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SoundGround >> Guitar Conditioning


4/5/11 7:21 PM
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khd29
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Member Since: 2/18/03
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Looking into conditioning my guitar (flamenco) because of the heat in my apt during the winter. I kept it in the case during the season but just to make sure, I may want to put some polish and conditioner on it.

How do I know if the fretboard 'shrank'? Any suggestions which products to use? Lemon oil any good?
4/6/11 11:09 AM
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Racer X
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 Many myths about use of lemon oil.
What ever you do, don't drench your fingerboard in oil. It should be dripped on a cloth and rubbed into the surface. oil that gets under frets can be an impediment to fretwork down the road or contribute to loose frets now.

One check for an overly dry fretboard is indeed to check for shrinkage. when you can feel the ends of the frets that have been previously flush with the surface protruding slightly.

But before using oil, I suggest restoring your guitars humidity.

Heated rooms can dry a guitar quite a lot. Try cutting a kitchen sponge in half, getting it wet(but not soaking/dripping) and placing it inside your guitar. you'll need to provide a small dish(custard cup? measuring cup?) to keep the sponge from contacting the bare wood inside. An alternative is one of the commercial guitar humidifiers,Planet Waves makes a cool one.

With the sponge method, lay your guitar in it's case flat on it's back and set the cup inside through the sound hole. Close the case and let sit over night. You may be surprised at how mush water your guitar can soak up, sometimes an ounce of water can be absorbed in a day or two.

After balancing the guitar's humidity, any dryness in the fingerboard can be addressed. Lemon oil is fine, but I suggest the lighter,thinner ones over syrupy oils. A little on a SMALL rag, rub it around, wipe it off. Anyone who tells you to wet it down and let it soak in doesn't refret guitars for a living.
4/7/11 11:21 AM
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khd29
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Thanks, Racer. How would re-humidifying the body help the fretboard? I already feel the frets, is my situation now more prevention than 'moisturizing'? I really hope its just the construction. I will ask my teacher if the condition is bad.

How necessary is humidifying during the summer?
4/8/11 12:53 AM
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Racer X
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 If your fingerboars is dry you can be pretty sure the rest of the guitar is.

Sometimes sharp fret ends are the result of the slightly unseasoned fingerboard stabilizing. In that case a light dressing of the fret ends to make them comfortable followed by conditioning the fretboard should make things right.

"How necessary is humidifying during the summer? "

Very much so in Death Valley, not so much in New Orleans.  But seriously, depends on how dry your climate is.



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