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Cleaning Rosewood Fretboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassmasta94, Apr 22, 2010.


  1. bassmasta94

    bassmasta94

    Jul 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    Hey guys, i know there are many threads asking this same question, but i looked through a lot of them, and i wanted to get a more specific answer. I have a Ibanez Soundgear SR500, i got it in 2007, and have played the hell out of it. Recently one of my strings broke as i was tuning for tenor bass, so i decided to take them all of and do some spring cleaning ;) Do you think 4 years without a cleaning is bad for the rosewood? There is no buildup of anything on the frets or the wood. Ive heard to wipe the fretboard with a little bit of lemon oil on a rag. Is this necessary if i dont see much of any shmutz? There is just some dust that got in the nooks and cranny's close to the frets. If someone could explain a process that they have done many times before, and is confident about how it works on the fretboard i would be very grateful.
    Thanks,
    Dean
     
  2. PaulNYC

    PaulNYC

    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    clean with scotchbrite, lightly, and oil. Wipe off excess.
     
  3. joinercape

    joinercape Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    +1....nothing wrong with 0000 steel wool either, just don't let the dust get on the pickups, it's a pain to get off! I put masking tape over them while I clean the board and frets. A little bore oil (woodwind bore, not firearm oil) and wipe it clean.
     
  4. PaulNYC

    PaulNYC

    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    btw. I use mineral oil. Some/many(?) people disagree and use other oils.
     
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Lemon oil is good on rosewood fretboards. I also would use the 0000 steel wool, or naptha.
     
  6. bassmasta94

    bassmasta94

    Jul 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    So mineral oil will not damage a rosewood fingerboard in any way? Because i have a whole bottle of that stuff. I use it for my fingerboard on my upright bass. So I should just put a little bit of mineral oil on a clean rag, or ripped white T-Shirt, and just whipe it onto the fretboard?
     
  7. bassmasta94

    bassmasta94

    Jul 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    If there are any Specific Lemon Oil's that you guys use, i would be grateful if you let me know the brand, and where i could buy it. Thanks
     
  8. Formby's Lemon Oil is recommended by the shop guys at Spector. I've been using it for a couple of years and am happy with how it treats and preserves the wood. It can be found in hardware, home improvement stores.
     
  9. PaulNYC

    PaulNYC

    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    If you are already using it on your upright, why be worried. I read about the Mineral oil on a guitar website. It seems to me that all the oils have detractors, but the key is to choose one that will not go rancid. Mineral oil will not go rancid. Additionally, if it is non-toxic, I can drink all I want :scowl:

    taylor guitar recommends mineral oil.

    http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-8692.html
     
  10. bassmasta94

    bassmasta94

    Jul 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    Well my upright dosen't have a rosewood fingerboard, thats why im a little worried. But if mineral oil will work, im gunna give it a shot, and see how it comes out. Thanks
     
  11. The scotchbrite pad or steel wool helps open up the pores of the wood a little bit, just make sure you use a fine enough one, rubbing with the grain of course. I like to run down the back as well but that's just personal preference. My fingerboard and neck are wenge though. I use the formby's lemon oil myself.
    I've heard from others on here that many "lemon oils" are actually made from mineral oil with some lemon scent and coloring added, but I don't know how true that is or for what brands.
     
  12. DGbass70

    DGbass70

    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    I would do lemon oil to clean.......
    Also linseed oil is good.....
     
  13. and this is why i have a maple frettboard. :)
     
  14. johnboy65

    johnboy65

    May 22, 2009
    +1 on the boiled linseed oil

    It's a good conditioner too, but it takes a little time to completely dissapate
     
  15. DGbass70

    DGbass70

    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    You're right...i forgot to metion that....linseed conditions and last longer.
     
  16. bassmachine2112

    bassmachine2112

    Mar 23, 2008
    Has anyone used the old carpenters trick of rubbing a brazil nut on their rosewood neck
    They are full of oil.You cut one in half and rub to your hearts content.
     
  17. AL-KC

    AL-KC

    Apr 4, 2010
    kansas city
    Lemon oil is basically scented mineral oil. It does not cure and form a film and will evaporate over time. Linseed oil, boiled or raw, will oxidize and form a thin film, rather like a very thin coat of varnish. Linseed oil is a traditional furniture and gunstock finish.
    Over time too much linseed will start to show and change the feel and appearance of the rosewood.
     
  18. Why is it that maple fretboards are finished and other woods aren't?
     
  19. Some woods like wenge, bubinga, or rosewood have natural oils in them and don't require a finish to protect them and keep out moisture and contaminants. If you were to leave maple bare, it would get dirty and stained really fast, plus an unfinished maple neck has a much greater chance or warping.
     
  20. I have a pau ferro fretboard, is using dunlop fingerboard cleaner and prep (the little bottle with a 01 on it) a good idea?

    I have been too scared to use it in the past, will i need to oil my fingerboard after using the dunlop cleaner?
     

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