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How to tell if rosewood fretboard is getting dry?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MovingPitchers, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. My jazz bass' rosewood neck is very dark and my precision bass' rosewood is very light. I don't know if the bass was built with a lighter toned rosewood or if it's starting to dry out. And it's lightly tones EVERYWHERE, not just random spots here and there.

    It doesn't FEEL like it's dry, but should I condition it anyways?
  2. A little lemon oil wouldn't hurt...
  3. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    ^ agreed

    if in doubt, apply lemon oil.
  4. I thought lemon oil was best. Next to linseed oil.

    Then I read another forum that those were bad and olive oil was best.

    Then I read another article that food grade oils were the worst

    Alik likes this.
  5. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    REAL lemon oil..not the furniture polish stuff. Boiled down linseed oil is good also. Olive oil is good for olives
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Human skin oil from playing it a lot is the best.

    If you play it enough you should have to remove oily gunge from the board once a year or so, not add more oil.

    There is a fair bit of color difference in rosewood. Play more, worry less.
    lowstrung likes this.
  7. Mineral oil. Lemon oil is better at cleaning than conditioning.
  8. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Lemon oil could possibly break down the fret glue and cause fretspout if you use too much.
    Linseed oil doesn't smell very nice, and unboiled linseed oil can cause soaked rags to spontaneously combust if left in a pile indoors.
    Olive oil can go rancid and make your bass smell awful.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Yep and wipe the entire neck after playing to spread it around. If you play it lots you don't need oil.
  10. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Alembic recommends Pure Lemon Oil for their fretboards. If its good enough for a $10,000 bass its good enough for me.

    I have been using lemon oil on my Alembics, Spectors and Fenders for year. Always had great results.
  11. Fodera recommends mineral oil, and they aren't exactly budget basses.
  12. I don't gig but I play around with my basses when I'm at home which is a lot of the time.
  13. penguineman


    Feb 11, 2012
    I use dunlops lemon oil on my rosewood fretboards I ended up buying their guitar fingerboard kit with the cleaner & prep and the deep conditioner oil and didn't think to much of it. but do like their lemon oil. now I do have some Music nomad Fretboard F-one oil that i use on my maples I have been thinking about trying it on one of my rosewood fretboards it claims it is 100% free of any lemon extracts,waxes, or petroleum distallates detergents and water seems to work good on the maple fretboards.so it oughta work great on the rosewood
  14. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    If you like the look of darker rosewood I can recommend fret doctor. Be careful with lower quality necks though, the penetration is so effective that frets can lift out of their slots. I'd only apply it once in the lifetime of a neck and stick to a wet rag from then on.
  15. I use lemon oil to clean up my fret board then condition it with bore oil. It's meant for clarinets to condition ebony.
  16. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I use Teak Oil (available at Home Depot). It cleans and conditions the rosewood very nicely.
  17. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I have used Zymöl Bridge (a hard carnuba wax) on an ebony fingerboard (fretless) and liked the result. It was already clean. Bridge is primarily marketed to the orchestral community but I figure if it works on pricey symphony instruments it's fine for me.
  18. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Why would you use any kind of oil on a Maple neck? It has been finished and it's non-porous, so it doesn't even reach the wood. The only thing it will do is act as a lubricant.
  19. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Wax is OK for wood and some species, like Rosewood, Teak and others naturally have wax in them. Wiping these with solvent (without adding oil or wax) removes the naturally-occurring wax and causes it to dry and makes absorption of other liquids likely. One way a finished product could have been exposed to solvent is in manufacture, if it was glued to another piece, because the wax must be removed if the glue is going to hold. Lemon oil doesn't polymerize or react with much, so it remains liquid in/on the wood fibers and because of this, it doesn't dry to a hard shell or become sticky, like unboiled linseed oil and wiping on too much (real) tung oil. Most of the tung oil sold is a little bit of that, mixed with polyurethane and mineral spirits.

    Woodworkers have used a time-tested finish made of equal parts BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil), Tung oil and Polyurethane- it's one of the most durable finishes around, but it's really for furniture, not the neck of a musical instrument. It could, however, be used for any surface that needs a durable finish that builds up, to close the wood's pores.

    If someone wants to use wax, carnauba wax mixed with a little mineral spirits will seal the wood, it will soak in and can be wiped with a moist cloth to remove dirt. Considering the way some people's hands sweat and the acidic content destroying strings and other metal, wax would seem to be a good choice.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I have a huge bottle of Howard's Feed & Wax (weed & feed) which will probably be around long after I'm gone. I use it on my Pedulla and Schack rosewood boards.