I Get This Black Stuff On My Frets - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 1,056
I Get This Black Stuff On My Frets

On my Universe it's really bad for some reason. Everytime I pick it up I bend a string here and there and suddenly bends feel like crud, there is a sticky, crusty feeling to them. And I can see this black stuff on the frets where it's happening. So I pull the trem off, steel wool all the frets, and it's fine until the next time I pick it up. I'd like this not to be a part of my playing routine. What is this and what causes it?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 03:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
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1) Did you replace the strings when you cleaned the fret board? Sometimes some major crude can build up on the underside of the strings.

2) Where do you store the guitar when it's not being used? There may be something going on where there.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Minneapolis MN
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I store it in it's case. No I don't change the strings, I just pull the trem off with strings still attached. After steel woling the frets I'll grab each of the plain strings with steel wool and run up & down the string to clean any of the crud. Maybe I'll put a piece of plastic between the strings and the inside ofthe case. Or try leaving it out, see if that changes anything.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
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You steel wool the STRINGS???

Yikes . . .

Try changing them, how old are they?

I've never heard of this problem before, I have no clue what could be causing this, but I will suggest you don't steel wool the strings . . . that's can't be good for anything.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Minneapolis MN
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I would change them if they were old but this starts happening within days of putting them on. But I'm diligent about wiping the strings down after I play. I steel wool only the 3 plain strings when the trem is off the guitar. It takes some of the cruddy stuff off.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 01:41 AM
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Location: Pasadena, MD
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What kind of heating / a.c. / ventilation system do you have in your home? Are these problems occuring with other items in your home? (Hardware, amp corners, rusting or dis-coloring?, mold or chalky residue on conrete walls or floors?)

I work in the HVAC field and see evidence all the time of excessive moisture, mold, bacteria, dirt and dust causing problems for people. In the industry, it's known as "Sick Building Syndrome". Exsessive moisture, along with airborne mold spores and sweat + skin particles from your fingers could cause some of the symptoms you're describing.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 11:37 AM
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Have you tried washing your hands? Some people have sweat that is more acidic and can cause corrosion on strings/frets.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Minneapolis MN
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Yes I do wash my hands before I play, trust me, I'm a freak about touching my guitars with grimy hands. But I do sweat a lot. Thing is, I could be playing all night and the frets are fine. Wipe the strings down thoroughly after i play, I use naptha on a cotton t-shirt, put it away and pull it out next time to play and the black stuff will be there. I'm suspecting it is on the strings and when I bend it rubs the black stuff from the string onto the fret. I was thinking of trying those Elixer strings but they only coat the wound strings, right? That wouldn't help me.
ScreamJem7 - the heat source is piping that runs along the edge of one side of my apartment, and the pipe has fins on it and hot water is going through the pipes. I don't have problems with anything else rusting, that I've noticed. The stuff on the frets doesn't look like rust to me though.
CrossingStar is offline  

fret board , steel wool , wound strings

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