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Thread: Cleaning dark stains from maple neck

  1. #16
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    Does it need to be cleaned? I find that they look pretty cool with some good 'ol fashion playing wear.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siddius View Post
    Does it need to be cleaned? I find that they look pretty cool with some good 'ol fashion playing wear.
    No, it does not need to be cleaned. However, some maple just gets a little change in color, and sometimes it is just straight up grime. It depends on the person and how sweaty or oily their skin gets, as well as how often they clean/maintain the instrument. I've cleaned some farking disgusting guitars before. Straight up goo embedded in the fretboard. There is something kind of gross about finger goo. It isn't just maple that can get all funky, it just can be more noticeable because of the color darkening that occurs.

  3. #18
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    IIRC ... the main reason why Leo introduced the rosewood board - because it didn't look dirty on T.V.
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickGlass View Post
    No, it does not need to be cleaned. However, some maple just gets a little change in color, and sometimes it is just straight up grime. It depends on the person and how sweaty or oily their skin gets, as well as how often they clean/maintain the instrument. I've cleaned some farking disgusting guitars before. Straight up goo embedded in the fretboard. There is something kind of gross about finger goo. It isn't just maple that can get all funky, it just can be more noticeable because of the color darkening that occurs.
    Good point. If it was just straight up $h!t building up on the fretboard, I'd probably want to wipe it.
    2014 Silhouette, White hss BFR Roasted Maple Neck
    2014 Steve Morse All-Roasted Maple Neptune Blue PDN Neck on a Morse Y2D Purple Sunset Burst body (Thanks to Kestrou)

    Gold Roller PDN Rosewood Neck

  5. #20
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    I use Endust on maple boards.
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  6. #21
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    Okay, I'm back from trying my dark stain in maple removal experiment. The results? I'll let the pics to the talking then do a short write up on how I did it.

    This is the the 25th Anniversary when I got it.







    After some cleaning with 0000 steel wool and Murphy's Oil Soap. There are still some pretty dark stains.







    Using oxalic acid for cleaning:


    Some results:




    Entire neck:


    After some Tru-Oil:


    As you can see, the experiment was a success! The dark stains have been mostly eliminated and that's what I was going for. Here's the steps I took to get these results. NOTE: These steps are only for unfinished maple necks! Don't do this on any neck that has a finish on it!

    Clean the neck with 0000 steel wool. (I removed the neck from the body as I wanted to do a really good cleaning. If you plan to leave the neck on the body, mask off the pickup so that the small steel wool fibers don't get stuck in the pickups which could lead to lots of problems!) The reason I suggest cleaning with steel wool first is to remove a majority of the grime and oils on the fretboard as well as whatever layers of tru-oil finish are on the neck. For the really dirty areas I went against the grain in a back and forth motion in line with the frets. You'll want to keep folding your steel wool as you go along as the finish will get stuck in the fibers and eventually will stop cutting. I used the steel wool on the entire neck, not just the fretboard.

    Next, I used Murphy's soap oil undiluted and a tooth brush and cleaned the entire neck. I wiped off the Murphy's with a clean rag and let it dry a bit to see progress. There were still some deep set stains.

    I had heard that oxalic acid has been used to bleach hard wood. After researching a bit and seeing results, I decided to give it a try. Luckily, I had a bottle of Barkeepers Friend under the sink. We use this to clean stainless steel pans, but this products main ingredient is oxalic acid so I decided to try it out. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when using this.

    I put a bit of the Barkeeper's Friend power into a small plastic container (I used the plastic top from a gatorade bottle) and added a few drops of water to make s slurry. I wanted the solution to be relatively thick and paste like. I stirred it up then applied it to one section the fretboard (one area at a time) and let it sit there for about 2 minutes or so. I then took a tooth brush and cleaned the area with the slurry. When done, take a clean rage and wipe it off. I found that a majority of the deep stains disappeared. After completing the entire neck I took the tip of a toothpick and ran it on the edges of both sides of each fret to remove any oxalic acid crystals that may have gotten stuck inside.

    I then used 0000 steel wool to shine the frets as the oxalic acid can dull the shine of the frets.

    Lastly, put a coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil and Wax, place the neck back on the body and you're done!

    It's a lot of work, but not as bad as trying to strip finish from a fretboard (don't ask!) and the results are worth it if you have a really grimey unfinished maple neck that you want to restore. Let me know if you have any questions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cleaning dark stains from maple neck-img_1155-jpg   Cleaning dark stains from maple neck-25th-2-jpg   Cleaning dark stains from maple neck-25th-jpg   Cleaning dark stains from maple neck-img_1168-jpg   Cleaning dark stains from maple neck-img_1181-jpg  

    Last edited by kimonostereo; 10-07-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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  7. #22
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    Impressive, most impressive!!!! THAANNKSSS
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  8. #23
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    Awesome results!

  9. #24
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    Just wanted to add for future cleaning projects,my girlfriend, who does some furniture restoration suggested a combination of boiled linseed oil and white spirit. Cut the oil with the the white spirit until it reaches the right concentration to move the staining

  10. #25
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    strong work and a great report
    I bet this kinda work was a labor of love

    Out of all my necks I think the one I cleaned and refinished myself is the one I love the best.
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  11. #26
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    Nicely done!!!
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  12. #27
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    Wow! That's awesome! Nice results, I'll be coming back to this post when I need to clean up my JP-BB! Thanks!
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  13. #28
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    Jul 2009
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    I'd love to know if anyone tries this method and if it worked for you. I feel like this guitar neck is broken in but now looks almost brand new.
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2012 - Albert Lee SSS - White Pearl
    2014 - Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow (Reflex mod) - Black Cherry Burst
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst

    Take a break from playin' guitar and read a webcomic: nemu*nemu!

  14. #29
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    Aug 2005
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    Wow that came out great - I don't have to do my experiment now!

    It's a similar process to one I carried out many years on a piece of oak furniture and used oxalic acid and peroxide in cans A & B = just like this ....
    How to Bleach Wood with Chlorine, Peroxide & Oxalic Acid

    Nice one - well done!
    Black Cherry Burst Albert Lee , SSS,Trem & Piezo 2005
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  15. #30
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    Amazing job you have done there. Must admit though, the grain looked enhanced somewhat before you cleaned it, i guess its the oils and dirt from being played. Love the dots too.

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