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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DEVILMAN, May 12, 2003.



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    HELLo All,

    I have a quick question on this argued topic. What type of oil do you use on your ebony/rosewood/natural fretboard after you clean it, to preserve & maintain it's longevity?

    I've been told everything from mineral oil, boiled linseed oil to lemon oil. To boot, all with different methods of application/removal procedures.

    Does anyone have concrete evidence on what is correct & which are fallacious.

  2. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Do a search with "linseed" as Keyword, is one of the fav.oil for dark fingerboard woods.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    I've done the search thing (as always before I post) but I still need closure to this voodoo!

    I went to Fodera today (during my Epifani stint with Joker) & they swear by mineral oil on all their boards? I've been in the game a while & I just really wonder is one better than the other? Pro's/con's...

  4. Whatever you use,
    Clean with Naptha first, then oil.

    Dunlop Formula 65 Lemon Oil is made for
    fretboard use and is supposed to
    clean and oil at the same time.

    Boiled Linseed Oil is recommend, however the
    drawbacks might include gumming if applied
    too much. And it 'cures' so build up can occur
    if it is reapplied too soon. Also, it will seal in
    any and all dirt that hasn't been cleaned off the surface.

    I use mineral oil on my Flats to break in new strings
    and make 'em fast.

    Mineral Oil on the fretboard is safe.
    You really can't over do it because the
    oil will only soak in what the wood will take.
    If you apply too much the fretboard will 'sweat'
    the oil out within 24 hours. Just wipe it off.
    Mineral Oil therefore doesn't cause build-up.

    Factoid: The Martin Guitar Factory is known to slap
    a quick light coat of 3 in 1 oil on their acoustic
    fretboards before shipping.

    I used light gun oil once, with good results
    but the fretboard smelled like a rifle for a few days.
  5. I use Lemon Oil to clean and protect my fretboards!

    If it's good enough for Spector to recommend, then it's good enough for me to use on my Spectors (and other basses!)


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    Thanks for your reply! You finally gave me an answer that sounds legit. I figured if Fodera recommends mineral oil on their basses, it HAS to be an excellent maintainence choice. I just like to see what other experienced bassist use & the results they've gotten.

    I've used lemon oil & boiled linseed oil + light gun oil's (LOL! At least I'm not the only nut here) & others. I think I'm going to go the mineral oil route due to its lack of build up/gumminess.

    One more question, you say to use naptha to clean the board first. How does it compare to Formby's Deep cleansing build up remover (I don't know the ingredients)?



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    what type of board do you have? Have you ever used any other oil's on your Spector or any other basses/

  8. The Spectors have Rosewood boards!

    The Guild bass that I still have has a Rosewood board, and the Washburn 5 string that I used to have has a Rosewood board. I've never used Lemon Oil on my P-bass as it has a Maple board that is lacquered!

    I also use the Lemon Oil on my g**tars. I have an Explorer (ESP LTD) with a Rosewood board, and a Squier Strat with a sation finsished Maple Neck that has had the Lemon Oil treatment - seem to work well.
  9. I heard of anyone using Formby's Cleaner on
    a fretboard. I don't know what it contains.
    Naptha lighter fluid is cheaper though.



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    I'll check it out.



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    The Formby's I've been using for some time now has Aliphatic Hydrocarbons, does the Naptha also have this? Does the Naptha leave a residue free (dry quick) clean board? Is it mild/strong?

  12. I once had a Carvin bass and they recommended lemon oil on their ebony fretboard.

    I used lemon oil for years, and it works fine, but recently switched to Gibson Luthier's Choice Fretboard Conditioner and like it a little better. It doesn't leave any residue.


    May 7, 2003
    dont over due the lemon oil or similar likes because the frett-board can become saturated (after a period of time)and the fretts will start to lift out of the wood,i did'nt believe this untill my teacher/luthier showed me one of his customers basses that had this happen and you can see that the frett-board was almost soggy looking,dont get nervous it took a long time and a few bottles of lemon oil to accomplish this but you'd be suprised how many people over polish their frett-boards:meh:
  14. check out this thread for more info and stuff:

    Dude Pit Thread

    Don't know Aliphatic from cat poop.
    Whatever it is, it has a "Fresh Wintergreen" scent.
    Quote from Fine Furniture Finishing site:
    "a harmless, quick evaporating oil based solvent that will remove any residue and the piece in preparation of application of the new finish. "

    Naptha leaves no residue and dry very quickly
    and is very gentle.
    It is used by furniture craftsmen.
  15. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    So let me get this strait:

    Rosewood/Pau Ferro - Minerial Oil

    Ebony - Lemon Oil

    Is this the general consenus?

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