Majesty 8

Cleaning dark stains from maple neck

kimonostereo

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It was NGD yesterday, but before I show it off, the guitar needed a good cleaning.

Spent some time buffing out swirl and pick scratches from the surface, cleaning up the bridge... next is cleaning up the fretboard. I already went over it with 0000 steel wool, but I'm left with some dark stains in the maple.

Anyone have suggestions on how to get this cleaned up before I do the gunstock oil treatment?

These are the before shots...
IMG_0971.jpg
IMG_0970.jpg

The neck looks a little cleaner than what's shown, but still has the dark stains.

In the past, I've used 800/1000/1500 sandpaper to clean this type of thing up. Just wondering if there were other methods that you've tried and used? Sometimes I feel like I'm working on guitars way more than playing them.
 
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KasperFauerby

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I'm interested in hearing what others have to say. I have similar dark stains on my Reflex maple neck, and so far I haven't been able to remove them. Simply using a slightly damp piece of cloth removes some of it, but it'll quickly return.

Personally I'm thinking that's probably just how it is when you actually use your guitar with a maple neck... it doesn't hurt anything besides the look afaik.
 

BrickGlass

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Sandpaper can indeed help. Murphy's oil soap can also help a bit. However, I haven't found anything that completely removes it. Sandpaper and the oil soap make a difference, without question. I just think it is the nature of unfinished maple.
 

banjoplayer

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Over the years my '94 pinkburst AL developed dark stains too. When I bought it used in '08 it was possible to remove them with 0000 steelwool and/or 800-1000 sandpaper. But now the stains are permanent

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mikeller

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I had a Silo Spec that was somewhat dirty, never was able to fully restore it.

I just make sure I play with clean hands and do an annual Murphys and Gunstock Oil & Wax treatment and mine current maple necks are staying clean
 

steevo

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I had a Silo Spec that was somewhat dirty, never was able to fully restore it.

I just make sure I play with clean hands and do an annual Murphys and Gunstock Oil & Wax treatment and mine current maple necks are staying clean
Ive noticed my sterling 5 bass neck is starting to darken. I kind of like it but i do try and my instruments clean. Will have to try the murphys and gunstock oil.

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MJM

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I personally like the look of used dirty maple fretboards... adds mojo ;)
Nice guitar btw.
 

NorM

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Sandpaper can indeed help. Murphy's oil soap can also help a bit. However, I haven't found anything that completely removes it. Sandpaper and the oil soap make a difference, without question. I just think it is the nature of unfinished maple.

With the Murphy's soap I had success with a stiff tooth brush and lots of elbow grease.
 

mystixboi1

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Don't know if this would work on that fretboard but I use naptha on my Suhr(john uses it too) and it does wonders
 

tbonesullivan

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Naptha can be good. It really helps make the dirt and grime more soluble. Dan Erlewine uses it to break up crud on guitars that have been ridden hard and put away wet.

I used a soft toothbrush and a 1:1 mixture of water and murphys oil soap to gently tease the grunge out of the pores when I refinished the neck on my SR4H, which I have since sold. It REALLY helped.
 

Spudmurphy

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One day - One day ..... I'll get a "scrap neck" off my mate. Make sure that the maple is grungy.

Then I'll initially clean using Murphy's etc and fine sand it - no doubt I will have a neck infinitely better but still
has a stain - then I'm going to try a bleach - a propitiatory bleach and some good ol' peroxide.

See what happens!! Trouble is I can't see people plucking up the courage to try a bleach should it work - it'll be interesting though lol!
 

kimonostereo

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Hey all, Thanks for all the replies!

I've used naptha for years but it will only remove surface crud on unfinished maple necks.

To Spudmurphy: Yes! I think I'll try this on one of my old discarded bare maple strat necks. What type of bleach would you suggest? The main issue with bleach is making sure to wash all of it off the surface. I may try hydrogen peroxide first.
 

Spudmurphy

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Hey all, Thanks for all the replies!

I've used naptha for years but it will only remove surface crud on unfinished maple necks.

To Spudmurphy: Yes! I think I'll try this on one of my old discarded bare maple strat necks. What type of bleach would you suggest? The main issue with bleach is making sure to wash all of it off the surface. I may try hydrogen peroxide first.

i've never tried it on a guitar neck, but many years ago I tried it on a dark oak and got the colour to a really light finish, I'll see if I can remember what I used?
 

BrickGlass

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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.
 

Siddius

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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.
 
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