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Linseed Oil `Raw` `Boiled` or `Anti Mould`

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Growly Lytes, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Hi guys im lost which to choose here for the fretboard,
    Raw Linseed Oil
    Pale Boiled Linseed Oil
    Anti Mould Linseed Oil
    I know this has been beaten to death but its just lead me back to the start,not being sure which way to go !
    Who knows what the difference is in these oils ?
    Would it be o.k to use Raw Linseed oil very light coat ?
    The brand in AU is 'Diggers' & the reccomend mixing 50/50 with mineral turpentine before use,is this o.k to do ?
    Then they have 'Pale Boiled Linseed Oil' which has something added to dry faster but they still reccomend mixing it 50/50 mix of Mineral Turps like the `Raw` Linseed Oil before use,can i use this maybe ?
    Then theres the 'Anti Mould Linseed Oil' which is ready for use as is.
    The difference to the eye is they are each a different colour.The Pale Boiled Linseed Oil being the darkest but they say the Raw one will darken wood the most ?
    Please somebody that has done this please help me !
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Boiled is the choice. It is no longer boiled. It has chemical dryers added. Thinning with naphtha (mineral spirits, white spirits) is a good idea. It is a bit thick out of the can.

    Raw will not harden and remain sticky.

    Never heard of anti-mold. Must have some kind of chemical additive. If the instrument is stored some in a place where mold is a problem, a different place should be chosen.
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Alembic recommends Pure Lemon Oil. I have been using it on my Alembics and Fenders for years and they still play and look like new.
  4. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Howa bout the Planet Waves stuff that Sadowsky reccomends now days,has somebody tried it cause i can get it locally ?
    He used to use Raw Linseed Oil & so did Dan.E but since have changed or use the ones with added solvents to speed up the process.
    The Raw is a yellow colour & the Boiled is much darker like an orange colour is that normal ?
    Though they say the Raw Linseed will darken the Fretboard.
    I can also get Dunlop 65 stuff.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Raw linseed oil will not polymerize. It will remain viscous. Raw linseed oil is sometimes used in foods. It is never used as a wood finish.

    Sadowsky may have used BLO. Dan Erlewine used to recommend it. I do not know what he recommends now. Neither would use raw linseed oil. Their customers would be very unhappy.

    You can purchase a quart of boiled linseed oil and thin it with naphtha. The combined purchase will be a lifetime supply for many instruments. Or you can spend money on a "specially formulated for fingerboards" product that costs ten times as much on a per ounce basis.

    Or you can choose to do nothing. At least one regular on this board has thirty or forty year old instruments that have never had any type of finish applied to the fingerboards and is perfectly happy with the results. The choice is yours. One thing is certain. No matter the finish chosen, the fingerboard will not care.
  6. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Ive got Mineral Turpentine , in AU we call this Methylated Spirits its 95% Ethanol.
    Can i mix that with BLO ?
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Fretboard? One coat of Tung oil.
  8. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    No! Naphtha. Lighter fluid. Petroleum products.

    Methylated spirits is called denatured alcohol in the US. Wrong chemical.

    Turpentine might work, if you want your guitar to smell like great grandma's bathroom. Test it on scrap before committing to your instrument.
  9. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    What's your fingerboard made of?

    Aside from an occasional cleaning, my ebony and rosewood fingerboards are untreated and are none the worse for it. The ebony fingerboard of my DB dates to 1937; the rosewood P-bass, to 1973.
  10. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I use boiled here, usually when I get a new-to-me-used bass that has been neglected for a while(the 1984 P-clone got Friday is an example). Neck/frets get cleaned with 0000 steel wool rubbing only in the direction of the grain. A light, even coat is applied with excess wiped off. That is let to sit for about 10 minutes. Then it is wiped with a different cloth to remove and shine what has "soaked" in. The bass is then left out of the case to dry overnight as I get nervous about any non-dried getting on the case liner and then becoming a fire hazard.

    Been using the above procedure since the 1970's with good results(i.e. no dried out or shrinking fretboards, no frets letting go, no wood/glue damage). Your preferences may vary.

    SAFETY NOTE: The rags are burned outdoors as soon as I do the last wipe out here in boonieland as linseed oil rags CAN self-ignite from what I have read. When I lived in the city, I'd use an old metal pot sitting in the BBQ pit to do the same. The fire hazard is mentioned in this MSDS:
  11. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    I have used 100% Pure Tung oil...highly recommended..FBass recommendation
    Bore Oil...found in the horn section of your local music store
    100 % Mineral oil..found in local Pharmacy...Fodera recommendation

    All the products listed above do not have thinners, additives etc...
  12. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    I think im going to try 100% Mineral Oil.It doesnt have to be mixed or enhanced in any way.
    Ive heard nothing but good about it & im pretty sure its not going to dry the FB or catch on fire.
    I think once a year should be right.
    Im a little worried about BLO now mainly about it becoming sticky, even Lemon & Orange Oils scare me.
    I cant remember reading one bad thing on TB or anywhere about Mineral Oil though.
    I think its the ticket.
  13. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    So at the last minute i chnaged my mind going off what Sadowsky has told TB users that he doesnt use anything but Planet Waves Hydrate Conditoner so thats what i got.
    He used to use BLO & decided to change.Even Stewart.M doesnt use LO anymore.
    It sounds like its a great oil to use but there are downsides like the fretboard leaking out oil when its really hot.
  14. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    For the rosewood fret boards I use cedar oil. It is sold here for furniture.
  15. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    I just more reviews on Planet Waves Hydrate Conditioner & i cant find 1 bad review to be honest. !
    Where with BLO or just plain ol LO i find for every 1 'good' review theres a 'bad' review to follow up the good one.
    Its got me thinking that maybe Sadowsky knows a bit more then i do so thanks dude.
    Downunder the weather has recently gone insane & its effecting my basses.
  16. I'll join the group that's never oiled any of my guitar or bass fingerboards, whether maple, rosewood or ebony. My oldest is a 1955 Gibson with rosewood.

    I have kept them clean and wiped down with a soft cloth after playing.
  17. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Rosewood is naturally oily as it is. I see no need to add oil to an already oily wood. Just wipe it down with mineral spirits and rag once in a while to keep the crud off of it. Or do what I do, and just ignore it until the next string change.
  18. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    MOst lemon oil is just mineral oil with some lemon oil added. Mineral oil is good for treating wooden cutting boards, but not furniture and basses. Pure lemon oil is great for cleaning wooden instruments and fretboards. Beeswax thinned with lemon oil is a nice cleaner/wax combo. A fretboard should be cleaned, but nothing else added.
  19. brotondo


    Feb 7, 2012
    Kimball MI
    boiled linseed and tung oils are natural oi finishes for raw woods, they dry inside the grains and leave a better than nothing "finish" for bare wood. I wouldn't put them on a fretboard. Other than maple,they don't have a finish, It might work for maple but the dry time is days if not weeks per coat

    I use Old English Red Oil & lemon oil as it does hydrate,clean, gives fretboard a luster. I seen many old f/b's(1st time in a long lifetime) just keep soaking it up like a sponge and come back to life. Plus one my own has an ebony F/b with an ugly split in the end that could have been prevented had it been oiled once in a while, before I took owership
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto

    Well it may clean, and it may add lustre, but it won't hydrate. In order to hydrate, it needs to add water to the wood. There is no water in lemon oil.