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Thread: JP 15 neck cleaning question...such confusion!

  1. #1
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    JP 15 neck cleaning question...such confusion!

    Ok, so I've had my JP15 for 2 years, and I can now feel like the back of the neck needs cleaning/treatment.

    I know that video is out there (the one where Drew cleans the back of the neck of a standard JP), and I get the jist of that (only thing I'd like clarification on is how long to leave the wax on it before wiping down).

    However, Music Man's FAQ (and this was also confirmed by reaching out to customer service) talks about using tru-oil and wax, when in the video Drew used Murphy's soap and wax (and thus apparently no tru-oil).

    So, few questions;

    - I imagine the tru oil would come in before the wax? So following the process in the video; Murphy's soap to clean, then sand, then tru oil, then wax?

    - How long do I leave each of the Murphy's soap, tru-oil, and wax before wiping them down/away?

    - What about for front of neck? Music Man CS said fretboard conditioner wonder wipes would do the trick, so I plan on using those. But say it's dirty enough that these don't do anything; then can I do the same process on the front of the neck as I would the back of the neck, just minus sanding, tru-oil, and wax (so basically just clean with Murphy's soap)?

    I know this has been discussed to death, so sorry for the repeat - but haven't seem to found one where the entire process is clearly drawn out. Would like to confirm to make sure I'm buying the necessary materials, but also to ensure I don't do anything that could ruin the guitar, somehow.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MesaBeno View Post

    - I imagine the tru oil would come in before the wax? So following the process in the video; Murphy's soap to clean, then sand, then tru oil, then wax?
    Yes. Of course over the years here many people have expressed a preference for only tru-oil, or only wax. Some people never feel the need at all. It's not critical.

    Quote Originally Posted by MesaBeno View Post
    - How long do I leave each of the Murphy's soap, tru-oil, and wax before wiping them down/away?
    It has been reported (back in the days when factory tours were possible) that the EBMM factory staff wait about as long as it takes to get a fresh paper towel. I wipe on, small amount, even coverage, and thoroughly wipe off and buff with two paper towels with both oil and wax. (This is contrary to finishing an actual gunstock, which involves letting coats of oil dry, then sanding back, then more oil, dry, sand etc. we are not doing an actual finish like that. This is a light surface treatment, that's all.)

    Quote Originally Posted by MesaBeno View Post
    - What about for front of neck? Music Man CS said fretboard conditioner wonder wipes would do the trick, so I plan on using those. But say it's dirty enough that these don't do anything; then can I do the same process on the front of the neck as I would the back of the neck, just minus sanding, tru-oil, and wax (so basically just clean with Murphy's soap)?
    Yes, you can clean with Murphy soap too. For actual crud build up, you can use an old soft toothbrush. If it's really dried on, us a very gentle For dirt-in-the-grain darkened maple boards that resist all other attempts, one or two forum members have used a paste of barkeeper's friend (which is an abrasive oxalic acid cleaning product) to lighten the maple back closer to stock. Do a google search for details (tip - add site:forums.ernieball.com to your search engine terms to restrict results to the forums). Also note, I'm not aware of anyone who has done this on roasted maple and what effect that might have on the color. And don't let any cleaning products soak in under the frets.

    Just in case anyone is wondering, we're only talking about unlacquered necks and fingerboards here. No sanding, oil, wax or wonderwipe fretboard conditioner or abrasive fryingpan cleaners on varnished necks (the Cutlass and Stingray guitars, most Fender maple board instruments, etc.).
    Last edited by DrKev; 11-17-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Funny you’d bring this up now. As a new JP15 owner I just watched the video last night and a bunch of others and had that same question.
    I have a few other guitars with oiled/waxed necks and I’ve always used acid free oil and wax (I use the stuff they sell for wind instruments, lasts forever). I have worked with Tru oil before on a head stock. That was somewhat nasty and before ever applying that to the JP I’ll practice that on a piece of scrap would first. I did order the gun stock wax also yesterday just to see what it’s like.
    I would imagine that the tru oil is more a sealer if that and you don’t need to apply that again unless you really take sand paper to it. Which can be done. Used to do that a lot in my first Washburn when it got a lot of mileage. 1000 grade paper does no harm.
    Last edited by 7enderbender; 11-18-2017 at 08:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    The tru-oil is very, very light coat. It is literally just enough dabbed on on a paper towel that you can get a very thin light coat all over the back of the neck. Work against the light so you can see coverage. Then wipe and buff off with clean paper towels before it dries. Exactly the same technique for the wax. It is super easy, if it causes a mess you have used far too much and let it dry before trying to wipe off.

    400 grit is finishing paper for wood and can do a lovely job, though for EBMM necks my personaly preference is 600 or higher. But you might be surprised at just how nice a finish you can get from 250 grit if you use it very lightly. I've done 1200 fiollowed by 0000 steel wool and it's actually too smooth and doesn't feel like wood any more! I'll go back to 600 or 800 next time. Remember that we are just using the sandpaper to remove grim and dirt and get uniform smoothness back. We're not trying to remove a layer of wood!

    And as always, if you use steel wool, it will shed particles and metallic dust so cover eeverything except the neck with newspaper first for quick clean up, and use masking tape on the pickup pole pieces to stop metal particles gettign in there.
    An Irishman in Paris...
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  5. #5
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    When I refinished a stingray neck, it was because it really had gotten rough where the "finish" was sticking up.

    It really is a very very light coat of tru-oil, just enough to wet the surface. Let it sit for just a bit, then wipe off and wait a day for it to dry, then oil.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
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    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
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  6. #6
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    Thanks so much for the replies DrKev - I have ordered cleaning supplies and look forward to doing this for the first time since I got the guitar back in September 2015!

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