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Post subject: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:29 pm
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The guitar is a Fender PM-2 Parlor All Mahogany. Fender claims that it's "open pore" mahogany for the top, back, sides, and neck. It seems to have a satin finish. It has a rosewood fretboard and bridge.
Would you suggest applying a polish to the body, neck, and bridge? And also oil the fretboard? And if so, what would be the proper choice, or choices of polishes and oils, keeping in mind the "open pore" mahogany wood? Whatever that is!

Thank you.........Dave

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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:37 pm
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"Open pore" is the same type of finish as the "high-gloss" version, only thinner - not much unlike the 'flash coat' or 'thin skin' finishes on electric guitars. According to the advertising, open pore guitars resonate freely and breathe dynamically, but there's also the point of saving the manufacture costs since the finish process is shorter. One (up- or down-; depends on the preferences) side of any thin finish is, marks of wear show sooner than on a thick finish.

Anyways, for an official answer, contact Fender Consumer Relations - web answers (including mine) are just as much opinions as solid facts.

You can use polish on an open pore finish - just choose one which has no abrasives, waxes, silicones (…), so you'll avoid the risk of getting any residue on the pores. But personally I wouldn't - why polish a satin finish? For cleaning, my choice on any finish is soft cotton, elbow grease and Zippo fluid if needed, but that's the oldschool ghost hovering.

On the fretboard, normal rosewood maintenance instructions apply.


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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:33 am
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jmattis wrote:
"Open pore" is the same type of finish as the "high-gloss" version, only thinner - not much unlike the 'flash coat' or 'thin skin' finishes on electric guitars. According to the advertising, open pore guitars resonate freely and breathe dynamically, but there's also the point of saving the manufacture costs since the finish process is shorter. One (up- or down-; depends on the preferences) side of any thin finish is, marks of wear show sooner than on a thick finish.

Anyways, for an official answer, contact Fender Consumer Relations - web answers (including mine) are just as much opinions as solid facts.

You can use polish on an open pore finish - just choose one which has no abrasives, waxes, silicones (…), so you'll avoid the risk of getting any residue on the pores. But personally I wouldn't - why polish a satin finish? For cleaning, my choice on any finish is soft cotton, elbow grease and Zippo fluid if needed, but that's the oldschool ghost hovering.

On the fretboard, normal rosewood maintenance instructions apply.



Thanks for your reply J.

Most of what you're saying I would tend to agree with. I've never really paid too much attention to the "open pore" terminology, other than its relationship to the woods physical properties. But it would seem to make sense, as claimed by some, that aside from the cost saving angle, a thin finish as opposed to a thicker high-gloss finish would beathe and resonate more freely. That seems like a good idea, when one talks about "tone" wood. That may generate more comments.
I'm not so sure about Zippo. Maybe a damp cloth occasionally. And in regards to polishes; I'm thinking that this guitar has an "old school" vibe, which is definitely part of my interest. I wonder how often Guthrie or Dylan polished their guitars. And they played Gibsons and Martins. Maybe I should just let it go, and play the thing 'til it quits!

Thanks again.....................Dave

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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:42 am
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Zippo lighter fluid is Naptha, while it is flammable, it also is a good solvent/cleaning agent. Not sure how it interacts with satin finish, but I don't think it would do harm.

Gerlitz Smudge Off is a good product and safe for almost any purpose for cleaning an instrument.

Fretboard Oil: Guitar Honey or Nomad F1 are both pretty good at keeping rosewood hydrated. Just makes sure what ever you use has nothing like ammonia or other chemicals that could dissolve the fret glue.
You can certainly apply this to the bridge material. It wont hurt the finish on the body, but I try to avoid getting it on the wood surrounding the bridge

This is not something you need to over use, once every few months, like every other string change, or twice a year kind of a plan for that.


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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:49 am
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KidBlast wrote:
Zippo lighter fluid is Naptha, while it is flammable, it also is a good solvent/cleaning agent. Not sure how it interacts with satin finish, but I don't think it would do harm.

Gerlitz Smudge Off is a good product and safe for almost any purpose for cleaning an instrument.

Fretboard Oil: Guitar Honey or Nomad F1 are both pretty good at keeping rosewood hydrated. Just makes sure what ever you use has nothing like ammonia or other chemicals that could dissolve the fret glue.
You can certainly apply this to the bridge material. It wont hurt the finish on the body, but I try to avoid getting it on the wood surrounding the bridge

This is not something you need to over use, once every few months, like every other string change, or twice a year kind of a plan for that.


Thanks Kid, I'll keep all that in mind. The Music Nomad F-One seems like a good product, as long as you can have a little faith in their advertising description. It's certainly carried by a large number of suppliers. It must have been good enough for me, because I've been applying it to my Telecaster and Recording King guitar fretboards, twice yearly, for 3 or 4 years now without any issues. My Telecaster came with a very anemic looking Pau Ferro fretboard. I applied the F-One oil and it changed its appearance to that of a beautiful rich rosewood. So that was good! But I agree, one has to be careful to not overuse any oil treatment on a fretboard.

Thanks again for your reply...................Dave

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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 am
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yw Dave

I have a bottle of Guitar Honey and Nomad F1, I think they both do equally well at re-hydrating rosewood.

You're right about the darkening side effect. my SG Standard has a baked maple fret board, I use a bit of these oils on that from time to time, it does deepen the color.

I've been using guitar honey for 20+ years now. one of my co-wokers at the time, who was also a guitarist, (we're a dime a dozen) had become a member of the original product's "customer test" program. They sent him a case of bottles at the end the trials.

He gave me 2, which lasted me quite sometime. He said he still has bottles left from that first case, not something you need to use a lot of.


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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:39 pm
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And don't overdo it.
One of the most common mistakes that can lead to problems is over-oiling, and oiling too frequently.
In general, the rosewood should only be oiled MAYBE twice a year... and don't "soak" it... Wet a towel, wipe it on, then wipe it off.
I over-oiled an Epi Les Paul and the inlays popped.

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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:11 am
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Rich,, yep that is a good reminder to all that should do this as needed, and not much needed at that. there's also a chance that it can start to break down the glue under the frets.

if the rosewood still has some luster, and doesn't look or feel real dry, let it be.


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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:24 pm
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Just make sure you use something that is actually made for guitar finish. Don't use furniture polish or some type of cleaning agent with silicone in it. That tends to break down the finish and make it soft and cloudy.

My friend made that mistake with is acoustic guitar's neck. The entire neck started to get gummy and he had to sand it down and have it refinished.

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Post subject: Re: Guitar Polish?
Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:40 am
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I use Dunlop Bodygloss 65 Cream of Carnauba Wax on my guitars' boby, neck and headstock. And Dunlop Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil on my fretboards.

I agree with others on the open pour woods though...I'd just use a lint free cloth to wipe the dust away...and then oil the fretboard.
Lighter fluid IS good for cleaning stubborn residues (sticker glue comes to mind), but when I use it, I remove the gunk, then thoroughly wipe the surface clean with wet then dry cloth. I don't know what a fuel can do to a finish if you let it sit there, and I don't want to find out.

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