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Discussion Starter #1
This is the fretboard on my mid-80s Tokai strat.

It's starting to develop pits in the most frequently fretted spots.

It's been treated with lemon oil in the past and there's a noticable buildup of that in places, making it feel a bit sticky.

Any thoughts about what to do with this?

I have some 0000 steel wool that I've used to clean up the frets before this.

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Discussion Starter #5
You will need to scrape it with a razor blade, in the direction of the grain, between the frets.
Thanks!

Scrape to remove the buildup you mean?

Yeah I was wondering if mechanical scraping would make more sense vs. some sort of chemical to dissolve the excess (maybe alcohol or acetone or something).

I just came across this idea to deal with the finger-acid divots. This is more than I want to do right now, but it's an interesting idea:

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Other than getting rid of the stickiness, would you just leave the pits? Do they affect how it plays at all? To get that look on a maple fretboard you'd pay extra for that these days. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up using a combination of scraping with a sharp implement and scrubbing with 0000 steel wool to clean off the goop. I think it's looking pretty ok now. I can try to get some pics later if people are interested.

I didn't really address the divots. Once the fretboard was cleaned up, they seemed relatively minor to me, and mostly cosmetic. "Good enough for now".

I had already spent a fair bit of time on this instrument getting rid of a "buzz" problem that turned out to be a bad ground, and I really needed to get it back in playing shape so I can work on some other things.

I will come back to this at some point, though. I've noticed the same thing developing on one of my cheap acoustics, and I bought that guitar brand new, so it's definitely coming from me. Acid sweat maybe?

Has anyone else experienced this issue? What did you do about it?
 
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