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Jim

Electric Guitar Cleaning / Maintenance question

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Here is what Collings says about finish care:

Collings guitars are finished with multiple coats of high-grade lacquer, hand-sanded between applications to bring out a deep shine. The resultant finish is thin, durable and acoustically compatible. The best way to preserve this finish is to keep it clean – wiping off perspiration and fingerprints with a soft, damp (not wet) cloth. Old, soft cotton baby diapers make excellent guitar cleaning cloths. While there are many commercial guitar cleaners available, we feel that a rag slightly dampened with plain tap water and thoroughly wrung out will remove most dirt. Then buff with dry clean cloth. If you must use commercial products, avoid those with solvents, silicones or abrasives. Remember: polishing is not cleaning. Polishes remove finish along with dirt. Fingerboards can occasionally dry out, but require only a very small amount of boiled linseed oil (thoroughly buffed) to restore. Less is always best.

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and I've heard that boiled linseed oil has many additives in it as well. I mean unless I can rub the fingerboard on a teenager's face, there's precious few sources of 'natural' oils out there that's meant for guitar use. The story is told than infamous bassman Jaco Pastoris used to eat fried chicken before gigs and intentionaly NOT wipe his hands off on a napkin. Instead he coated his strings w/the fried chicken grease to make his strings smoother and faster. I wonder if his bands mates could see him for pickup cues through all the flies that must have surrounded him.:D

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I disagree about the lemon oil--the bottle I have is pressed from lemon--never seen one thats mineral oil with lemon scent added----alternate-use cedar oil--it's definatly a wood derived product

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I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but the question about cleaning and changing strings got my attention. About a week ago a friend of a friend was in dire straits and had to sell his gear. So I picked up an older Samick electric guitar, a Danelectro Dirty Thirty amp and a Fender Frontman amp for $150 US. On the axe, one string was short of reaching its tuning peg, and one was spliced together! And the guy still sounded good! Go figure. After about an hour in the bathroom with warm, soapy water and some brushes, a clear rinse and lots of rubbing with an old T-Shirt, I got all of the beer and barf stains off of it. Cleaned up pretty good. Strung it with D'Addario 11's, tuned it up, adjusted intonation and it plays pretty good. Just to be 'safe', I released the tension on all strings gradually and took them off. The next day I put new strings on and gradually brought them up into tune. Didn't seem to hurt anything. The 11's on the Samick have a much brighter sound than my Peavy with Ernie Ball 10's, which surprised me. Anyway, I now have a "battle axe" that even has a whammy bar! Fun to play!

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