Horrific smelling Indian laurel fretboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dsx191, May 13, 2020.

  1. Dsx191


    Apr 6, 2020
    I purchased a used Squier Affinity 5 String Jazz Bass a few months back. The fretboard smells HORRIBLE. It smells like a cross between cat urine and ramen noodles. No idea what the original owner could have done. I’ve used lemon oil but I cannot get this smell out. Any tips?
    Snaxster likes this.
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    You're not gonna like the answer cause it gets kinda messy.

    Make a paste of baking soda and water. Have the paste the consistency of peanut butter. Strip the strings off your bass and smear the baking soda paste on the offending parts and rub it in a little. Let it sit for a few minutes then clean it up and restring.
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  3. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008

    Sounds like the previous owner didn't know that black cat oil is never to be used on fingerboards.

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  4. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Had to look that up. Now I’m in a totally unexpected rabbit hole of knowledge.
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  5. Dsx191


    Apr 6, 2020
    I have read about baking soda before but I didn’t know if it was safe. I’ll look into it. Thanks. Also, the offending area is the entire fretboard.
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Master wood finisher, George Frank, once gave some advice to a woodworker who was unable to get rid of a urine smell from wood canisters he was making. Here's Mr. Frank's solution:

    "First, completely dry the area from which the odor comes. Hang a low-watt incandescent bulb in each canister, and leave it on for a couple of days. Then wash out the canisters with a strong solution of ammonia water or Lysol. Dry them with the electric bulb again. Wait for a snow-clad winter evening. Light a fire in the firelplace. Ask your wife to sit in your lap, and burn your canisters. There will be no odor left."

    Drastic, but effective.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    That smacks of the recipes I've seen for prepping a deer roast. After days of soaking, wrapping, etc., we usually pitch the project and order a pizza.

    DrMole, SLIV, gebass6 and 2 others like this.
  8. That would surely eliminate the odor and any future issues the bass might have!
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I wonder how many cats had to be squeezed to get that bottle of oil?
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  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You may want to consider renting an ozone generator...I've used them myself and ran across a few references touting their efficacy in these situations. You'll have to remove the neck and place it in something like a sealed cardboard carton.

    202dy likes this.
  11. ruju


    Dec 9, 2017
    That's unfortunate. I once bought a used bass with a satin finish swamp ash body.
    It was beautiful and pretty good to play but the previous owner caused it to reek of cigarette. Not being a smoker I found it truly revolting and ended up just passing it along to a friend. Best of luck with yours.
  12. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Heh. I just researched it and found one young lady recommending a base of olive, grapeseed, or almond oils (but not vegetable or canola oils for some reason). Apparently no other cat ingredients are in "black cat oil" but some hair shed by a black cat. A cruelty-free preparation!
    fhm555 likes this.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    More’s the pity. :D
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  14. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008

    ani cat filing nails.gif
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  15. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I take care of this guy when his human is out of town

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  16. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    How to Prepare a Carp for Eating

    Clean it and plank it. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Throw the carp out and eat the plank.
    Zooberwerx likes this.