how to clean it frequently when it's not THAT dirty. Anybody just wrote I could scratch the dirt off of the fretboard with a credit card.

    I planned cleaning the Floyd Rose with air pressure and I already bought a cleaning set with lemon oil and stuff.

    Here are some pics of my shame:

    [​IMG]

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    DancingCloseToU likes this.
  2. Rojne

    Rojne Köttbullar är fint..

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    Almost threw up seeing those pic's!
     
  3. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I know and I'm not proud of it.
    But now I want to make it better and I need some help to do this.
     
  4. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    I've always just used a cloth and elbow grease, i have a couple microfiber cloths that came with guitars but for a fretboard i'm guessing just about anything that won't scratch it up will do

    From google search, gibson website....
     
  5. Khaerruhl

    Khaerruhl SS.org Regular

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    I use the edge of a credit card to get the worst out of the way, and then a soft toothbrush. When it comes to the credit card, only go WITH the grain of the fretboard. Be gentle with the toothbrush too.
     
  6. thrashmetal85

    thrashmetal85 SS.org Regular

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    You need lighter fluid for your guitar body, neck, and fretboard. DON'T set it on fire. It eats grime and glue for breakfast without harming finishes, but it will dry out the rosewood a little so make sure you oil it back up after cleaning.

    You may be able to salvage your hardware with some WD40 silicone lubricant spray, and I mean separate every single part, then scrub them individually with a toothbrush and some on Q-tips down the fulcrum height hole too.

    Be careful as the corrosion may have swollen or even fused some parts together.
     
  7. Ataraxia2320

    Ataraxia2320 SS.org Regular

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    Will lighter fluid not just dry out the fretboard?

    Surely a bit of Lemon oil and elbow greace would be much better.
     
  8. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    I would:
    Take the strings of. Then take out the tremolo unit. For the fretboard I would just use a piece of cloth + the lemon oil. I find the lemon oil is pretty good at cleaning the fretboard as well as fretboard conditioner.
    Regarding the tremolo unit, I would take it apart and clean every bit with some WD40 and a toothbrush. NOTE! Take pictures of the tremolo unit and try and remember where what goes. It can be a little confusing to put back together. Also work on a large table where stuff does not get away. Dropping one of the tiny bits on the floor and spending 3 hours looking for it is a pain (talking from experience)!
     
  9. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    Hey thank you all so far for the help. I already took out the Trem (wanna put a Tremol-No in it, already having trouble with the screw holes in the body... -.-')

    For now everything works fine. Already cleaned some parts of the trem and taped the fretboard to clean the frets a bit with steel wool.

    The "plaque" on the fretboard (which is really thick and disgusting) bothers me the most. I started scratching it down with a credit card, but the dirt goes into the little gaps in the wood. Hope the lemon oil will kill it.

    But now I know that the frets are really really used and the guitar is a set-neck so I guess it will be over soon.
     
  10. neotronic

    neotronic SS.org Regular

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    I've always had great results with the lemon oil and scubbing it with soft toothbrush. The toothbrush will clean the pores in the wood very easily and will not scrath the fretboard.
     
  11. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    So It took a long time, but I'm finished.

    Thank you all for your help.

    The lemon oil with the toothbrush worked incredibly well!

    Cleaning the Floyd Rose wasn't a big deal. Put it back and install the Tremol-No was way harder haha!


    Except the dings and dongs and discolored spots on the hardware, the guitar looks like new!
     
  12. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc SS.org Regular

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    you could post some after pictures to calm our insides down :p
     
  13. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    Oh yeah of course. On the prictures you can see the fretboard isn't as perfect as I thought, but I put on lemon oil two times. I guess the cracks in the wood are there because it dryed out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope you all will forgive me how I treated my beauty.

    I'll now take more care of her!

    edit:

    Oh and by the way I dismantled the FR (every saddle individual) and cleand it with a toothbrush, a cloth for glasses and steel wool. And I oiled the screws with sewing machine oil!
     
  14. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    You got the trem looking that good with WD40???? I've seen people do other stuff to trems and definitely not get so good a result as you have.
     
  15. Geysd

    Geysd SS.org Regular

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    Oh no I just saw it wasn't sewing machine oil, it was blade oil for my electric razor!

    But I only used it to grease the screws. I cleaned them with the steel wool!
     
  16. TommyG

    TommyG Tommy G

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    That looks great... Nice work
     
  17. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    I cleaned an old Ibanez rosewood fretboard really well before by using a razor blade to carefully scrape up the dirt all over the fretboard surface and up into the corners where the frets meet the wood, and followed that with a good rubbing with acetone, and finally polished it with steel wool and a treatment of lemon oil.

    I wish I had gotten before and after pics though cause that was one of the cleanest and smoothest fretboards I had when the process was done. That was the kind of deep cleaning you really only do to a guitar a few times in its lifetime though.

    :2c:
     
  18. charlessalvacion

    charlessalvacion SS.org Regular

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    Neat work. Good to see your guitar like that. :)
     
  19. Kobalt

    Kobalt Insert Brand Name

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    Nice! I love those types of cleaning, no matter how gross they are. :lol: It's almost like restoration, on a very very small scale. :yesway:

    I would've gone to town with Gorgomyte on that fingerboard, especially the frets as they are incredibly dull.
     
  20. Jeesan

    Jeesan Regular

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    wow, did u just buy a new neck or something?!
     

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