Cleaning A Fretless Fingerboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Obsdian, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. How do I clean my fretless fingerboard? I heard that I should be putting a lemon polish on it everytime I change my strings, is this true?
  2. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    mmmmm, more information please, sir...what is it made of? phenolic or coated fingerboards prolly won't benefit from the lemon oil, but i imagine a wooden one would...also, how often do you change your strings? some guys leave them on for a couple weeks, then you have the hardcore flatwound guys that refuse to ever change their strings. i would say, maybe putting some oil on a wooden board every couple of months would be the thing to do...
  3. The fretboard is ebony and I change my strings (roundwounds) every 4-8 weeks.
  4. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    well, yeah...a good lemon oilin' every time you change your strings should be sufficient...
  5. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    Lemon oil is more like a solvent. It cleans pretty good, but it ain't a finish. Go for tung oil if you want to protect your fretboard. I use both on my fretted bass, each for it's purpose.
    take care
  6. To CLEAN use Naptha to remove all dirt and finger oils. Then use a good Fretboard Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil.

    Lemon Oil is a mineral spirit solvent.

    "I can only speak from my experience in oiling fingerboards--I did try
    using Old English Lemon Oil for about a year and did have the sense
    that the boards were getting too dry with that. I never tried other
    types of lemon oil. I also was not commenting on maintaining oil
    finished basses as I do not do oil finished and do not have any
    expertise or opinion on that."

    "Oils that are sold for wood finishing like tung oil preparations get
    too gummy feeling in my opinion. I have always found lemon oil (as in
    Old English) to make boards dry out faster than if left alone. After
    24 years of this, I still like linseed oil the best."

    --Roger Sadowsky
  7. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    For ebony and rosewood, I would occasionally clean the board with rubbing alcohol, then apply lemon oil. I never noticed the drying out Roger mentioned, but I would like to try boiled linseed oil.