Best fingerboard oil?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Stagelab, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Stagelab


    Dec 26, 2015
    Brooklyn, NY
    What do you recommend for fingerboard oil? My Mustang is a little dry.
  2. Your own natural oils from your body by just playing it more. Seriously, I have never oiled a guitar or bass fretboard in my 51 years of playing.

    I’ve read so much debate on what to use or what to never use so I haven’t used anything.
    96tbird, Shlabotnik, Abner and 2 others like this.
  3. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    I've always used boiled linseed oil on rosewood.
  4. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    if you use a fingerboard oil, use is VERY sparingly. a little goes further than most people think, and you don't want to soften your fingerboard.

    my husband uses truly tiny amounts of mineral oil on our many fingerboards if they're dry.

    fyi - i wash my hands thoroughly before i play any bass with a maple board.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
  6. Last Rebel

    Last Rebel Lone Wolf - No Club Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ontario Canada
    I use guitar honey...but sparingly as mentioned above
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I am of the opinion that finger boards rarely need oil. When they dry out it is usually lack of humidity. If you oil, use very little and wipe off the excess. I would never use boiled linseed oil. It is a polymerized oil intended to be used as a finish.
    lz4005 likes this.
  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Bore oil works great, too. As stated by others, just a little goes a long way. Wipe on, let sit for about a minute, then wipe off the excess.
    GitmoMango likes this.
  9. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    oil doesn't moisturize wood, water does

    oil vs. water

    If you want it to look pretty for a while, oil it. If you want to moisturized it, do that, but it's not the same thing.

    I clean mine with a damp, clean cloth, because that's all it needs.

    BTW, if you use a Drying Oil, like Linseed oil, it can spontaneously combust, so be very careful disposing of the waste.
    60bass, Vinny_G and Turnaround like this.
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    I hope this helps to sort out some of the confusing hype about a number of products that are frequently recommended when this topic comes up, and it comes up a lot.

    The following has information has been supplied by the manufacturers.

    Roche-Thomas Premium Bore Oil: 75% or more mineral oil
    Brite Bore Oil: 90% petroleum distillates (mineral oil, petroleum oil)
    Formby's Lemon Oil: 99% mineral oil, 1% limonene
    Old English Lemon Oil: 99 to 100% mineral oil
    Howard's Lemon Oil: 75 to 99% mineral oil, 1% Limonene
    Howard's Feed and Wax: 50 to 95% mineral oil, 1 to 5% mixture of parrafin, beeswax, orange oil and carnuba wax
    Howard's Orange Oil: 90 to 99%% mineral oil, 1 to 10% orange oil
    Weiman Lemon Oil: 75 to 100% mineral oil

    And from a distributor of Dunlop Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil: "almost entirely mineral oil"

    As you can see, these products are mostly, if not entirely, mineral oil. There are a few products out there specifically for treating fingerboards that are not mostly mineral oil, such as Guitar Nomad's F-One which is made from plant-based oils. Many claim to have scientific proof of their effectiveness, but I have yet to find one that has been verified by an independent disinterested 3rd party.

    Draw your own conclusions.
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I use Roche-Thomas classical instruments fingerboard oil. I use it like gun oil: one drop on a lint free cloth, wipe down, let dry.
    Roche Thomas Fingerboard Oil.jpg
    Of course, I use several Roche-Thomas products, most notably their valve oil, which has served me well for the almost 50 years I have played brass instruments, and my Dad playing trumpet before that.
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    FWIW Roche-Thomas Fingerboard Oil is also listed by the manufacturer as white oil, another name for mineral oil.
  13. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Plain old Mineral Oil you'd buy at the Pharmacy.
    it's good enough for Sheldon Dingwall and Fodera, it's good enough for me

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Vinny_G likes this.
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    I didn't know that Dingwall and Fodera were constipated.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I'm sure that it is mineral oil based, but it is anything but white. It is the color of the photo I posted. And it comes in the 2-ounce bottle (like a valve oil bottle) that will last for decades, so I don't have to deal with the larger bottle from Wal-Mart.
  16. Boiled linseed oil isn't polymerized, but it will polymerize after application. The bad thing is, most commercially marketed boiled linseed oil contains poisonous metallic salts to promote the polymerization process. I would suggest only using consumable walnut oil sold for salads, or flaxseed oil sold for the same purpose. Linseed and flaxseed oil is the same thing. Both of these will polymerize over time and exposure to UV light, and seal the wood.
  17. InnerBass

    InnerBass Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    Thumpn' Happily
    Howard Feed and Wax :thumbsup:
  18. SidNitzerglobin


    Feb 12, 2019
    I use Dr. Duck's Axe Wax (which is actually an oil) most of the time, or if I'm out Gerlitz Guitar Honey. I've been very happy w/ either.

    A little bit on a rag, worked in, then followed up by a dry rag to remove excess. I do it when ever it looks like it needs it (usually every couple string changes/once year whichever comes first on the instrument in question).
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  19. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    I've used olive oil (yes i know it can go rancid but I'm not licking the dang thing). I've used lemon essential oil (smells great!). I've scrubbed with Murphy's oil soap (certainly will keep bugs away lol). i think it matters a lot less than folks say. haven't tried mineral oil but will do so next time

    i wash my hands well before playing any instrument. growing up my dad could always tell i had played his guitar by the finger funk left on it. never understood it until i had purchased my own instruments and had other people's grimy hands all over em
    pcake likes this.
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I regret I can only like this once.
    downlowuponit likes this.