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#1332777 - 12/18/00 02:51 PM Cleaning your guitars and amps
Lee Flier Offline
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Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
Hey all,

What do you use to keep your rigs clean? I'm especially interested in hearing from vintage owners. For example my Les Paul has the usual severely checked finish, and I like to dust-polish it once in awhile but I don't want to screw up the finish any more than it already is. My '68 Tele has a nitrocellulose finish, and I'd like to polish it sometimes to get dust and sweat off but don't want to add moisture. Any recommendations?

Also, what do you use to clean the hardware (bridge, machineheads, tailpiece etc) when it gets gunked up? And how about amps? How do you keep the circuitry clean on tube amps? What cleaners and what tools?

Any other regular maintenance you do on your rigs? Oil the machineheads or anything like that? What do you use for that? And what about things like stuck bridge screws on old guitars, how do you get them turning?

--Lee
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#1332778 - 12/18/00 07:08 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
bluedawg@mail.com Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/00
Posts: 27
Loc: bluefield,WV,UNITED STATES
my favorite is lemon oil on a rosewood fingerboard.keeps it nice and clean,superfast.
satinwood polish is a safe effective cleaner.gibson polish too
maguiars swirl remover #9 gets rid of pick scratches safely.
i use these products on all my guitars for many years.never caused any harm to my babies

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#1332779 - 12/19/00 12:33 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
stratman_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 0
Loc: attleboro,MA,UNITED STATES
I use Lemon Oil on my fretboard too, works great. I just use some Fender spray polish on the body, though my axes are showing some swirl marks I would like to remove and this doesn't do the job. I also put some polish on a cue tip and work that in and around the saddles, tailpiece and tuners.

A small paintbrush works good to remove dust from around pickups between string changes too. Would definateley use one with soft bristles on a vintage axe.

Haven't done anything to my tube amp but we use some contact cleaner on circuit boards at work and it seems to do a good job. Wonder how that would work??

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#1332780 - 12/19/00 11:56 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Tedster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 5935
BEER...Brings back that old barroom environment that the amp functions in...spill a beer on it now and again

No seriously, Armor All is great for amps, although don't ask me when the last time I used it was...

I agree with the lemon oil for the guitar.
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#1332781 - 12/19/00 11:06 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Fletcher Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1411
Loc: Foxboro,MA,UNITED STATES
Clean them? Why would you clean them? Does it affect performance?

-----

Fletcher
Mercenary Audio http://www.mercenary.com
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#1332782 - 12/21/00 02:20 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Lee Flier Offline
10k Club

Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
Ummm, well, obviously cleaning is something I don't do real often considering I've been playing since I was 12 years old and this is the first time I'm really asking about it.

But, I HAVE noticed that gunk on the bridge or machineheads affects performance and makes adjustments more difficult. And dust wasn't an issue when I had my guitars in cases but now I hang them on the walls in my studio, and would prefer to keep the dust off them. Maybe that doesn't affect their performance but it looks nicer, and looking at and playing beautiful guitars can be inspiring. Or maybe that's just a chick thing

--Lee
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#1332783 - 12/22/00 01:18 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
stratman_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 0
Loc: attleboro,MA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Flier:
Ummm, well, obviously cleaning is something I don't do real often considering I've been playing since I was 12 years old and this is the first time I'm really asking about it.

But, I HAVE noticed that gunk on the bridge or machineheads affects performance and makes adjustments more difficult. And dust wasn't an issue when I had my guitars in cases but now I hang them on the walls in my studio, and would prefer to keep the dust off them. Maybe that doesn't affect their performance but it looks nicer, and looking at and playing beautiful guitars can be inspiring. Or maybe that's just a chick thing

--Lee


No, Not just a chick thing Lee. I don't clean my guitars everyday but I definateley like them to look nice, especially at gigs.

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#1332784 - 12/22/00 06:35 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
lrbreez Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/08/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Walnut, CA, USA
For nitrocellulose finishes nothing beats Gibson polish. Everytime you play your guitar, after you are done spray it on and wipe it off.
Buddy

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#1332785 - 12/22/00 05:50 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
michael saulnier Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 4070
Loc: San Diego,CA,UNITED STATES
I recently picked up a bottle of Gibson's "luthiers choice" fretboard conditioner. (LC-965, $3.95) Obviously intended for rosewood fretboards, this worked great to clean off the gunk buildup, and gave my fretboard a nice conditioning as well. While others had suggested lemon juice, (I think), I wonder if it could actually remove some of the needed resins and oils in the wood and tend to dry it out?

I had bought a used '93 Les Paul Standard and the fretboard looked like it had never been cleaned. Yuck...

One added bonus about the conditioner was that it made my fretboard feel a little "slipperier" making bends a little silkier...

I also regularly use Gibson's regular guitar polish... seems to work fine.

There is a fairly large sized spot on my Les Paul, (where your right forearm presses against the finish), where the finish is wearing off, or is kind of "cloudy". I've seen posts elsewhere where people used fine sandpaper to take off a layer of finish to resolve this, but I'm not brave enough to try this without some sage advise. Any out there?

Plus, I really don't mind the slight "play marks" on this guitar, it reminds me it's a player's guitar not a collectors.

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#1332786 - 12/24/00 04:01 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
lrbreez Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/08/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Walnut, CA, USA
<< I've seen posts elsewhere where people used fine sandpaper to take off
a layer of finish to resolve this, but I'm not brave enough to try this
without some sage advise. Any out there?>>

My advice is to leave your guitar alone. Let it age gracefully/
Buddy

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#1332787 - 12/24/00 04:24 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Sir Bob Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 310
Loc: Altadena, California
Beauty is in the eye of the guitar player.

A few years ago I took my newly acquired Tele Relic to a Fender Custom Shop show and showed it to Fred Stuart (Fender's Tele guru) while we posed for a photo that now hangs on the wall of my bedroom studio.

I asked him if he had any advice about caring for it.

He told me it will look a lot better when I get a lot of sweat on it.

BTW it is a Fiesta Red 60's Tele with alder body and a slab rosewood fretboard. It was one of the last ones where the Custom Shop sent the bodies out-of-state to get a nitrocellulose paint job, which to me was the main reason to get a Relic.

The latest Relics are painted in house and obviously have some poly in them as evidenced by a thick, tacky/sticky looking finish.

The nitro paint is just like the paint I had on an old VW. When it faded, I just pulled out a cloth and buffed. The nitro paint has a much more practical effect. It seems to allow the body to vibrate more.

I thought that Fender did a great job on the Relic except for the pickups sounded harsh and edgy. The bridge pup measured 9.45k ohm.

I had John Suhr (formerly of the Custom Shop and now a guitar builder in Lake Elsinore, Calif.) put in a set of his pups and have been extremely happy ever since. Suhr's pickups have a different formula of Alinco 5 that is sweeter and warmer with a touch of compression.

The guitar is getting lighter so either this is the moisture evaporating or I am getting stronger.

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#1332788 - 12/25/00 12:48 AM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
bluedawg@mail.com Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/00
Posts: 27
Loc: bluefield,WV,UNITED STATES
THATS LEMON OIL,NOT LEMON JUICE,AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN USING IT FOR YEARS WITH NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER.IT ADDS MOISTURE TO THE ROSEWOOD!!!!!!
SANDPAPER????????
DO US ALL A FAVOR AND JUST DON'T TOUCH YOUR GUITAR ANYMORE.GAAAAWWWWDDDD!!!!!!!
BY THE WAY,FIND OUT THE INGREDIENTS OF YOUR EXPENSIVE FRETBOARD CLEANER.
LEMON OIL PERHAPS???
........................BLUEDAWG

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#1332789 - 12/25/00 02:07 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Anonymous
Unregistered


NAPTHA will do the trick . I've cleaned dirty fret boards and gummed up guitar bodies with naptha , it does a great job and will get that gummy crap off. Naptha is the same thing as lighter fluid.Polish afterwards.I've never had any old vintage guitars so I don't know what it will do to a really old delicate finish.

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#1332790 - 12/25/00 02:20 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Anonymous
Unregistered


I forgot to mention after you clean your fret board with Naptha you will need to treat it with lemon oil because naptha cleans not only the gum and dirt off but it takes some of the oils out and will leave the fret board a little dry so you need to apply lemon oil to the fret board afterwards.Treat it a few times wipping it off good with a dry cloth after each treatment. Your fretboard will look and feel great.

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#1332791 - 12/25/00 02:29 PM Re: Cleaning your guitars and amps
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was talking about Rosewood fretboards.I've cleaned maple fretboards with Naptha but I don't think you use lemon oil on them and I don't know anything about Ebony fretboards.

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