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 Post subject: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:18 pm 
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Koa
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I noticed Robbie O'Brien likes to put wax on his bridges. I have used lemon oil or fingerboard oil, but after a time the bridge looses the rich color it had with the oil on it. Does anyone else put wax on their bridges? How about the fingerboard? Would wax be suitable for the fingerboard?
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Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Howard's feed 'n wax here for both, after seeing recommendations on the forum. Used to use Dunlop 65 Lemon oil.

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Colin North wrote:
Howard's feed 'n wax here for both, ...


Same here

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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We've put Howard's on thousands of guitars and it's not uncommon for our clients to call us and ask what it was.

Howard Feed-n-wax

Great product and it doesn't build up over time either. IME it lasts about a year. It's squirt it on, wipe it around, let it soak in for a minute if you want it darker and then wipe it off. Easy peezy.

PS: Put a light coat of it on prior to using thin CA to glue in frets and the fillet of CA peels right off.

Great stuff available at hardware store, usually the Mom and Pop ones, you know the better ones.

EDIT: Wanted to add that I put it on bridges too especially on guitars that look a bit dry to me in Michigan's four season climate. After applying to the bridge simply use a quality polish on the guitar top and that cleans up any Howard Feed-n-wax smears on the finish.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post (total 4): RogerC108 (Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:44 am) • Bri (Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:43 pm) • Colin North (Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:10 pm) • SteveSmith (Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:02 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:01 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
...
PS: Put a light coat of it on prior to using thin CA to glue in frets and the fillet of CA peels right off. ...


I learned that from Dave and Hesh - works great and a real time saver!

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Thanks guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:09 pm 
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The primary reason why we wax fretboards is to seal the joint between fret and wood with a water-repellant coating that rejects sweat and dirt. This (along with setting frets in hot hide glue) prevents infiltration of water, salts, and grime that can cause corrosion of fret wires (both nickel silver and stainless) as well as degradation of the wood in extreme cases. Appearance is a secondary consideration, but it's the one that customers seem more concerned with before and pleased with after the work is done.

We use Howard's when we need a cleaning component, due to the high mineral oil and solvent (naphtha and orange oil) content, but for more durable protection and longer lasting appearance change on bridge woods, we use a maroon non-woven pad to smooth and prepare the surface, then apply White Diamond Bowling Alley Wax, which is a mixture of harder carnuba and microcrystalline waxes thinned with mineral spirits and turpentine. Harder waxes and higher wax content translates into a more durable, more protective coating, but unlike Howards, Bowling Alley Wax does need to be buffed out once it dries, versus simply wiped away, so we use Howards as the quick fix and Bowling Alley Wax when we will have the instrument in the shop at least overnight.

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Wax the bridge just prior to glueing on the soundboard with HHG. Makes clean up easier.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Koa
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Minwax Hard Finishing Wax --- recommended by Don Teeter, looks great smooth as glass

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:33 am 
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Woodie G wrote:
The primary reason why we wax fretboards is to seal the joint between fret and wood with a water-repellant coating that rejects sweat and dirt. This (along with setting frets in hot hide glue) prevents infiltration of water, salts, and grime that can cause corrosion of fret wires (both nickel silver and stainless) as well as degradation of the wood in extreme cases. Appearance is a secondary consideration, but it's the one that customers seem more concerned with before and pleased with after the work is done.

We use Howard's when we need a cleaning component, due to the high mineral oil and solvent (naphtha and orange oil) content, but for more durable protection and longer lasting appearance change on bridge woods, we use a maroon non-woven pad to smooth and prepare the surface, then apply White Diamond Bowling Alley Wax, which is a mixture of harder carnuba and microcrystalline waxes thinned with mineral spirits and turpentine. Harder waxes and higher wax content translates into a more durable, more protective coating, but unlike Howards, Bowling Alley Wax does need to be buffed out once it dries, versus simply wiped away, so we use Howards as the quick fix and Bowling Alley Wax when we will have the instrument in the shop at least overnight.


Thanks Woodie.

Our primary reason for waxing a board with Howard's is a bit different. We clean the board and frets with OOOO steel wool first unless it's a maple, finished Fender style board/neck where we would use naphtha and avoid the steel wool. On extremely yucky boards from the folks with toxic body chemistry I might scrap the board first and then go to the OOOO steel wool. Howard's is the second step for us but not to attempt to seal the frets and slots from corrosion. Instead here in Michigan we see a lot of cracking of fret boards when clients let their instruments dry out in the winter. It's very common, too much so that although Howards additionally cleans as mentioned the wood conditioning aspects of Howard's is the real prize for us and our clients. And it does look nice too darkening everything a goodly amount.

Bowling Alley wax is a new one to me and thanks for mentioning this. I just did a Google search and it seems that all I am finding is larger quantities for substantially more money than Howard's. Are you aware of any bowling alley wax offering in quantities that a hobbyist builder or even a player could justify?

Thanks



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Bri (Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:17 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 am 
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Wanted to add never attempt to put Howard's on a Martin 15 series...... don't ask me how I found this out.....;)


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:56 am 
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Come on Hesh, don't tease!
At least a why - I don't see much different in the specs from other Martins, unless you mean getting Howards on a satin finish......

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:43 am 
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Colin North wrote:
Come on Hesh, don't tease!
At least a why - I don't see much different in the specs from other Martins, unless you mean getting Howards on a satin finish......


:D Synthetic fret board.... won't absorb stuff.

I actually did this and had to clean it all off before Dave noticed what a moron I was, that day.....


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:13 am 
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I bought a can of Trewax about 40 years ago and am only about half way through it. It is a paste wax for hardwood floors and it mostly contains carnauba. Works great and lasts a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:16 am 
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Hesh wrote:
Colin North wrote:
Come on Hesh, don't tease!
At least a why - I don't see much different in the specs from other Martins, unless you mean getting Howards on a satin finish......


:D Synthetic fret board.... won't absorb stuff.

I actually did this and had to clean it all off before Dave noticed what a moron I was, that day.....

Been there, done that..........

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm 
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The only wax I use is on the bridge it/s the 3 rd step on a beall buff system carnauba vy hard leaves a nice finish. Never thought of the FB .I/ve used thinned linseed oil on CL fb/s


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:35 pm 
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I have on occasion used Johnson's paste wax on bridges but never have on fret boards. I wonder if the Howard's is much different? On fretboards I really really like the stuff that Stew Mac sells called fretboard oil or something like that. Color Tone produce I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:05 pm 
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jfmckenna wrote:
I have on occasion used Johnson's paste wax on bridges but never have on fret boards. I wonder if the Howard's is much different? On fretboards I really really like the stuff that Stew Mac sells called fretboard oil or something like that. Color Tone produce I think.


Johnson's does not penetrate to the degree that Howard's does in my experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:06 pm 
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"Bowling Alley wax is a new one to me and thanks for mentioning this. I just did a Google search and it seems that all I am finding is larger quantities for substantially more money than Howard's. Are you aware of any bowling alley wax offering in quantities that a hobbyist builder or even a player could justify?"

http://www.bwccompany.com/bowlingalley.html

Butcher's bowling ally wax is a classic recipe. My can is almost empty, but is also about 40 years old. I have also used Briwax. I believe it is emulsified with toluene, so it is easier to apply, and also can be had in several different colors. Both waxes need to be buffed after they "dry".



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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:11 pm 
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jfmckenna wrote:
I have on occasion used Johnson's paste wax on bridges but never have on fret boards. I wonder if the Howard's is much different? On fretboards I really really like the stuff that Stew Mac sells called fretboard oil or something like that. Color Tone produce I think.


I've tried Stew Mac's fret board oil and I find the Howards to be a much better option. Give it a try - it's relatively cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Yeah I'll have to find me some Howards then!



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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:34 pm 
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jfmckenna wrote:
Yeah I'll have to find me some Howards then!


I got it at HD. :)

Brad


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Amazon has it for $8.

https://www.amazon.com/Howard-FW0016-Feed-N-Wax-Conditioner-16-Ounce/dp/B001BKQYGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507664588&sr=8-1&keywords=howards+feed-n-wax

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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Howards is a liquid where Johnsons is a paste hence the superior penetration with Howards.

I should mention that how we use Howards is right after cleaning a board and frets with OOOO steel wool. I put it on, spread it around, pitch the paper towel and nearly immediately wipe it off with a clean towel. I can and sometimes do leave it on for a full minute when I am looking for maximum wetting and darkening but 99% of the time there is no waiting for me to wipe it off.

Remember too my usage is commercial as I set-up instruments either after repairs or because a goodly percentage of our business are set-ups. With this said Howard's lets me move on very quickly to complete someone's instrument and get it back to them. It's not uncommon for folks to play a board that I treated with Howards only minutes after I've done it.

Our friends here who took our classes were exposed to the idea of using Howard's after fretting as a way to put the final touches on the job.

Because I don't have to stop and wait or parse my work on one instrument into different sessions it's more productive for me, faster for our clients, and I would even make the case that it's less potentially dangerous to an instrument when it's either on my bench being worked on and only removed from the case once as opposed to I have to set it aside to wait for things to dry. Picky point yes but it's how I actually work and makes us more profitable and me less tired.

Howard's does not need to be buffed just wiped away and gone over maybe two or more swipes with a paper towel and it has a dull gloss.

I have this thing.... part of my training from way back in the Six Sigma and efficiency expert days that when I have to pick up a tool I do everything that I will have to do with that tool before I put it down or away. I know this is not what or why a hobbyist might value something but it's been my experience that less stuff happens.... in the negative sense when we work smartly, efficiently and with an eye toward turning things around as efficiently as possible.

It matters to me because it's not uncommon for me to do six set-ups in a row with no break.... Each one may average 45 minutes or so and we bill them at $85 plus strings. We do discount for seniors, vets, students, social justice stickers on a case....., because of the day of the week, and what ever reason we want to at that time. I've given "Hash Bash" discounts during Ann Arbor's world famous Hash Bash when everyone drives at only 5 mph and..... er..... I forgot what I wanted to say....

Howard's lets me add value in a way that our clients rave about and ask what we use without slowing me down and the stuff looks great too. I use it on all my personal guitars boards and bridges except for my Strat and PRS bridges.... of course....;). Jimi didn't use no stinkin... Howards.... It might have helped with the lighter fluid....;)

My knowledge of Howards came from Dave Collins about 12 years ago.

An additional note on OOOO steel wool since I like to be sure when I recommend something that it's going to be a safe and rewarding experience for folks. On electrics steel wool can be a problem as our friend Chris Pile has said on this forum. Steel wool can stick to pups, contaminate switches, etc. As such I use 2" wide masking tape and completely tape off anything that the steel wool migration could be a problem with. When I'm finished with it I vacuum up the residual steel wool and then remove the tape. With thousands of guitars serviced I've never harmed anything on an electric using masking tape in advance of the steel wool.

And one more note because I can. On acoustics I use either a shield or 2" wide masking tape de-tacked on my shirt next to the fretboard extension incase my steel wool contacts the finish on the guitar body next to the extension. When done I vacuum off the steel wool again and vacuum in the sound hole too being careful to not let my arm's mass and the vacuum hose create an obstruction in the sound hole that can result in collapsing the box structurally... By the way this has happened and it happened on the OLF around 8 - 10 years ago. I remember reading the post.

Anyway more info than you will likely want to know but for those of you who are commercial or wish to be, and I know you're out here because you PM me after these posts....;) I thought that you might appreciate a Day In the Life of Hesh Denesivitch..... ;) as well as how we use and appreciate Howard's.


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 Post subject: Re: Wax on Fingerboards?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:36 pm 
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I've gotten away from using steel wool and have been using the synthetic 0000 pads - no steel whiskers and they work nice. I still cover up the pickups, really the whole top of the guitar, with poster board and some masking tape.

I also use the white ScotchBrite synthetic pads which are about 1200 grit. They are great for final polishing on the frets. I also use it as a final polish after P800 on finish repairs if the surface isn't a mirror gloss.

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