How do I clean and maintain my .strandberg* instrument?
There are times when you may want to take care of your beloved instrument to make it shiny, fresh and in good working condition. How to do this properly is different depending on what part of the guitar is in question. We'll deal with the different parts of the instruments separately to avoid confusion.
Neck / fretboard
All .strandberg* production guitar necks are finished with a thin satin Polyurethane coat. As such, no treatment is needed to keep the wood healthy and safe from harm. Whenever cleaning is called for, this is best done using a damp cloth, possibly together with some common guitar/furniture polish. As the wood is finished, it will not absorb oils or liquids. One should therefore not use any oil-based products when cleaning the neck.
On production .strandberg* guitars, different fretboard materials are used which are roasted or non-roasted Maple, Ebony, Pao Ferro, Rosewood as well as Richlite. All Maple fretboards are finished the same way as our Maple necks and should be handled equally. All Ebony, Rosewood and Pao Ferro fretboards are un-finished and does not need to be on behalf of their biological structure and chemistry. These woods protect themselves against body acids and dirt, but can benefit from some cleaning and other treatment every now and then. Water should be avoided at all cost as it dries the wood out and can cause it to warp. One should instead turn to oil-based cleaning products suited for these types of woods. Such products are commonly available in guitar shops and through guitar parts suppliers. Additional oil products can also be used to re-hydrate and give a nice look to the wood after cleaning. Richlite should be treated in the same manner as Ebony, Rosewood and Pao Ferro.
Ebony is a handsome looking and great sounding tone wood for use in fretboards. That being said, there are certain aspects of Ebony that it most useful to know about. Being a very hard and dense wood, Ebony is sensitive to dry air and can crack due to shrinkage if exposed to dry surroundings for long periods of time. If the guitar resides in a cold and dry climate, be sure to do everything you can to keep it from drying out completely. Luckily, there are several ways of avoiding hazardous situations. One is to employ an air humidifier, another is to keep the guitar in the bathroom for a couple of days to allow it to absorb moisture from the air (don't poor water on it!). The most important thing is however not what you do, but what you don't do. Don't keep the guitar hanging on cold outer walls, don't keep it near open windows during winter time and don't transport it without a case/bag when it's cold outside. This information mainly concerns our revered players living in northern locations where dry air is more common than not.
Most .strandberg* guitar bodies are finished with a thin satin Polyurethane finish with a few glossy exceptions. Cleaning should be done in the same manner as with our Maple necks/fingerboards and oil-based products should be avoided. What is important to know about satin finishes is that they will turn glossy with wear. This includes polishing which will also turn the surface glossy. Unfortunately, this is the unavoidable nature of satin finishes and something we have to accept in return for the enhanced playing experience and feel that this type of finish brings. To out knowledge there is no good way of restoring a matte surface and we encourage our customers to embrace the worn look as evidence of their many ours of inspired playing on the instrument.
All the hardware on a .strandberg* guitar is specially designed and highly precise in nature and usually works fine without a lot of maintenance work put in, but there are things that can be done to keep things running smooth. This mainly concerns moving threaded parts where friction should always be kept to a minimum. The threaded plunger that pulls on the string as you tune the guitar is always under pressure and needs to be lubricated every one in a while to keep the tuning experience even and effortless. Whenever the tuners feel stiff and hard to turn, some lubrication is the answer. To do this you simply tune the string down to slack, unlock the string at the headstock and pull the tuning bolt backwards to reveal the plunger hidden within the tuner. A lubricating agent like thin sewing machine oil och lithium grease is then applied to the threads before pulling the string back into place and locking it. Also make sure that you have teflon washers mounted to the tuners to continuously relieve friction.
Does electronics really need maintenance? No, not really. Even so, there are yet again things that are important to know about guitar electronics whenever problems arise or preventing them from occurring in the first place. Most guitar related components (pots, switches etc) are copper och carbon based as these materials are naturally well-equipped for conductive purposes. Aside from their conductive properties, these elements are also prone to oxidisation in contact with oxygen and moisture. Oxidisation will manifest itself through crackling and dropouts in pots and switches and can be very annoying. Oxide can be removed mechanically by flicking switches back and fourth or tuning pots repeatedly many times or chemically removed by the use of oxide solving electronics spray. If none of these efforts relieves the problem, the part in question is probably worn out and needs replacing.