The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-16-2019, 01:40 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North burbs of Chicago
Posts: 825
Default My used guitar clean up routine and a bit of a gripe.

A while back, I bought an old Yamaha SJ180. I wanted to spend some more time with a small/mini jumbo to see how I liked them. I got a chance to work on it today morning. Whenever I get a used guitar, I first clean it up with naphtha. Remove strings. Tighten any screws on tuning machine. Oil the fretboard and bridge with nomad f-one oil (I like they way the oil makes the wood look). Clean/adjust saddle. Polish the frets with steel wool (this makes the frets shiny again). Check the inside of the guitar, then string up with new strings. When I bought the Yamaha, I noticed that the saddle was put on backwards, not a big deal. When I went to remove the saddle, I found out the saddle was GLUED IN. I was perplexed. Why would anyone glue the saddle in, let alone glue it in the wrong way. If I was going to glue the saddle, I would double check I had it right before doing it. I was pretty sure it wasn't the guy that sold me the guitar that did it, though I wasn't sure if he knew it was glued in. Spent the next half hour scoring the line between the saddle and bridge with a single edge razor blade. Tapping softly on saddle from different directions with small rock hammer. What finally helped the most was putting the single edged blade in the scored space between the saddle and bridge and tapping down on the top of the razor blade to push down and break up the glue. Was able to pull out the saddle with a pair of pliers. I wasn't happy with the glued in saddle but it took a lot less time then I thought it would. I removed the glue residue from the saddle. Sanded the saddle bottom a little bit and went on with the rest of my routine. Also, for anyone that might polish their frets, I made something that helps with the polishing process from some clear plastic that came from the packaging of a pair of headphones. The clear plastic is pretty hard, thin and flexible. I cut out a 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of the plastic. I then cut out a piece from the plastic the size of a fret. I place the plastic over the fret when using the steel wool to protect the wood. It's really thin, so it lets me get all the fret. It is flexible so sits over fret and fretboard comfortably.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my routine and gripe. Do you have anything you do when you first get a used guitar?

Last edited by numb fingertips; 01-17-2019 at 11:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-16-2019, 02:59 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 73
Default

I've used steel wool and I've used Flitz polish on frets. Recently I tried some Gorgomyte. I doubt I'll be using anytning else again. It polishes the frets and reconditions the fretboard at the same time. Cleans up easily too.

Like you, I completely disassemble any used guitar I get, including removing the tuning machines in most cases. Cleaning is with a damp cloth first, followed by a mild polish if needed and then spray wax. I tend to use Dunlop guitar chemicals.

After that, I vacuum out the inside, clean the fretboard as above and put strings on it. From there I do the minimal setup that I feel comfortable with. If it needs more work, it goes to a guitar tech.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-16-2019, 04:16 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North burbs of Chicago
Posts: 825
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
I've used steel wool and I've used Flitz polish on frets. Recently I tried some Gorgomyte. I doubt I'll be using anytning else again. It polishes the frets and reconditions the fretboard at the same time. Cleans up easily too.

Like you, I completely disassemble any used guitar I get, including removing the tuning machines in most cases. Cleaning is with a damp cloth first, followed by a mild polish if needed and then spray wax. I tend to use Dunlop guitar chemicals.

After that, I vacuum out the inside, clean the fretboard as above and put strings on it. From there I do the minimal setup that I feel comfortable with. If it needs more work, it goes to a guitar tech.
Will have to try the Gorgomyte sometime.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-16-2019, 04:18 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North burbs of Chicago
Posts: 825
Default

Noticed that when I wiped the neck down with napth, it left a pale cloudy film. I think it is from a lot of micro scratches. Any method to make it look nice? Would I need to polish it somehow?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-16-2019, 04:49 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,861
Default

In the old days, when draftsmen worked with pencil on paper, they used rubber erasers to remove pencil lines. To ensure that they didn't remove pencil lines adjacent to those they wanted to erase, they used "eraser shields". They sold for two or three bucks and consisted of thin metal with a slot in the middle.

Fast forward to the 2000's and StewMac started selling eraser shields for use on guitar frets - they didn't call them that. The slot in the metal shield is fit over/around the fret - the fret pokes through the slot - while the wood adjacent to the fret is protected by the metal shield.

You've invented the eraser shield. Potentially a good idea, just not a new one. I've never had a need for one in guitar work.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:02 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,329
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by numb fingertips View Post
Noticed that when I wiped the neck down with napth, it left a pale cloudy film. I think it is from a lot of micro scratches. Any method to make it look nice? Would I need to polish it somehow?
I "speed neck" all my keepers. After deglossing with steel wool and/or 600 grit, I wipe a light coat of tung oil or boiled linseed oil, then wipe off and buff. Looks nice, hides scratches and helps my hand glide effortlessly and silently up and down the neck.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:48 AM
DenverSteve's Avatar
DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
Formerly "PastorSteve"
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 10,244
Default

Just for clarification and correctness - it is Naphtha. Mineral Spirits (sometimes called naptha) is a completely different product and not to be used on guitars.
Even though it is harder and harder to find, Naphtha is certainly one of the best cleaning products around. Very flammable so be careful.
__________________
Peace, Steve
Kinnaird, Martin, Charis SJ, Breedlove, Taylor, Larrivee, Voyage Air ......et al...Tried almost everything.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:54 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 7,810
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I "speed neck" all my keepers. After deglossing with steel wool and/or 600 grit, I wipe a light coat of tung oil or boiled linseed oil, then wipe off and buff. Looks nice, hides scratches and helps my hand glide effortlessly and silently up and down the neck.
Gave me a chuckle. I never noticed any noise from my hand gliding.
__________________
Three is enough for me.

Martin D18
Gibson J45
Eastman E10 00 Sunburst
And a Copperburst Tele
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:05 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,731
Default

I find that LIZARD SPIT is fantastic for cleaning up guitars.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:39 AM
00Buck's Avatar
00Buck 00Buck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,760
Default

After having been screwed by a dealer on Ebay who sold me a "mint" condition guitar that I later discovered had truss rod issues, the it's one of the first things I check. That was an $800 lesson. But I got two for one. I check the truss rod on every used guitar and I no long buy guitars on E-bay.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-17-2019, 11:10 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 393
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
In the old days, when draftsmen worked with pencil on paper, they used rubber erasers to remove pencil lines. To ensure that they didn't remove pencil lines adjacent to those they wanted to erase, they used "eraser shields". They sold for two or three bucks and consisted of thin metal with a slot in the middle.
I’d forgotten about those....I bet there’s one in my office somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:07 PM
Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern CA & Costa Rica
Posts: 1,111
Default

When I get a new guitar, I go through a visual inspection and cleanup. I change the strings, wipe it down (also a fan of Lizard Spit), oil the fretboard and bridge... basically, give it 30-60 minutes of TLC. I play it and take note of any concerns (in my amateur eyes, ears, and hands) before taking it in to my local luthier for his inspection, setup, and any other work. He is much more experienced than I, and a second set of eyes is always a good thing.

I have a used dread in-transit to me now, so I'll be doing this again next Wed/Thur.
__________________
"It's only castles burning." - Neil Young
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:01 PM
gill gill is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 113
Default

[QUOTE=CoryB;5950422]I've used steel wool and I've used Flitz polish on frets. Recently I tried some Gorgomyte. I doubt I'll be using anytning else again. It polishes the frets and reconditions the fretboard at the same time. Cleans up easily too.

+1 for Gorgomyte-works great and saves a lot of time over steel wool & polish
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:16 PM
BigMamaJ40 BigMamaJ40 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mifflintown, PA
Posts: 90
Default

Quote:
Why would anyone glue the saddle in, let alone glue it in the wrong way.
Remember when NASA was having a problem with the heat-absorbing tiles on the belly of the Space Shuttle falling off? My brother worked in the lab that developed the adhesive that fixed this.

He used some of that adhesive to fix the rear-view mirror in my ‘76 Ford Maverick which had fallen off. He glued it back on — upside down. Only thing that lasted on that car
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-18-2019, 06:18 AM
Mr Bojangles Mr Bojangles is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 674
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Buck View Post
After having been screwed by a dealer on Ebay who sold me a "mint" condition guitar that I later discovered had truss rod issues, the it's one of the first things I check. That was an $800 lesson. But I got two for one. I check the truss rod on every used guitar and I no long buy guitars on E-bay.
I once bought a NOS Fender Telecaster from a dealer that had a stuck truss rod. I took it to an authorized Fender repair center, and after being criticised for not being able to adjust my own truss rod, the gentleman proceeded to apply excessive force and broke the rod. I ended up with a new replacement neck from Fender.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=