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Fretboard Cleaning

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by voleceq, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. Hey everyone! I have been wondering about my fretboard because it looks like is is "drying out". It kinda looks dusty but it is dust. I was wondering if there was some kind of oil or something I could put on it. Thanks in advance.
  2. Comakazi


    May 3, 2001
    Midwest US
    What kind of fretboard is it? It depends on what kind it is as to what you do for it's care. Is it rosewood, ebony, maple, finished? Unfinished?
    A bit more detail is needed.
  3. Well, the bass is a Ibanez GSR190 and I believe it has a rosewood fretboard. Not sure if it is finished or unfinished.
  4. I use D'andrea lemon oil. Should be available from your local guitar shop.

    You just dab it on with a cloth and then polish it off. It cleans all the crud off the board and frets and moisturises the wood. It also darkens the wood a couple of shades which I think looks a lot better but that's just a matter of personal preference.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Thanks, it does help. I just have one question, do I neet to remove the strings before applying the oil?
  6. Definitely yes. You won't be able to give it a good clean with the strings in the way.

    Also I am not sure what effect this stuff will have on the strings. As it's an oil it may make them sound duller and cause loads of crap to stick.

    Incidentally I'm assuming that your rosewood board is unfinished. As far as I know all rosewood boards are. Someone else may know differently. But lemon oil will still clean it. It just won't moisturize it.
  7. Is there a gap you should between cleaning your bass and picking it up again? Will anything need to dry? hmmmm
  8. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I was wondering if th birdseye maple fretboard on my stingray 5 is finished or not... how can I tell????
  9. Not really.After you've coated the board with it just polish it all off and there is no residue. Any excess is absorbed into the wood. You can restring straight away.
  10. Oops. My last post was a reply to this.

    Don't know about your Stingray neck. Perhaps someone else does?
  11. As far as I know fretboards are either lacquered or not. When a fretboard is described as finished then that means it is lacquered. You should be able to see if it is coated with lacquer or if it is just bare wood. But again, I'm not an expert
  12. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    ahh yeas. i see this now.. It is unfinished... just like my other basses.... It is so clear to me now... what is the difference though.. does it effect the sound by being finished or not???? which do you prefer????
  13. I don't know the answer to that but I would be interested to know myself. Perhaps someone is reading this who does know.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    A lacquered board will add a little brightness to the sound, although on a fretted bass the difference is probably not that noticeable.

    The reason a lot of manufacturers lacquer maple boards is because unfinished maple gets grungy looking pretty quick.
  15. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I've been doing the following for years on my rosewood necks. It was recommended to me, and I've never had a problem:
    Get some very mild soap, like dish soap and, using a toothbrush, scrub the fingerboard gently. Wipe with a damp cloth, then dry quickly with a dry cloth. I finish by using the lemon oil

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