I’ve been meaning to replace the strings on my Warmoth project guitar for a while now. And when I actually broke the high E string, it seemed like the perfect reason to condition and clean the ebony fretboard and throw on a new set of strings.
When I took off the strings the nut came off too. This is one of those Tusq nuts and came with the Warmoth thurnderbird style guitar neck I have on the Warmoth strat body. The three spots of glue had stopped working at some point and were totally crystalized.
Sorry for the lame picture, but I must of deleted the other ones I took. Anyway, I used a polishing cloth and the edge of a credit card type… well, uh, card from some retailer membership club to clean the grime off the fretboard. It was nice to see I’m putting some wear and tear on the fretboard. Better than a pristine neck that isn’t getting used! But even after cleaning it, you can still see where I play the most. The stainless steel frets are doing wonderfully well and don’t need to be polished (unlike all the frets on almost all my other guitars).
Then I got some sandpaper and an exacto knife to take the glue residue off the nut and nut slot on the neck. That went fairly quickly, but I moved slowly so I wouldn’t damage anything. And since I had the guitar strings off I started looking for the graph tech bridge pieces I had picked up over a year ago. And I couldn’t find them. I actually ended up taking everything out of my work bench and then putting it all back together. I was so frustrated with having lost those bridge pieces and spent so much time looking for them that I put a few dabs of wood glue on the nut and strung up my guitar…without conditioning the fretboard!
I’ll wait a few weeks (or months) to replace the strings and try to remember to condition the fretboard then. And thanks to a recent article I read, this time I’ll use a tooth brush to work the oil into the fretboard instead of just spreading some on, letting it soak in a bit, and then using a paper towel to remove the excess. I’ll probably still have to remove excess, but it sounds like a good idea to me!
Maybe I’ll even find those graph tech bridge pieces by then.