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Care of Ebony fretboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ddnidd1, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    One of my Roscoe LG-3005's has an ebony fretboard. I've read conflicting information on how to care for the fretboard. Specifically oiling it. The last thing I want to do is to screw it up.

    Some say absolutely use lemon oil. Others say absolutely not. Still others say use a petroleum distillate based product. Etc.

    Any responses will be appreciated.
  2. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Extra virgin olive oil...n/k
  3. justateenpoet

    justateenpoet Have you...killed the Venture brothers!?!?

    May 14, 2005
    I use lemon oil...seems to work fine. I also wax mine ever so often with Bowling Alley Wax, but it's a fretless.
  4. I just applied lemon oil (a whole lot) on a purpleheart fretless fingerboard that I've had for a year without putting anything on it. I think the results are GREAT.

    I recommend you follow the directions on the bottle and do it before you go to bed at night to let the excess oil (that which was not wiped off) soak it properly and/or evaporate from the surface.

    Now that I've seen what lemon oil can do, I've got an ebony and two rosewood fretboards to attend to. :)

    For a good neat job, please, take the strings off before you do this...
  5. Again just re-itterating whats already been said...

    For my GB Ebony Fingerboard when I cleaned and treated it I spent a week lem-oiling it.. Keep slapping it on and leaving it over night to seep into the wood. You'll find that Ebony is pretty uneven when its come to density. Some area's will soak up very quickly and other wont.

    Jon Shuler explained to me that you don;t have to treat individual spots just keep apply..lightly wiping off the excess and allow to dry.

    It took maybe 6 or 7 coats but the fingerboard came back to an even black/brown and will feel very smooth.

    Tip for you..

    mask off your frets while doing it as lem-oil sometimes leaves a sticky build up either side of the frets..

    If some does get on get an old tooth brush.. pours hot water onto it and shake away the excees and just light rub either side of the frets afterwards. The sticky build up remains for a while and gets on ur fingers and strings.

    For a super-slik ebony fretboard try just a tiny bit of Danish-oil just to wipe over. no so it creates a finish but so it seeps in and allows a smooth feel.

    Hope this helps..

  6. I just did my Carvin AC40 fretted w/ ebony board...I didn't let it sit all night...just did two coats to soak and a wipe...

    I also used a dremel and the lem oil (Dunlop 65) to give my frets a polish (lots of green stuff on them) and knock off that "gunk" you're talking about.

    The results...it looks brand new!

    Oil your boards...period!