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lemon oil for rosewood fingerboard?

This is a discussion on lemon oil for rosewood fingerboard? within the Music Man Guitars forums, part of the Gear Talk category; Here's some info I dug up... by the way I have been using Gibs0n Fretboard Conditioner on my rosewood boards ...

  1. #16
    jamminjim's Avatar
    jamminjim is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    linseed oil, natural oils, etc...

    Here's some info I dug up... by the way I have been using Gibs0n Fretboard Conditioner on my rosewood boards for years... think I'm going to try another product (see below)

    Linseed oil ....
    Linseed oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    However Linseed oil (Flaxseed oil) in any of it's formulations has some negative attributes (unless it's denatured) read about other oils too...
    Bore Oil for the Fife

    Linseed Oil Information and Use on the Natural Handyman home repair and do it yourself website
    there's also this oil .....
    Pure Tung Oil Finish - Wood Finishing - All Natural Finish - China Wood Oil - Real Milk Paint

    ************************************************** ******

    I think what I'm going to do is get some of this.... (or my trusty Murphy's oil soap)
    cleaner

    and then start using this...
    stuff for treating fretboards

    ************************************************** ******
    Last edited by jamminjim; 11-27-2009 at 11:07 AM.

    Silhouette Special in Carbon Blue Pearl maple neck
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    Handwired '65 Princeton Reverb Head with Hoffman turret board
    2 x 12 cab (Celestion and Weber)

  2. #17
    Slingy's Avatar
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    If you can get the Fret Doctor from beafifer.com than that would be all you need to care of a new rosewood board. I love this stuff.

    Now, I have this old Martin which is not so pretty, over the years somebody used some kind of product that sealed the wood, it looks quite gross to me and artificial compared to my eb boards, and nothing can soak into it, so it is dried out and cracking. Be wary of using anything that would make a permanent seal.
    09 Steve Morse Dargie Delight 2
    09 AXIS SUPER SPORT CABERNET PEARL HARDTAIL W/ ROSEWOOD NECK
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slingy View Post
    Be wary of using anything that would make a permanent seal.
    I always cringe when I read of folks sealing their rosewood board with hard drying oils.

  4. #19
    Lukesilo's Avatar
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    You all got me thinking alot and this is good. I really want to take care of my Silo Special and didnt know what was best so now I have some insight.

  5. #20
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    Dude, this topic is one of those that you will never find a concensus on. There are way too many theories out there. After researching all of the claims, I have come to the conclusion that you can use products like Lizard Spit, Dr. Stringfellow, or other "kerosene based" fretboard conditioners. The one thing I learned is that I was over-oiling my neck and fretboard. Only oil it when it starts looking dry. I was oiling mine religously once a month.

    Don't use hard drying oils.

    Organic oils make your fretboard smell funny.

  6. #21
    PaoloGilberto's Avatar
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    thank you all for suggestions.
    I think I will search to buy the Fret Doctor.


    Nobozos, like all the topics on a forum , you are right "this topic is one of those that you will never find a concensus on."

  7. #22
    Grand Wazoo is offline Banned
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    I've found this article on the web that should put a lot of wives tales to rest, take your time to read it as it is very informative

    Forgive the long-winded answer to such a simple question, but I get asked this at least several times a month, and it's time I came up with something complete and useful, which other folks can use besides you.
    WHAT'S IN A FINGERBOARD?
    Fingerboards are usually made of a tough, dense hardwood chosen for its abrasion-resistant qualities. Its surface is left unfinished because string abrasion would soon wear through any finish film and leave the fingerboard spotted with numerous unsightly wear-thruough blemishes. Some guitar factories that make inexpensive guitars will finish the fingerboards with super-tough shiny finishes, but these invariably end up looking pretty bad after a couple of years, or the finish starts sloughing off and cracking. So that's no good either. So it's best to leave it unfinished, and to choose a very dark wood so that it doesn't show up dirt and string oxidation stains very quickly.

    WHAT CAN HAPPEN
    The problem with leaving unfinished one face of any dense hardwood, while the opposite face is glued down, is that the unfinished face will absorb moisture during humid spells and lose moisture during dry spells--while it's opposite face is sealed off against any of these humidity cycles. So you have the bad situation of one face of the fingerboard held tightly in place because it's glued down, and the opposite face expanding and contracting. It's bad because it will eventually warp the piece, which can drag the entire neck into a warp, or the built-up stresses in the piece can drive the fingerboard to crack.

    So that's why we seal the bare, unfinished face. But with what? Pretty much any old crap will do the job of actually sealing the surface: used motor oil, hazardous waste, spray adhesive, bacon fat, furniture polish, even store-bought fingerboard lotions ("finger eeze," etc.). Obviously I should recommend against using hazardous waste, so I might as well warn you against some store-bought potions that people are persuaded to buy and dab over their guitars.
    BE SKEPTICAL ABOUT OVER THE COUNTER CARE PRODUCTS
    The chemical industry provides thousands of products for home and industry. In the process, untold thousands-more compounds result: you try to create one useful chemical, in the process you end up with half a dozen other chemicals as by-products which you must get rid of. Or find a new use for. As a result, another industry has risen which busies itself in finding uses for all that stuff. Is it slick and oily? How about fingerboard oil!. Does it dry slick and shiny? How about furniture polish! Or guitar polish! Well, if its slick, and stays slick, it's probably loaded with silicones, and as a deep-throat-secret industry insider once revealed to me, many of the over-the-counter spray-on or rub-on guitar-care products are just that: silicone-based secondary by-products from the chemical industry.

    Now silicones are really oils that never, never dry out. Now that could be a good thing, but that means that the stuff can "migrate" forever. You get some on your guitar, then on your hands, and you touch the table and leave some on the table, or the guitar leaves some on the case fabric, and then someone else touches the case fabric and carries some onto their guitar, and the stuff migrates every where and forever, because it just stays slick and sticky forever. For people who work on guitars, the stuff is hellish because NOTHING will stick to it, wherever it happens to be. Glue, finish, nothing. Whenever I see the lustrous, oily-slick, sticky film on a guitar from a well-meaning owner who has been persuaded that the guitar will somehow "die" or "dry up" because they're not lathering it ("nourishing it") with some commercial fingerboard oil or spray on guitar goop), I go into hazard-avoidance mode: I quarantine the case and take a roll of paper towels and disposable plastic gloves and wipe as much of the goo off as I can, and then go over the whole guitar with a good guitar "cleaner" (Martin makes one) and then toss all the paper and cloth debris into a plastic bag and ditch it. Then I wash my hands with soap and water. Then I start work on the guitar.
    SO WHAT SHOULD YOU USE?
    Take it from me, I've been worrying about guitars for over twenty-five years: the least amount you use, and the most infrequently, the better! If your guitar's lacquered surfaces get dirty, a moist, clean cotton cloth with a tiny dot of Ivory liquid will remove sticky finger dirt or "road grime." Dulled areas can be brightened up with over the counter guitar "cleaners," which are really just ultrafine abrasive liquids that remove the dull areas by revealing fresh finish underneath. But stay away from all those "polishes." They are unnecessary, bogus consumer impulse items. "Lemon" oil (no lemon it) is the most often-recommended product for fingerboards, but it is less than ideal because it contains waxes which cause it to stay partially sticky and actually attracts more dirt. "Fingerboard dirt" is actually a sticky slurry of sweat, metal dust and oxides, and sloughed-off skin cells accumulate in between the frets. When you can SEE these accumulations, take a small square of plastic scouring pad material (like the fine white pads that 3M sells in grocery stores), wetted by a few drops of paint-store variety naptha or turpentine will clean it all off right quick without harming the guitar or mortifying guitar technicians in any way. The turpentine will leave a bit of residue which should be enough to satisfy the sealing requirement of the bare fingerboard. But you should then buff the fingerboard down to remove any excess...because any sticky excess is counterproductive: it just ATTRACTS dirt and grime.

    I wait till the fingerboard starts to look dirty (I definitely don't do it once a week if it needs it or not, like some frenzied guitar-lovers I know who are just loving their guitar to death!) I scour the intra-fret spaces (following the grain) with the plastic scouring pad and naptha, wipe the surface clean and then apply (and then buff off carefully) a far more "natural" fingerboard oil preparation that I used to get from my early mentor, Michael Gurian, called Gurian Fingerboard Oil. Unfortunately he is out of the fingerboard oil business and I can't suggest any other suppliers at this time. I am thinking of taking over his formula and selling the stuff, though. It was sooo good. It smelled like heaven, had absolutely no nasty silicones, was non-sticky and actually stopped finger squeeking on the strings. Stay tuned, I might make it available in the near future myself.
    William R. Cumpiano
    William R. Cumpiano, Guitarmakers

  8. #23
    PaoloGilberto's Avatar
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    Grand Wazoo,

    thanks for sharing this, for sure this guy is one of the few who understands and tries to explain how this society and economy functions I think the same about this world...
    and I totally agree with him that most of products are just MK and no value in it...but finally he ends up recommending something that he will manufacture , that is funny though

  9. #24
    Lukesilo's Avatar
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    I am curious if the stuff works as well as he claims too.

  10. #25
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    I always use extra virgin olive oil on my luke fretboard, it's not thatgood to clean the fretboard, but guys, it nourish the wood heavenly!

    jepp, we Italians don't use olive oil just on pizza and sallads!

  11. #26
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    Thanks for the post Grand. That guy seems to know what he's talking about, but it seems like he has an ax to grind with the petroleum industry, or the corporate world.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. When something is sold as fretboard conditioner, it's probably fine to use on your fretboard. The best advice I saw in the whole article is to use the products infrequently, only as needed.

    I used to use Dr. Stringfellow "Lemon Oil" for years, but then switched to Lizard Spit. I've never had a problem with any of my guitars necks. I used to apply the product to my neck and fretboard once a month, but have backed off to about once every 3 months.

    I think people make way more out of this subject than it needs to be. It's like some people want to find an obscure product to use, so that they can say they are the smartest person in the room. "Are you crazy using what the manufacturer recommends? You need to use a mixture of whale oil, bacon fat and Turtle Wax."

    Just go to the music store and get what the manufacturer recommends.

  12. #27
    Grand Wazoo is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello View Post
    I always use extra virgin olive oil on my luke fretboard, it's not thatgood to clean the fretboard, but guys, it nourish the wood heavenly!

    jepp, we Italians don't use olive oil just on pizza and sallads!
    Assolutamente Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva,

    As Frank Zappa said... Keep it greasy...

  13. #28
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    i for one LOVE the ernie ball wonder wipes fretboard conditioner. the orange oil is better than the overly acidic lemon oil,and it smells MUCH better.
    i find it very common that folks oil the fingerboards too often. i think 4 times a year such do it. winter-spring-summer-fall.
    tommy in delaware
    (renegade redneck hillbilly geetar player )
    life 's what happens while your busy makin plans
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tommyalderson/

  14. #29
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    I "second the motion" on the wonder wipes. The wipes are evenly saturated and make it incredibly easy to treat your fingerboard. More great stuff from EB.

    Stingray HS--SLO Special
    Ernie Ball Strings

    "Jeff Porcaro's equipment speaks for itself"

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