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Pau Ferro Fretboard Care

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by reedith, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Hey all, I was just wondering what kind of oil you guys use to maintain your Pau Ferro Fretboard. I've heard lemon oil can dry things out, but then I've heard others recommend it. I use lemon oil for my rosewood fretboards and I can't say I've noticed them drying out. Linseed oil also seems to be popular, but I have not found any answer which seems to specifically address the needs of Pau Ferro wood.

    It's the fretboard for my 6-string Cirrus and although I might not be changing strings for a little while, I thought it would be best to inquire about what other people use. Thanks in advance.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    FWIW, Pau Ferro is Rosewood. Just a different variety. It would be treated exactly the same as any other rosewood.

  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    One would think, (ah say, "think"), something that seems so cut and dry would have a single best answer.

    I've looked at reco's by everyone from Cumpiano to Gibson. There is no single. "best". way, apparently.

    - Linseed oil (as R. Sadowsky uses) - I've seen reports from those who have tried it, boiled or raw, that it takes forever to dry or leaves the fretboard gunky.

    - "Pure" lemon oil - some say it has additives or that it really isn't "pure" at all and that it isn't the best thing for a fretboard

    - Specific products marketed under bass/guitar maker names - some say it has harmful additives or silicones

    Two things there seems to be somewhat of a consensus on;

    1. If the board is really dirty, take off the strings and start with 0000 sandpaper or a 3M kitchen pad.

    2. Naptha will remove gunk and evaporates quickly.

    Personally, I think a lot of it is just a macho, "one-upmanship" game where they want to seem like THE authority. One guy who has been building instruments for about 25 years says he just uses Scott's Liquid Gold.

    Bottomline, the pure lemon oil has never disappointed me. I use it on two bass fretboards I've had for about 30 years.


    Dec 21, 2001
    Boise, ID
    if you play often enough the oils from your fingers should be plenty, and it's the best kind of oil for your fingerboard. i play at least 2-3 hours a day and have never oiled a finger board, never had one dry out either. ebony,pau(rosewood)or wenge.

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