Polishing and care of CG

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
DigitalisVersatilitus
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Polishing and care of CG

Post by DigitalisVersatilitus » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:52 am

I seek advice please regarding ebony fingerboard cleaning and a recommendation for guitar polish for use on my Bernabe Guitar.

Fingerboard: I understand some players clean their fingerboards with linseed oil diluted with natural turps. Is this a good practise? I can imagine a build up of residue over time. What would luthiers recommend?

Polishing: At the moment I am using Martin Guitar Polish sparingly as I am suspicious about the ingredients being unlisted. Martin advertise No Silicon in the product. I would appreciate comment and recommendations from Luthiers.

PS In the past I have emailed Paulino about polishing but I have received no reply. The polish he supplied with the guitar was a small plastic unlabelled container of white cream. When applied, it dried quickly leaving a residue powder which had to be immediately polished off. One had to polish section by section which was tedious and definitely required some skill. A better alternative would be welcome.

All comments will be appreciated.

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Beowulf
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by Beowulf » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:05 am

For fingerboard cleaning: try "Boogie Juice". I've used it for decades and it works very well with no adverse effects.
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petermc61
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by petermc61 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:28 am

Fingerboard - very occassionally some lemon oil on a clean cloth.

I don’t think you should clean your guitar with anything until/unless you know what finish it has. In any event, a clean fine (smooth) microfibre cloth is probably all you need.

DigitalisVersatilitus
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by DigitalisVersatilitus » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:09 am

Thanks Guys,
So for fretboard Lemon oil is the answer. Many Thanks.
Peter, the Guitar has a hand varnish certificate describing ingredients such as Gum Arabic as a base for the lacquer, pumice, distilled alcohol balsamic oil. No synthetic materials. Hence my sensitivity on the subject of polish.

JohnB
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by JohnB » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:14 pm

I've been playing the classical guitar for 40+ years and have never used any polishing or cleaning products on them and they have survived pretty well (better than I have!).

Fingerboard: I use a moist cloth (crosswise) to clean it when I change strings, then dry any residual moisture with a piece of kitchen towel. If the fretboard gets particularly grotty I use a moist cloth and a moist soft toothbrush. (When I say "moist" I mean "moist", not wet.)

Body of the guitar: I dust with a clean soft cotton cloth [edited, from micro-fibre], if necessary I additionally clean with a (different) clean, moist soft cotton cloth [edited].

The only exception to the above is that I apply some protection to the body that get most wear, e.g. the top of the lower bout, where the arm rests. In those places I periodically use "Renaissance Micro Crystalline Wax". It was developed by the British Museum for use in conservation and it seems to be gaining acceptance in the violin world as a way of protecting the polish where fingers touch.

People sell all sorts of fluids, etc for guitars - whether they are actually needed by most people is a moot point.
Last edited by JohnB on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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andreas777
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by andreas777 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:43 pm

After I receive a used guitar that I bought from someone else I first remove the strings and clean the complete guitar with wet kitchen paper, especially the fretboard.
For my own guitars I have used a microfiber cloth, but my experience is that it causes micro scratches and make the surface dull after some months or years. Today I take a soft leather cloth to remove dust or finger prints.
I have had a guitar with rosewood fretboard where I used a Dunlop lemon oil 65 to clean and moisten the fretboard, but the guitar is sold and for my other guitars there is no need to treat the fretboard.
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Marshall Dixon
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by Marshall Dixon » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:19 pm


DigitalisVersatilitus
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by DigitalisVersatilitus » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:13 am

Thanks Guys,
All helpful comments and you have provided me with good alternatives and food for thought. So, No to micro-fibre!

Many Thanks,

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joachim33
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by joachim33 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:29 am

If one is using lemon oil on the fretboard, how often would you recommend?

JohnB
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by JohnB » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:11 pm

andreas777 wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:43 pm
For my own guitars I have used a microfiber cloth, but my experience is that it causes micro scratches and make the surface dull after some months or years.
Interesting observation. I suppose the effect might be at least in part due to the ability of microfibre cloths to retain dust particles.

I confess that I actually usually use a soft cotton cloth, e.g. from a well washed cotton tee shirt.
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Alan Carruth
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:37 pm

Be careful with commercial 'lemon oil' polishes, some of them contain petroleum distillates that can soak into wood and cause problems. When I feel the need to treat a fingerboard I use a few drops of raw walnut or linseed oil. Wipe off as much as you can. Note that the wood is dead, so there's no need to 'feed' it. If it gets too dry it's because it lacks moisture: you need to get better control of the relative humidity.

The best cleaner I've found for finishes is elbow grease, liberally applied using a soft, barely moist cloth. Everything is soluble in water to some extent, and you can get it off the surface eventually that way. For really stubborn dirt you can use a little bit if detergent, say, a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to a pint of warm water. This will help break up the grease that's holding the dirt.

I've never used microcrystaline wax, but I've heard some good reports.

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andreas777
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by andreas777 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:51 pm

JohnB wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:11 pm
andreas777 wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:43 pm
For my own guitars I have used a microfiber cloth, but my experience is that it causes micro scratches and make the surface dull after some months or years.
Interesting observation. I suppose the effect might be at least in part due to the ability of microfibre cloths to retain dust particles.

I confess that I actually usually use a soft cotton cloth, e.g. from a well washed cotton tee shirt.
It's difficult to show it on a picture...
micro_scraches.jpg
I bought this guitar some years ago and treated it with a microfibre cloth quite frequently. Some years later I bought another guitar, same brand, same model, same finish, and treated it with a leather cloth only. I can post another picture to show the difference if requested.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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bluesnik
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by bluesnik » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:53 am

I never realized it before but I believe the microfibre cloth I've been using has caused tiny scratches on my guitar! Perhaps it's the dirt that gets caught in the fibers that does the harm? I've been using a Cordoba polishing cloth. I have an unopened Ramirez cloth, not sure if they are all the same from brand to brand. 100% soft cotton well washed tee's from now on. Thanks for the heads up andreas 777.
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ameriken
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by ameriken » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:16 am

bluesnik wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:53 am
I never realized it before but I believe the microfibre cloth I've been using has caused tiny scratches on my guitar! Perhaps it's the dirt that gets caught in the fibers that does the harm? I've been using a Cordoba polishing cloth. I have an unopened Ramirez cloth, not sure if they are all the same from brand to brand. 100% soft cotton well washed tee's from now on. Thanks for the heads up andreas 777.
I just noticed that on mine as well. I've only used the microfiber cloth provided by the builder and I see very fine surface scratches in it.
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andreas777
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Re: Polishing and care of CG

Post by andreas777 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:42 am

bluesnik wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:53 am
Perhaps it's the dirt that gets caught in the fibers that does the harm?
Yes, that's possible, maybe (invisible) dust particles stick better on a microfiber cloth than on a leather cloth.
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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