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Thread: Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

    Howdy. Two quick questions. I have received a couple old instruments that had cracks on the top and back repaired with superglue. The cracks are stable, but the glue job was a little messy. Any advice on how to clean up the excess glue on the top without affecting the finish too much??

    also, i recently posted an old bowl back that was gifted me. I am in the process of cleaning it up. I was planning on using a damp rag on the fretboard, then applying linseed oil to the wood. The frets have corroded a little bit and have left a little bit of bluish film/dust along the edge of the frets. Any recommendations on how to clean these up, without hurting the wood??

    Also, any general liquid (spit?) to wipe down the top? It is a little dirty.

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    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

    Just cleaned the frets & fretboard on my Calace, so I'll share this: I carefully removed all the grime in between the frets with wooden toothpicks and an old toothbrush in combination with the D'Addario guitar fretboard conditioner & oil.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

    I’m recently rehabbed a similar bowl back.
    Acetone (a very safe solvent) is the only reliable way to remove CA (superglue). However it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use it in such a way that will not remove some of the surrounding finish. You could use a cabinet scraper and very carefully scrape the glue off taking it down to just the original surface, but no deeper. As for the frets I’d probably use either green scotch bright or 5-0 steel wool. You could make a shield to protect the fretboard if you want, it should be pretty easy to make one out of some metal from an aluminum soda can. It cuts easily with scissors and should be durable enough for the job.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

    I wouldn't use any solvents on the finished portions of the instrument.

    I use a small cabinet scraper with all but the center portion of the cutting edge masked off to remove glue. Go to frets.com and see "razor blade scraping" for an example of this technique. I use the Stew-mac # 0627 ~1 3/4" scraper instead of a razor blade. I start with a double layer of blue masking tape on the scraper, than a single layer, sometimes followed by a double layer of Scotch "magic" tape. If you get any scraper marks, they can be cleaned up with 1000 grit sandpaper and rottenstone.

    The same small scraper or a razor blade can be used for the initial layer of gunk on the fingerboard, followed by 0000 steel wool or plastic wool. It is usually not necessary to mask the fingerboard.

    The top can be cleaned with naphtha. If that doesn't do it, you can use a very soft rag dampened with filtered water and a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. Work in the direction of the grain and go to a fresh section of the rag after every couple of strokes, or the grit that the rag picks up will scratch the finish. You can follow that with a high grade violin polish or a tiny bit of mineral oil if you wish.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Cleaning up Superglue and metal corrosion on old Bowlback

    You can remove the major mass of CA or any other glue using a single edge razor blade as a scraper. I fold over one or two layers of masking tape on each side of the blade leaving about 1/4" of the blade exposed in the middle. The tape prevents the ends and edges from making contact and you need to reapply the tape every few minutes. It can make for a very precision tool if you get the hang of it. Use smooth motion with little or no downward pressure with the blade angled at 90 degrees to the surface and let the blade do all the work. By removing the major mass of globs and excess, it makes it much easier to use every other method to finish it off.

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