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gurtejsingh

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Fellow ballers! Hope you all are doing great! Calling all the experts for some help regarding my JP15's roasted maple fretboard. I am usually quite regular with changing strings and cleaning the fretboard, but this time I think I changed them after a while (4-5 months of regular home playing) and I noticed these weird marks on the Fretboard which wont go away and are only visible under a certain angle in the light (please see attached pics, I have tried my best to capture it, it's not easy).

Like always, I cleaned the fretboard with Wonder Wipes, and applied a quick clean of Lemon oil, but still these won't go away. and I have never seen these marks before and I have had this guitar for over 5 years now and I regularly take care of it.

Is it that the fretboard is drying up in those areas (I am in Australia)? Or is it just guitar mojo that comes with age and me getting wiser :)?

It does not affect the playability in any way and is only visible under a specific angle. I just want to take care of it and fix it and perhaps not let it grow more.

Really appreciate all the help! Cheers.

IMG_20210524_114047-1.jpg
IMG_20210524_114039-2.jpg
 

Lax

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I don't want to sound worrying because I'm not that of an expert, but it looks like the wear you get on relic'ed fenders, so it may be the beginning of it.
It shouldn't affect playing tho. Just a guess from the picture.

Thanks for your axefx tone videos, those are rare ^^
 

gurtejsingh

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I don't want to sound worrying because I'm not that of an expert, but it looks like the wear you get on relic'ed fenders, so it may be the beginning of it.
It shouldn't affect playing tho. Just a guess from the picture.

Thanks for your axefx tone videos, those are rare ^^

Thanks for responding man. That is my first guess too. But I have never seen these on a Roasted Maple neck TBH. You are correct that it does not affect the playing. Just want to check if there is way to resolve it and prevent it from happening more.

Also, thanks for checking out my channel. I really appreciate it a lot!
 

fbecir

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Hello

It will happen more ! Because it is just wear marks !
It is more visible on a maple neck, but it happens also on rosewood :
IMG_20141204_145528.jpg

(a picture of my Morse taken 7 years ago ... now it is worst but it does not affect my playing).
 

DrKev

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Yes this is common on very well played instruments. In François's photo you can see the string position from the marks in the frets, and this kind of wear is in between the strings. (The strings in fact never touch the the fretboard). It many cases, it's due to slightly long fingernails. There is no way to reverse it but shorter fingernails may slow it's progression.
 

fbecir

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No long fingernails here !
But my hands are quite strong (too much moutain climbing when I was a young) and I have the classical left hand position (thumb in the middle of the neck), thus I apply perhaps too much pressure on my strings. That's why I cannot play with light gauge.
 

gurtejsingh

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Yes this is common on very well played instruments. In François's photo you can see the string position from the marks in the frets, and this kind of wear is in between the strings. (The strings in fact never touch the the fretboard). It many cases, it's due to slightly long fingernails. There is no way to reverse it but shorter fingernails may slow it's progression.

Thanks DrKev! Interesting. I never knew fingernails could cause such effects. Considering that I focus more on playing solos these days, I am surprised it does not show on the higher frets (above 12), it's a good thing though that it's not there. Maybe there isn't enough space there for the finger nails to touch the actual board. Glad to know that there is a logical reasoning behind it. I have been playing the guitar much much more in the last 2 years or so, so maybe that explains why.

I do try to keep shorter nails mostly, but I'll keep a check on it more now that I know. Thanks always for helping out! Cheers.
 

fbecir

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You apply more pressure on the strings when you are playing chords.
Besides on the low part of the neck, your fingers will be more perpendicular to the neck.

Thus the fretboard wear will mostly appear on the first 5 positions.
If you want to detect "relic" guitar, it is a good clue : most of the times, you have fretboard wear everywhere.
(another clue is the wear on the bridge : they apply a chemical process to age the bridge, but on a real old guitar it is mostly the high part of the bridge that suffers, because it is where your hand is).
 

tbonesullivan

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The Fretboard and Neck have a very thin oil finish on them, which you may have worn through, which explains the change how much light is reflected. You might want to consider cleaning off the fretboard with murphy's oil soap and water a few times, and then getting some Birchwood-Casey Tru-oil to re apply the oil finish.
 

gurtejsingh

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You apply more pressure on the strings when you are playing chords.
Besides on the low part of the neck, your fingers will be more perpendicular to the neck.

Thus the fretboard wear will mostly appear on the first 5 positions.
If you want to detect "relic" guitar, it is a good clue : most of the times, you have fretboard wear everywhere.
(another clue is the wear on the bridge : they apply a chemical process to age the bridge, but on a real old guitar it is mostly the high part of the bridge that suffers, because it is where your hand is).

Makes perfect sense! thanks for your explanation man :)

With these barely visible marks there is nothing to worry about, it is purely cosmetic.

If you keep playing it for few more decades you might finally decide to just keep it that way. Willy Nelson's nylon strung (!) acoustic guitar "Trigger" is probably the most famous example of being well worn in to match the player.

Repairing Willie Nelson's Trigger Part 2 - YouTube

:)

Glad to hear it's nothing to worry about! I feel much better knowing this :) Thanks!

The Fretboard and Neck have a very thin oil finish on them, which you may have worn through, which explains the change how much light is reflected. You might want to consider cleaning off the fretboard with murphy's oil soap and water a few times, and then getting some Birchwood-Casey Tru-oil to re apply the oil finish.

Very interesting! So you are saying that there is a way to restore the fretboard? I have always read and thought that the Tru-oil was only for the neck and not for the fretboard?

Yep, it is just evidence that your guitar is well played - and played well!

Thanks Pete! How are you doing man? Hope all is well with you :)

Like Pete said, that's a badge of honor! Normal wear on a well played neck. Be proud!

Thank you Sir! I am happy to hear it's normal. I've seen it on other 'relic' guitars earlier, but never seen it on a roasted maple neck TBH. Thanks for all the info and help!
 

Stephen

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snip ...
Very interesting! So you are saying that there is a way to restore the fretboard? I have always read and thought that the Tru-oil was only for the neck and not for the fretboard?
... snip

I seem to remember that since the roasted necks (and fretboards) were introduced not all of them were treated with the classic EBMM TruOil/Wax treatment. Some were painted with a thin coat of non glossy polyurethane instead, so you might want to check the exact specs of your instrument before applying anything to the wood.

I totally get that you want an exclusive guitar to appear in prestine condition. So, if yours is an oil/wax neck, the slight wear can easily be restored, a painted neck however, not so much. Touch up paint and polishing it to match is a bit delicate to do. Personally, I'd probably still try it before the bare wood starts collecting string and finger residue.

Maybe contact support or your distributor about it, one of them should know a luthier in your region that they can recommend?


That said, I hope you know my first post re Trigger was bit tongue in cheek? Dig your channel!
 

Mace13

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I always assumed those types of marks were stains from finger dirt, sweat and oil, or wearing through the finish as mentioned here. I'm a stickler for washing hands before playing; during sweaty gigs and practices I get flack for regular use of microfiber clothes on my fingers/guitar neck. I just don't like the feel of sticky fretboards!

I never thought about the possibility of fingernail wear.

But yeah, well put that 'it is a badge of honor' to have some cosmetic wear on the guitar! Unless you are looking to sell it in mint condition, of course... :)
 

tbonesullivan

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I seem to remember that since the roasted necks (and fretboards) were introduced not all of them were treated with the classic EBMM TruOil/Wax treatment. Some were painted with a thin coat of non glossy polyurethane instead, so you might want to check the exact specs of your instrument before applying anything to the wood.
The JP15 model was introduced in 2015, which was definitely long after they switched to oiling the maple fretboards. If it has an oiled neck with a maple fretboard, the whole neck is oiled, except for the headstock, which is satin poly, as always.

The main exceptions are guitar with binding. Those are always satin poly front and back. Oiled finishes do not work well with binding.
 
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gurtejsingh

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Apologies for the tardy response guys. I was keeping busy with things related to the channel. I really appreciate all of your support and responses to my query!

I seem to remember that since the roasted necks (and fretboards) were introduced not all of them were treated with the classic EBMM TruOil/Wax treatment. Some were painted with a thin coat of non glossy polyurethane instead, so you might want to check the exact specs of your instrument before applying anything to the wood.

I totally get that you want an exclusive guitar to appear in prestine condition. So, if yours is an oil/wax neck, the slight wear can easily be restored, a painted neck however, not so much. Touch up paint and polishing it to match is a bit delicate to do. Personally, I'd probably still try it before the bare wood starts collecting string and finger residue.

Maybe contact support or your distributor about it, one of them should know a luthier in your region that they can recommend?


That said, I hope you know my first post re Trigger was bit tongue in cheek? Dig your channel!

Thanks for the info! To be honest, I am ok with a little wear on the gear as those are signs of daily use and increase the mojo of the guitar :). I however do want to fix it if it's going to be a problem with my playability. My guitar (like everyone's) has got fair amount of marks and small dings over the course of maybe 6 years that I've had it. But I still love it to the max! I will check with my Luthier here if there is anything that I need to get fixed!

Many thanks for checking out the channel! I really appreciate your support

I always assumed those types of marks were stains from finger dirt, sweat and oil, or wearing through the finish as mentioned here. I'm a stickler for washing hands before playing; during sweaty gigs and practices I get flack for regular use of microfiber clothes on my fingers/guitar neck. I just don't like the feel of sticky fretboards!

I never thought about the possibility of fingernail wear.

But yeah, well put that 'it is a badge of honor' to have some cosmetic wear on the guitar! Unless you are looking to sell it in mint condition, of course... :)

I agree with you on the clean hands part, I always try my level best I can to keep clean hands around the guitar and give it a good clean every few months. But it looks like these are from regular playing and general use of the instrument, which is a good thing right? :)

Not only fingernail wear.
Just your fingers can wear the fretboard if you play a lot ...

Yes, I agree!

The JP15 model was introduced in 2015, which was definitely long after they switched to oiling the maple fretboards. If it has an oiled neck with a maple fretboard, the whole neck is oiled, except for the headstock, which is satin poly, as always.

The main exceptions are guitar with binding. Those are always satin pony front and back. Oiled finishes do not work well with binding.

That's very interesting info! Thank you so much.
 
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