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This section is for tips and advice on how to care for the Wolfgang guitars.  The biggest issue is maintaining and restoring the unfinished birdseye fretboard and necks as they pick up dirt and oils through normal playing which will cause staining.  Most of the information below comes directly from the team at the Peavey EVH Custom shop, which I would consider the best possible source.  I will note where it does not.

Restoring a badly stained fretboard

Take some 600 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the fretboard / neck.  Then oil.  Let the oil dry and then use very fine steel wool.  Then sand the neck up and down - all over.  It is important not to concentrate on the stained area so as not to create any dips in the fretboard. 

If the stains are not too deep they can be removed with acetone or finger nail polish remover.  This will dry out the neck so it will have to be re-oiled.  This is what Peavey says.  I think Murphy's Oil Soap works the best.

Neck shrinkage - Rough edges on frets

It is a common problem in some climates for shrinkage in the neck to cause the frets to protrude on the edges, causing a rough feel on the neck at each fret.  The fret edges can even feel "sharp".  I personally hate this condition as I love that smooth feel.  I live in a very dry climate and I have had this happen to many of my guitars including my custom shop models.   I am really not sure why it happens to some models and not others that are made of the same materials.  I would guess it is just the unique qualities of the individual piece of wood.  This is not something you should attempt to fix yourself by filing unless you "really" know what you are doing.  This needs to be taken to a guitar tech who is skilled in dealing with this problem.  The guitar builders at Peavey say this is something they have battled for years on the unfinished necks.  There is no way to prevent it.  If you put them back in a humid environment they will swell back up but not necessarily all the way.  Although you just can't be certain.  I started running a humidifier and maintaining a constant range of 40% to 50%.  I keep a hygrometer I bought for $20 next to the guitars which monitors the humidity.  I recommend this if you live in a dry climate.  All of the guitars I had a problem with have mostly gone back to the proper state (over several months) except one, which has gone back 90%.  Ebony fretboards seem to be more prone to this condition.  Also, they dry out a  lot faster than they swell back up!   If you do wish to attempt the repair yourself here is what the Custom Shop recommended to me (not an official recommendation from Peavey):

Get a flat wood block with 600 grit sandpaper.  Run the block up and down the neck against the fret ends.  You will have to change the sandpaper often as the metal from the frets will tear it up.  Make sure you have the block at a 35 degree angle against the neck.  Then re-oil.  Click this link to see several pictures illustrating the process - Fretboard shrinkage - sharp fret repair.

Regular Neck & Fretboard Care

I try not to go too long in between changing strings and cleaning the neck so it never gets too built up.  If I keep up with it I find that Murphy's oil soap does a great job of cleaning the neck and removing the very lightest stains.  I let it dry thoroughly and then use a light coat of lemon oil.  I use a lemon oil without any wax in it.  Holloway House is the brand I use and it works well for me.  The neck and fretboard will of course become darker the more they are oiled.  This information did not come from the Custom shop. Here is what the custom shop recommends:

"Wipe off the dirt with acetone then oil with Sherwin Williams penetrating oil V82 V50.  Let the oil dry and then steel wool and re-oil. If the dirt is too deep it will be hard to remove without sanding.  You can also scrape the fingerboard with a razor blade between the frets to remove the dirt.  If you do this, use very light, even strokes so as not to change the 15 degree radius on the neck."

I actually find the Murphy's oil soap works a lot better for me than Acetone so I am sticking with that.  You should try both and see which you prefer.

Tremolo Model Won't Stay in Tune? - What to Check

I had someone tell me they couldn't keep their two trem model Wolfgangs in tune so I asked someone at Peavey what this could be.  Here is what they said:  "Look under the bridge, and see if it is sitting level on the wood.  It can touch the treble "E" side slightly before the bass "E" side, but not vice versa.  You should try to make it sit level though.  If it touches the bass "E" side first, then it will not stay in tune very well.  You can also have this problem if the bridge is angled down too much.  This will cause the bridge to hang up on the pivot bolts.  The angle should be parallel with the strings."

Trouble Tuning your Guitar with a Floyd Rose or Similar Bridge?

This is from Gene Imbody:  A Floyd Rose or similar bridge can be tricky to deal with. It is very important to tune with equal tension on those bridges, or you can run into problems. Many players change only one string at a time with bridges like these.

"The proper way to tune any guitar with a tremelo is with what I call "Cross Tuning." This is a method of tuning back and forth across the strings. If you start at the bass E string and tune in succession to the treble E string you'll find that the bridge will tilt toward the peghead and all of the strings will be flat. Here's what you do (it is best to use a good electronic tuner for this): Your strings are numbered 1 to 6 (#1 being treble E, #6 being bass E.)

Start with some tension on all strings, but make sure none are above pitch (all strings should be flat.) Tune #6 up to pitch. Tune #1 to pitch Tune #2 to pitch Tune #5 to pitch Now repeat this from the beginning(6, 1, 2, 5.) After you have re-tuned 5, tune #3. Now tune #4. Repeat from the beginning until you are in tune.

Remember to ALWAYS tune up to pitch and never down. If you are sharp, tune below the desired note, then tune back up. It may seem confusing at first, but you will get used to it. I've gotten so used to it that I tune fixed bridges this way too. What this method does is apply even tension to the strings from side to side so that the tremelo rises level. If you go from one end to the other, the trem continues to raise and as it does all of the strings you've tuned become flat. This is more controllable with cross tuning.

If you get to the end and are in tune, but the bridge does not sit parallel to the body, then you need a set-up and you should probably visit a good repairman." Good Luck! Gene Imbody

Buffing out Light Scratches in the Top

Light scratches can be buffed out on the tops.  At Peavey they use large buffing wheels.  It is recommended as one possibility to use a Dremel tool with a small buffing attachment.  You should use white buffing compound with this for best results.  As is the case with all this information, it is always best to take your guitar to a professional and if you do decide to do this kind of work yourself please don't blame me if something goes wrong!  It always scares me to do major or minor surgery on otherwise perfect Wolfgangs because I am so picky about the guitars!




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