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Author Topic: Guitars and WD-40  (Read 36042 times)

seilerbird

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Guitars and WD-40
« on: July 20, 2010, 09:54:02 PM »
Good come back Tom!

The interesting thing is I really do use it on my guitar. I have for many years. About once every six months I give the guitar almost a bath in it. It keeps all the chrome parts shiny, it keeps the strings from corroding due to oils on my fingers and it lubes everything up nice. And it doesn't hurt the finish. My five year old guitar looks like it is brand new. That reminds me, I am due to give it a bath. I will do that tomorrow. I wonder if I should make a Youtube video of it?

geodrake

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 09:57:42 PM »
So, you can also bath in WD-40?
George Drake

Carl L

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 10:05:08 PM »
Quote
I wonder if I should make a Youtube video of it?

Oh please don't.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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34footer

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 10:21:06 PM »

Oh please don't.

Please do it, let's see how many hits it gets.
J
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                       So Cal

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 10:36:46 PM »
Please do it, let's see how many hits it gets.
J

Since I currently don't own a camera I don't think it will get many hits. ;D

Luca1369

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 07:11:53 AM »
The interesting thing is I really do use it on my guitar. I have for many years. About once every six months I give the guitar almost a bath in it. It keeps all the chrome parts shiny, it keeps the strings from corroding due to oils on my fingers and it lubes everything up nice. And it doesn't hurt the finish. My five year old guitar looks like it is brand new.

Tom, you really need to change your strings more than once in six months (I hope you do-unless of course you don't play the guitar much).  Do you actually use WD40 on the fretboard?
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 08:43:36 AM »
Tom, you really need to change your strings more than once in six months (I hope you do-unless of course you don't play the guitar much).  Do you actually use WD40 on the fretboard?

I don't believe in changing strings until I have a real good reason. My current strings are at least three years old. The WD-40 keeps them just like new. Plus I wash my hands before I play and wipe down the entire guitar with a microfiber cloth when I am done playing. No, I don't use WD on the fretboard, only on the metal parts. Some WD will end up on the fretboard but it has never hurt a fretboard yet.

geodrake

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 10:49:54 AM »
It occurs to me that with all that lubricant on the strings you should be able to play a lot faster.
George Drake

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 11:02:18 AM »
It occurs to me that with all that lubricant on the strings you should be able to play a lot faster.

If I got any faster I would burn the guitar up. I can play Freebird in my sleep.

Luca1369

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 11:41:26 AM »
I don't believe in changing strings until I have a real good reason. My current strings are at least three years old.

Tom,

    The fat lady has sung.  The strings are dead.  Bury them.  Give them a 21-gun salute.  Write a book about them.  Get a tatoo to remember them.  But it's time to put on new strings...
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 11:50:14 AM »
Tom,

    The fat lady has sung.  The strings are dead.  Bury them.  Give them a 21-gun salute.  Write a book about them.  Get a tatoo to remember them.  But it's time to put on new strings...

Why are they dead? They sound perfectly good to me. You can't wear out a wire. Strings are dead only when they are covered with oils from your hand. My strings are keep perfectly clean. Very bright sounding.

Luca1369

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 12:57:41 PM »
Why are they dead? They sound perfectly good to me. You can't wear out a wire. Strings are dead only when they are covered with oils from your hand. My strings are keep perfectly clean. Very bright sounding.

Here we go hijacking a thread again...

First off, I know that you are the sort of individual that is VERY set in his ways, however, I will reply anyway.

It's not just a matter of wearing out a wire, come on, there's a world of difference between a piece of wire and a guitar string.  There is a science to guitar strings, nickel strings (sweet fundamental tones) have a different sound than stainless strings (bright super-defined tone) on an electric for instance.  The choice of string (and gauge) not only affects tone, but also how they bend, how they stay in tune, and how they respond to your touch.  Round wound vs flat wound also makes a difference in tone, feel and fret/finger wear.

The signs of a set of dead strings may be subtle.  Yes, you can get over a year of life out of a set of coated strings like Elixirs (which some folks don't like because they tend to have an almost plastic, muted sound due to their coating) or the high dollar Pyramids, but even then you're pushing it depending on how you play and how often you play.  It is a fact that string sets eventually die out, you might not be able to hear it, but if you play as much as you seem to you should know this already.  A good sign of dead strings is frequent retuning (no matter how "bright" they sound}.  On the high side, strings should be replaced every 3-6 months with normal usage.

It's not only your natural finger oils/acids, it's the way you play the strings, the way you bend them, the delicate surfaces of the nut, frets, and bridge that all combine to shorten the life of a set of strings.  Guitar strings stretch, and if they do not stretch evenly you will have a string that will give you artificial harmonics and is difficult to keep in tune, a sure sign that it's time to replace the strings.  If I remember correctly, didn't you post a photo of your guitar somewhere in this forum?  Does it have a tremelo bar?  A whammy bar is deadly to string life.

WD40?  Never would I put that anywhere near my guitar.  Yes, I know, some folks like it, but you can find some folks that will like anything.  Earl Scruggs used to put hair tonic on his strings before playing, but that doesn't mean I would.  Ever painted cars?  A tiny bit of WD40 in the air from somewhere nearby while you're painting will royally screw up a paint job, most concientious painters will not allow a container of WD40 in their shop.

Okay, with that said, I know you'll continue to put WD40 on your strings because it works for you.  And you will likely go down in the Guiness Book of World Records for going the longest without changing a set of strings on your guitar. 

New strings don't cost much, five bucks for a decent set.  Regardless of how you use it, a guitar is an instrument and should be treated as such (don't get me started on bands that smash up their equipment).
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 01:10:03 PM »
Changing strings on a Floyd Rose equipped guitar is a royal pain. It always takes a week or two before it finally stays in tune. Once it is tuned properly it never goes out of tune. You are correct, after over 30 years of using WD40 on my guitars I am not going to stop. It works extremely well. At my age I can't hear over 8 khz and like I said, they sound great to me. I play through a $139 battery powered amp. And I only play for myself. I am not going to go through the hassle of changing strings just because the guitar string manufacturers recommend it or anyone else for that matter.

You are right, I am very set in my ways, unless I read new evidence to convince me I am wrong. You are telling me my strings don't sound good but my ears say they do. So who am I going to listen to? I have been playing for over 45 years and I have heard all the arguments for changing strings, but until I can actually hear a benefit I won't waste either my time or money. But thanks for trying.

BTW - it is my thread so hijack away ;D

Johncmr

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 02:01:35 PM »
I have a hair theory.  There are only so many little hair things, dead cells or whatever, and they roam around looking for someplace to attach.  As I get older seems like more places have hair that didn't before, so I can only assume there is a thinner distribution of these hair things, therefore an individual hair grows more slowly.

Or it could be something else.

Oh - only Martin Guitar polish for my ax.  I get my WD-40 at Wall Mart - only it's WD - 38.5.

johncmr

Carl L

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 02:47:57 PM »
Y'all please note that I have made an honest woman out of this hijacked thread so now you git box pickers can go at each other with a cleared conscience -- if y'all have any such thing.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Marc L

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2010, 03:03:49 PM »
While I like the sound of freshly replaced guitar strings, given Tom can't hear the difference and he only plays for himself.  Why go through the trouble?

I don't like changing strings either, it's a PITA on the Yamaha 12 string and also on the mandolin (8 strings).  Need to be tuned daily for a week or two until they stretch, then it's fine up to the point where they get old and can't keep a tune.

I don't really realize they sound bad until I put fresh strings.

As far as WD is concerned, I'll leave that for use in the garage, although there is nothing like a jam in the garage, but still not on my instruments.
Marc...

seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2010, 03:09:47 PM »
I did not tell anyone else they should use WD40 on their guitar. I don't care what anyone else uses on their guitar. Why does anyone else care that I use WD40 on my guitar? I don't understand why it is so fashionable on this web site to run WD40 into the ground. Get over it, other people use the stuff.

Luca1369

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2010, 03:11:00 PM »
You are telling me my strings don't sound good but my ears say they do.

Reading comprehension Tom...reading comprehension.  I never said your strings ddi not sound good, how could I when I haven't played your axe? 

What I said was that your strings are dead, long dead, kaput, their best days far behind them, whether you wish to admit it or not.  Guitar strings are simply not designed for a three year life (even the top of the line Pyramids) and all the WD40 in the world ain't gonna help them one iota.  All WD40 will do is clean them, that is all it can do (and make them smell bad).  Like it or not WD40 does nothing for their durability, for their sustain, for their harmonics, or their longevity, nor is there any evidence in support of WD40, just a LOT of hearsay from guitarists who labor under the false notion that WD40 is a miracle agent for their strings.  A string cleaner yes, but that's it.  But you like it and it works for you so...that's all that counts!

A guitarist changes their strings as they see fit.  Some change them every gig, some every week, some every month, and once in a while you run across someone like you who's going for some kind of record.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Carl L

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2010, 03:11:38 PM »
I did not tell anyone else they should use WD40 on their guitar. I don't care what anyone else uses on their guitar. Why does anyone else care that I use WD40 on my guitar? I don't understand why it is so fashionable on this web site to run WD40 into the ground. Get over it, other people use the stuff.

I prefer LPS-2 myself.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Jammer

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2010, 04:00:35 PM »
I was laying down some tracks for our upcoming CD the other day and couldn't figure out why the E string on my fiddle kept whistling.  Well it was my good fiddle not my road one and I hadn't played it for a while, and sure enough there was a little bit of corrosion on the e string.

Now, if only I would have had some WD-40 at hand everything would have been fine.

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Jammer

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2010, 04:03:02 PM »
I don't believe in changing strings until I have a real good reason. My current strings are at least three years old. The WD-40 keeps them just like new. Plus I wash my hands before I play and wipe down the entire guitar with a microfiber cloth when I am done playing. No, I don't use WD on the fretboard, only on the metal parts. Some WD will end up on the fretboard but it has never hurt a fretboard yet.

It is my experience that some people's skin is more corrosive than other people's.  I have a corrosive skin, and combined with my abrasive personality, I can really wear things thin.
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gonemissin

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2010, 04:25:09 PM »
I knew there was a reason I stuck to Brass... ;D   Mineral oil...
Rocky

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Mc2guy

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2010, 04:31:55 PM »
I am a drummer, and the same thing happens to mylar drum heads...they just die and get funky overtones and no response.  I prefer cloth or kevlar as they tend to retain their tone and response longer.  Sticks too...a quick tap on the node can tell you if they are still alive, and playing with a dead stick is like fishing with a wet noodle...just doesn't feel right.
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carson

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2010, 05:15:27 PM »
Now I know why I can't play my instruments. I have a cheapy guitar, a Wald Zither and a "What is it" a deep body string instrument...looks like a pregnant small guitar.

  Maybe I should soak them in WD-40 for a while and see if my playing skills will improve. Never had any lessons in my life and playing by ear is the pits. My friends think so when I try to play.  ;D 8)

Right now they are all ornamental items on top of ledges around the rooms. ..catching dust.  :(

Carson FL
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seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2010, 05:26:06 PM »
Next time I am in Florida I will be happy to give you some lessons. I can teach you Blackbird by the Beatles in a few hours.

carson

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2010, 06:42:00 PM »
Thanks, Tom.. All my strings are over 30 years old, but sound good to me. Twang squeak etc...

Not for the faint of heart.

carson
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

oldwasichu

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2010, 08:25:10 PM »
This is priceless. Who needs Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien? I have you guys.      ;D
Dave & Jeanne
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seilerbird

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2010, 08:26:52 PM »
This is priceless. Who needs Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien? I have you guys.      ;D

And I am much better looking than either one of them. ;D

oldwasichu

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2010, 08:30:36 PM »
Tom,

I noticed you are an avid hiker. We are headed out to the Cloud Peak Wilderness area of Wyoming in about 2 weeks. I'd like to take my boys out for a half day hike. If you've been there, anything you'd recommend? Thanks.

Dave
Dave & Jeanne
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2010 Winnebago Journey Express 34Y
Scottish terriers (Angus and Lil)

1275gtsport

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Re: Guitars and WD-40
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2010, 08:31:30 PM »
I have Tom beat on not changing strings, a friend gave me his old Hondo star shaped guitar, I cut it up and fitted it into a cigar box. I think that the strings from 1984 sound perfect!!
Of course I have don't have much of an ear for music and can't seem to get the hang of counting etc.
but because I built it I will learn to play it...may take awhile
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