Fret board oiling.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassist4ever, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. what color should rosewood be?
    My essexs' fretboard seems so dry and bright compared to my washburns. they are both rosewood i do believe.
    Can i oil it with lemon oil a few times to see if that helps?
  2. It's better to use an "Fretboard Oil."

    From "The Bottom Line"

    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
  3. well... i bought this stuff from my local store. its what they use to oil fretboards and stuff. so i got some. it keeps my washburn darkened color and my essex... well i dont think it had been oiled since it was made because it felt very very dry. and looked like paper
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Roger swears that linseend oil is the best thing for fretboards. I've read other luthiers who say lemon oil is perfect.

    Who do you think is right?

    I use lemon oil on my Spector and have had nothing but good luck for 7 years.
  5. This may seem liek a dumb question, and yes i am Mod of this forum but...

    I have never oiled my fretboard in the 5 years i've had my washburn. It has a rosewood fretboard. Should i???


    Twit who probably shouldn't be moderating.. lol
  6. Merls, I've never oiled the boards on any bass I've ever owned.

    I have reapplied a polyurethane finsh to my rosewood fretless fingerboards, but thats onlt because of string wear.

    I've had my Squier for 6 years, have never oiled the fretboard, and it looks, feels, and plays just fine.

    If you want, I'll take over your mod position. :D
  7. In my experience with rosewood, it's already very oily. My Essex has a very dark fretboard, and doesn't have the dry old wood feeling. If yours is that dry, you may want to oil your board. I'd use linseed oil, like Sadowsky, but it's really just personal preference. If you wanted to use lemon oil, I'm sure there wouldn't be any problems.

    Rosewood can differ in color. It can range from dark brown, to light brown, reddish brown, and I've seen some that I mistook for figured ebony.
  8. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I've never oiled my fretboard either... My ray has an unfinished neck... My hands do the oiling for my i believe.. I've had it for a year now and its not dry or rough looking....

    Oiling is ok, but i imagine if you go overboard with it, you can get alittle messy..
  9. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    Be carefull with lemon oil, this not a finishing oil. It cleans nicely, but you have to wipe it of as soon as you're finished cleaning your bass... mostly for the fretboard, it could get under the frets and cause the fretboard wood to rot.
    Tung oil, on the other hand is a finishing oil. Once you've cleaned any unprotected (hard finish) wood surface, it can protect the bass from humidity and minor damages.
    I've used both of these oils on my basses, but most of this info comes from my luthier... 25 years in the business!
    I have no experience with linseed oil and haven't ask about it.
  10. sbasssman

    sbasssman Guest

    Jan 1, 2002
    If you must oil it, use real fretboard oil, nothing else, and use tiny drops spread around.
    Wipe the excess. If you use too much, or do it too often, your frets will lift.
    I personally will take a dry board over frets that lift.
  11. This stuff is D'Andrea Lemon Oil Cleaner & Conditioner. It Also says on the bottle "Removes Dire, Grease & Wax Build Up. Conditions to Resist Dryness..

    Well, I used my lemon oil cleaner stuff and now the board looks a little less dry. I'm thinking it will take one maybe two more LIGHT coats of the stuff to get it dark like it is looking like it should be.

    I don't want to finish the board because 1. I don't want to pay for the special oils/stuff and 2. My fretboards look great unfinished.

    Thanks for all your guys replies.
  12. sbasssman

    sbasssman Guest

    Jan 1, 2002
    It's your call of course, but your reference
    to a couple of other coats is not good. You're going to weaken the board and increase the odds of frets that lift. Maybe not today, but a coupla years from now.
  13. how will it weaken th board when its recommened to oil unfinished boards? i just got enough on there to make it dark again...and its looking good. i think it actually helped a low fret or something.
  14. BillyBishop


    Feb 7, 2001

    It is reccomended to oil, but not alot. Different pieces of rosewood are different colours. I have 4 instruments with rosewood fretboards, and they all look different. Don't over do it or your frets WILL lift.
  15. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Is the Fretboard that strong that it can warp the neck if oiled to much ?
    Ive also read that not oiling Rosewood Fretboards can lead to a neck warping !
    Does a Rosewood Fretboard dictate how a neck is going to behave ? Under all the stress of the strings the Maple thats underneath the Rosewood that thin peice of Rosewood is going to shift a neck is hard to believe.