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samtay6
05-05-2009, 10:10 PM
So I am fairly new to Ukulele, been playing about 5 months, but I've been playing guitar for around 4 years so I know my way around stringed instruments. My girlfriend got me a Kamoa Soprano for a gift, and it is awesome.

My question is, the fretboard on my Kamoa has some interesting striations on it, of which I have never seen on a fretboard before. I at first thought it was just an issue of the fretboard not getting enough oil, so I've been using Weiman Lemon Oil to give it some nourishment, but the patterns are still there. I just want to know if any other ukes have this and if it is a bad thing. Included are some pics of my fretboard adjusted so you can see the patterns.

As far as I can tell the fretboard is rosewood, but I have no clue how to tell other than that it isn't maple and it doesn't look as dark as ebony.

grappler
05-05-2009, 10:13 PM
i havent seen that before but it looks like a discolouration or somthing

Ahnko Honu
05-05-2009, 10:26 PM
If you're talking about the lighter color grain streaks it's not uncommon in Rosewood or even Ebony, i've seen it in both and kind of like it. ;)

samtay6
05-05-2009, 10:32 PM
If you're talking about the lighter color grain streaks it's not uncommon in Rosewood or even Ebony, i've seen it in both and kind of like it. ;)

Yeah those streaks were exactly what I was talking about. I like it too, I just wanted to make sure my Uke wasn't in danger of any sort of damage.

I figured the fretboard might've been super dry there, but the lemon oil did not change them. I guess the lighter grain is just inherent in the wood

ichadwick
05-06-2009, 12:55 AM
Looking at my fretboards on guitars and ukes, they all show variation and striation, some more than others. That's the natural grain of the wood. So it's okay.

However... fretboards can dry out. They're not finished like the rest of the body and are more susceptible to loss of moisture and natural oils. The drier wood usually shows as lighter. It's never a bad idea to oil your fretboard periodically with a proper fretboard oil (or as the luthiers here will attest, an appropriate furniture polish - but avoid products that leave a sticky residue like teak oil).

I personally prefer a product designed for musicians rather than cabinet makers because - while it may be more expensive - it is chosen for the properties I will appreciate most.

Ukuleleblues
05-06-2009, 02:10 AM
I personally prefer a product designed for musicians rather than cabinet makers because - while it may be more expensive - it is chosen for the properties I will appreciate most.

What product(s) do you use?

haole
05-06-2009, 06:15 AM
That's funny; I got my girlfriend a Kamoa soprano around the time she had been playing guitar for four years.

Kamoa fretboards are kinda funky-looking, but it's not a bad thing. Most rosewood and ebony has at least some character lines; manufacturers usually dye the fretboards to make them look more uniform. The wood is probably fine! If it starts looking dry and washed-out, apply some more lemon oil or Fret Doctor (http://www.beafifer.com/boredoctor.htm) and it should be alright.

Ukulele Friend
05-06-2009, 06:24 AM
looks like the natural characteristics in the wood itself to me. the dark streaks are characteristics of macassar ebony (not so much in the case of gaboon ebony) and certainly common in rosewood as well.

best,
shawn

http://ukulelefriend.com

samtay6
05-06-2009, 07:49 AM
What product(s) do you use?

Personally, I use Weiman Natural Lemon Oil on all of my fretboards (guitar and uke). It is about 5 bucks for a giant bottle you will probably never use all of. It is perfect for fretboards because it doesn't have silicones or waxes that can kill the fretboard.

I found mine at a local hardware store, but I'm sure they have it anywhere where they sell cleaners.