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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rafterman, Jun 12, 2001.
what do i use to oil a fretboard?
i mean...what kind of oil?
Pure lemon oil is what everyone I know of uses, including me. NOT that crap they push off as lemon oil at the grocery store. That usually has some alcohol in it and does as much harm as good, (alcohol dries out wood as it evaporates).
I got some by plugging "lemon oil" into a search engine and bought it online. The natural foods/joe organic places usually charge way more than other suppliers.
I have this in my files, so I'm passing it along---
From: Roger Sadowsky
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 08:30:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: oiling fingerboards
I recommend linseed oil and DO NOT recommend soaking.
Just cover the entire fingerboard with enough oil to just "wet" the board, let it stand no more than 5 minutes, and wipe off all the excess
with a dry paper towel. If you want to let it "air dry" overnight before you restring--that's OK--but don't "wet-soak" the board for long periods of time.
Oils that are sold for wood finishing like tung oil preparations get too gummy feeling in my opinion. I have always found lemon oil (as in
Old English) to make boards dry out faster than if left alone. After 24 years of this, I still like linseed oil the best.
Great info Donne. If it's good enough for Roger Sadowsky, it's good enough for me .
one question,,, if you have a finished or hrrmmm glazed fretboard [I'm not sure of the technical term] such as maple fretboard witha finish on it do you need to oil the fretboard? with my first bass I had sokme sort of darker wood (I'm guessing rosewood or ash?!?) that wasn't finished and the wood was exposed so I oiled it but is that still necessary for a finished fretboard??
That's the kind of gook I was warning you about.
Not on a finished board. But, after a while, it is good to clean it with naptha, (hardware stores carry it). Naptha has a very quick evaporation rate, so it doesn't damage the fretboard if you apply it, let it work and lift off the grunge a little, and wipe it off with a soft, cotton, cloth, (paper towels don't usually soak it all up and aren't all that soft).
i use guitar honey. it seems to do the job very well.
Maple boards cannot be oiled. Clean with Naptha.
Yep i also use guitar honey! We must both own warwicks and went to there sight and seen what they suggested! hehe
My local luthier gave me a small bottle that contained a light golden brown liquid. The bottle was marked "oil". It works well, no ill effects after five years. I only wish I knew what it was.
As far as the linseed oil that Sadowsky was refering to, I think it's BOILED linseed oil. There is a difference between this and linseed oil. Also, boiled linseed oil works very well but if you use it I would recommend letting the fretboard dry overnight before restringing.
When i talked to the guys at warwick they said that you shouldnt oil your frett board to often! They said the oil from your fingers should be enough! But i oil mine everytime i wax my warwick!
ok excuse my nieveness, but in response to finished fret boards only need a rub with naptha, would my musicman stingray 4 (fret board is a very light coloured wood) be finished or un finished?
If you don't ask you may find out too late, so nothing to excuse, many of are here to learn.
Unless someone has taken the glossy finish off the board, maple is always, IME, finished.
It's maple if it looks like this -
Nice fingerboards, hard sounding and fast.
thanks rb1, thats the one, although my fret board doesn't look super glossy, but i reckon its finished. So just a little naptha to clean up the grime accumulated on the frets and board etc ,... how regularly would you do that?
thanks for the reply about the Naptha,,, now would I pick such a product up at a guitar store,,, or is it more of a household product such as I would find at a hardware store, etc?
Cigarette lighter fluid is naptha.