Fretboard conditioner?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ausf, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    I was on hold with a retailer and the recorded message was pushing fretboard conditioner.

    I recently picked up a Highway One P with a rosewood fretboard (love it!). Previously I only used Ricks with their glossy finished neck or a fretless roadster with a satin maple, not un-treated rosewood, with is probably what attracted me too it.

    My 3/4 has a rosewood fingerboard and I've never done a thing to it.

    Am I supposed to care for it in some way besides the normal wipe-down?
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    You need to condition rosewood fretboards from time to time, maybe once a year or so, depending on environment and usage. I use lemon oil with a sunscreen protectant (for those 4th of July outdoor gigs) by the brand name of Weiman. It's also a cleaner and moisturizer and does not contain silicone. I clean with it, wipe it down, then saturate and let it stand for a while to soak in real good, then wipe down again. As an added bonus, take the residue and wipe down the back of the neck and you'll have a really fast sliding neck too. Since it is a furniture polish, you could use it on the whole guitar, which I sometimes do as well. Word of caution - be careful with spillage - it will stain clothing, carpet etc. if you spill it on those types of things, and make a non-carpeted floor extremely slick and dangerous. :cool:
  3. Bassguy1


    Feb 10, 2006
    U.S. - Midwest

    Boiled lindseed oil is the best conditioner for fingerboards or any type of wood. You can find it at The Home Depot or Lowes. You don't take it home and boil comes that way.
  4. My take is that if the bass is going out of whack when it's humid, oiling it will probably help. If not, it's not necessary. My reasoning is this: Rosewood is naturally oily. Heat from your fingers opens the pores and draws the oil to the surface and, with age, it dries out and absorbs more moisture/humidity. Wood expands when it absorbs moisture. The back of the neck is finished and doesn't absorb as much moisture so the top of the neck expands more than the bottom, (i.e. it warps). To see this effect to the extreme, spray paint one side of a long piece of cardboard and put it in a damp cellar for a few hours. Oiling a dry fingerboard minimizes the absorption making it more stable when the humidity changes.
  5. basstones


    May 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Howard Feed-N-Wax, great stuff for boards

  6. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I've recently been using Planet Waves Hydrate and I am very pleased with it.


    Attached Files:

  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've been using the wonder wipes fretboard conditioner from Ernie Ball. cheap and easy to use.
  8. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    +1 on the EBMM Wonder Wipes. I use their body polish and fretboard conditioner. The fretboard conditioner is great for maple boards. It works good on rosewood too.
  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    +1. I rip them in 3rs or half and a big container will last me a couple of years. Amazing stuff and smells "citrusy"!:smug:
  10. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    EB wipes work great. No fretboard conditioner is needed on a finished maple fretboard -- Fender for example -- only on unfinished EB maple boards.
  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    I'm using an Orange Oil and beeswax concoction called 'Howard's Feed n' Wax' furniture conditioner. I took this tip from Carl at Lakand. Mmmmm, orangy!:)

    I can't see needing to use it more than once a year or so.
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    I use rendered chicken fat. It's an old family recipe my grandmother taught me, which I do not recommend to anyone who is unfamiliar with the process.

  13. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006

    Mmmmm, chickeney!:)
  14. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Roger can you use that on the back of the neck neck and body on tung oiled basses?

    Does it feel greasy after applying?
  15. Rich L

    Rich L

    May 17, 2006
    Ft Myers, FL
    I've been using ColorTone Fretboard Finishing Oil from Stewart-MacDonald ever since Matt Pulcinella recommended it. It penetrates the wood and dries hard, unlike linseed or other oil finishes which may become sticky when warm. Good stuff, highly recommended!
  16. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    +1...I love the stuff!

  17. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    Thanks for all the input, I'm definitely conditioning and I'll check out your suggestions (except the chicken fat, I don't need my Lab chewing on the neck).
  18. chrisp2u

    chrisp2u Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
  19. doc540


    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    I've used this on the '69 Jbass for 30+ years.


    Dittos on the Howard's feed'n'wax.

    Used it on the most recent refin on the '69J.

    From this:

    to this:

    to this:

    Thank you, Howard's!