Care of Your Walker Guitar
Keep your guitar in a hardshell locking case while not being played and keep locked if there is a possibility of unauthorized persons handling your guitar. For optimum life and tonality your guitar should be kept and played in a room environment that is similar to where it was built. I build all my guitars at 45-50 % relative humidity. I advise buying a digital humidity meter (hygrometer) to monitor the room humidity. The humidity usually drops when the outside temperature drops and your furnace comes on. Low cost humidifiers are readily available from many retailers and should be used to keep the humidity at a level indicated on the guitar label or as close as possible. If the guitar is exposed for a length of time to a lower humidity it will lose moisture with resultant wood shrinkage and cracks will appear in the top and back. These cracks may not affect tone but surely will affect the appearance and value of your guitar.
Your guitar should be protected from temperature extremes. Low temperatures may cause the strings to contract slightly and may cause structural damage to the guitar while high temperatures causes the finish to soften and the woods to lose moisture and may result in body cracks or other undesirable things to happen. So never leave your guitar and case in a vehicle where the temperatures may rise to over 100 degrees F. If you are comfortable with the temperature your guitar should be ok. Don't expose your guitar to sunlight for any length of time as sunlight will cause the body to dry out and crack and may fade the colors of the wood. Protect your guitar from bangs, dents, dings and scratches or other trauma. These are easy to acquire but hard and expensive to repair so don't let people that are not familiar with guitars handle your guitar or the worst might happen. Be sure to properly tie the strings at the bridge. If you are not confident on how to do this get someone who is or damage to your guitar will result if a string comes loose at the bridge. I use a match or lighter to melt a ball on the bridge ends of the E1, B and G strings before the strings are installed to help prevent string release at the bridge. In any case the top should be protected with a commercial bib or homemade one made from cardboard until the strings are up to pitch and have remained at pitch for a while like overnight.
The French polish finish can be cleaned carefully with a damp soft cotton cloth. If dirt or other residue still remains add a few drops of liquid soap to a small bowl of water and use this to dampen the cloth and clean the guitar with and dry immediately with a soft cotton cloth. Don't allow water to stand on the finish. Don't use anything like paint or lacquer thinner or anything that contains any type of alcohol as this will attack the finish. With proper care you can preserve and even enhance the value of your guitar.