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Caring for Your Custom Guitar

Acoustic guitars are great "life" investments that can give you years of joy. To ensure that your acoustic guitar can continue to give bring you joy for year to come, it is important to know how to take care of your guitar.

Receiving Your Guitar
When you first receive your guitar, please make sure you give it at least 2 hours for the guitar to get acclimated to room temperature while in its case (and the box) before opening it. Any excessive changes in temperature can cause the finish and the wood to crack.

Think Defensive
It's important to surround your guitar with the right "defense" that will help your investment last. Here are a few key "friends of your guitar" that are essential to your guitar's longevity.

Guitar Case
Your guitar case is the first defense against enemies of your guitar: excessive heat and humidity, direct sunlight, flying and falling objects (liquid and solid), and living creatures that lack self control (pets and kids). All these things can cause damage your guitar. Making sure that your guitar is in its case when you're not playing it ensures that your guitar is protected when you're not around to keep it safe. If your guitar goes form one extreme weather condition to another, please give the guitar at least 2 hours to get acclamated to the current room temperature before you take the guitar out of its case.

You want to make sure that you have a device that can measure the relative humidity where your guitar is at. Idealy, you want to make sure that your guitar sits between 40% and 60% humidity. If it's below 40% humidity, make sure your purchase a soundhole humidifier and keep the guitar in your case (which you should be doing anyway). Just keeping a guitar in its case is not enough; guitars can split even when inside its case when it gets too dry.

0000 Steel Wool and Lemon Oil (or Dr. Duck's)
Over time, dirt and sweat can build up on your guitar's fretboard. Also, over time, your fretboard can dry out and crack. Using a combination of 0000 steel wool to clean your fretboard and then sealing it with Lemon Oil or Dr. Duck's AxWax and String Lube will ensure that your fretboard remains clean and protected. Use the 0000 steel wool for the FRETBOARD ONLY!

Non-Silicone Based Cleaner (like Dr. Duck's) and Guitar Poishing Cloth (or an old 100% cotton t-shirt)
With any amount use, smudges and build-up of sweat and oil can accumulate on the finish of your guitar. To ensure that your finish remains shiny and smooth, wipe down your guitar with a damp old 100% cotton t-shirt (or a guitar polishing rag) to clean your guitars finish of dirt, dust, sweat and oil. If you want to use a cleaner, make sure that the cleaner does not have silicone, like Dr. Duck's AxWax and String Lube.

Luthier Don Sharp builds custom handmade acoustic guitars. His approach to guitar building has led him to create two lines of guitars: TT Series and the Traditional Series. To get a sample of how his guitars sound, visit his guitar recordings page.

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