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
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
"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
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!