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Maple necks - keeping 'em looking good


bassbloke

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I recently got a Lakland, the first bass or guitar I've ever owned with a maple neck. The fingerboard is already starting to discolour, as I can see by examining the lighter coloured strips directly under the strings. The fluid I usually use to protect and clean strings (and to clean the neck) isn't shifting this. How can I maintain the original colour in the fingerboard?
Bassbloke
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allow a generous quantity of Mineral oil to penetrate all surfaces for 6 hours before wiping off. This should be done after heavy cleaning. First rub in the mineral oil gently, and slowly increase the pressure.

 

After six months of treating, the neck will have adjusted to the climate which surrounds it. The need for your care at this time will be reduced, and will vary directly with the amount of usage.

 

hope this helps,

Ashley

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back to the topic at hand...

 

i can't imagine a bass with an UNFINISHED fingerboard. it's probably an oil finish in which case the string cleaner you're using is only going to make it worse. remove the strings, sand lightly until the discoloration is gone. then apply the finish of choice.

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Originally posted by bassbloke:

Do you know how to get in touch with Dan? There's the guestbook at Lakland but the last time I posted there I didn't get a response.

dlakin@lakincorp.com

 

There's a link to e-mail Dan at the very bottom of many of the webpages at the Lakland website.

 

Good luck with the f'board.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Here's the reply I got from Dan. Unfortunately shipping back to the US for cleaning isn't a practical option (it'd cost at least a couple of hundred dollars).

 

"I wish I had an easy answer for you .... but I don't. The discoloration is from the dirt on your fingers. This is why it is still light under the strings. So the light is the original color.

 

We made the decision to leave the fingerboard surface free of lacquer (this is what most basses have on maple) and coat it with a thin layer of CA (crazy glue). This allow us to be more precise with our fretting. If lacquer is involved it is yet another surface to level (for a proper fret job) and it is tricky at that. Enough of my excuses - what can be done.....

 

If the bass is new and still under warranty, you can send it to us for clean-up (if it is really bad we will have to refret it - to clean the fingerboard). Even if it is not under warranty we would still do the work for a charge.

 

For smaller clean-up's we use Mineral spirits, scrubbed on with a toothbrush (this can only do so much), or we also use GHS Guitar polish which has some Mineral Spirits and an abrasive agent(Can be applied the same way).

 

Let me know what I can do to help you, with the above in mind.

 

 

Thanks,

Dan Lakin"

Bassbloke
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Personally, I think the "played & loved" look DOES look good! I mean, would Clapton's black Strat look better if its maple fretboard were pristine? Love it, keep it healthy, & let it age gracefully until it's unmistakably yours.
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Originally posted by bassbloke:

Here's the reply I got from Dan....

 

We made the decision to leave the fingerboard surface free of lacquer (this is what most basses have on maple) and coat it with a thin layer of CA (crazy glue).

 

I can't comment on the advantages the crazy glue might have for their manufacturing uses but it's not suitable as any sort of finish.

For instance, you can dissolve it with saliva if your fingers get stuck together; I imagine sweat & body oils have a similar effect.

It also gets brittle as it ages.

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Then we had the same dream.

 

I was thinking about this. I agree with the people who say that the "used" look is desireable, in some cases. You may not like this look. I think the oil method may work, but, it may not be the look you seek. Perhaps a breathable finish may be what you seek. I would check www.stewmac.com for some options on the board finishes.

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"the "used" look is desireable, in some cases."

 

Yes, that's my worry - in some cases. Some people have referred to "yellowing" which sounds quite attractive but I'm worried that what I'm actually getting is "greying", with much darker patches on bits of the fingerboard that get played a lot (which in may case seems to be the 3 or 4 frets nearest the nut and the top 3 strings on frets 8-12).

Bassbloke
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