The little blue Fernandes Nomad Deluxe that survived our studio fire is finally back in my hands. I think the only reason it survived is its hardshell case, which I didn’t get until two years ago. The guitar’s electronics and built-in effects and speaker are just fine; you’d never know it was through such an ordeal. Bistie cleaned it up a little bit for me, which was very nice of him, but it still needs some love and TLC. Seems that when you combine the oils from your hand with the water from the fire hoses, well, you get rust.
That’s both on the strings, which are obviously easily replaced, and the frets, which are obviously not. Plus, that wood needs a good cleaning.
I called Greg, who has always been cool about sharing guitar knowledge, and told him what I thought I should do. He confirmed: Tape the fretboard off with masking tape so the frets are the only things showing.
With the strings removed, you can see the rust pretty clearly, along with just dirt and residue that has collected around the strings. But with some 0000 steel wool and very little elbow grease, the frets clean up pretty quickly. Compare the scrubbed ones on the right to the ones I haven’t touched yet on the left:
If they shine, they’re fine.