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Steve in Kent
01-12-2019, 06:20 AM
Does anyone ever use lemon oil, or something similar, to clean and feed the fretboard when changing strings?

And would you do this for all types of wood, or just rosewood?

70sSanO
01-12-2019, 06:34 AM
I use 3-n-1 oil. Supposedly that was a recommendation by Martin many decades ago. I’m sure the chemical composition has changed over the years, but I still use it. I used to use lemon oil, which is good for cleaning them. As with any of this...YMMV.

John

Rllink
01-12-2019, 06:53 AM
Smear on mineral oil, clean the frets with a toothbrush, wipe it all off. Every time I change strings, but I don't change strings that often. But one time I was changing strings and I didn't have any mineral oil, so there was some stuff in a cupboard that was for furniture, it said on the label that it restored the natural oils, so I used that instead. Nothing bad happened. I don't think the fretboard is that particular.

TobyDog
01-12-2019, 07:24 AM
I recently bought a used Koaloha that had sat in storage for several years. I contacted the company (KoAloha) and was told to use Music Nomad F-One Oil, to clean and treat the fretboard.

I bought a little bottle at Guitar Center and it worked like a charm. You only need a little bit, so the small bottle will last years.

(It was really inexpensive)

Swamp Yankee
01-12-2019, 10:16 AM
Bore oil, made for woodwind instruments is what I use lately. It's available in most music shops and works well. But IMO any oil should be applied very sparingly, like a drops in a rag and rub up the fretboard until you need another drop... 3 drops total is enough to do an entire tenor fretboard. Rub it in well, and only do it once a year or so.

Bob Taylor of Taylor guitars suggests boiled linseed oil... again, very sparingly, and maybe 3 times total, over the course of several years.

besley
01-12-2019, 11:29 AM
I can't imagine it makes that much difference which type of product you use, as long as you use something. (Though I've never heard of using 3 in 1 oil on an instrument before!) Lemon oil, lindseed (boiled or not). I've been using the MusicNomad F-One oil and it seems to work just fine, use it on anything with a wood fretboard about once a year. Good idea NOT to use anything with silicone in it in case you ever want to refinish the instrument for any reason.

kypfer
01-12-2019, 11:41 AM
I've read boiled linseed is NOT recommended for woodwind instruments, I'd guess the same would be true for fretted stringed instruments ;)

I've also read that "lemon oil" is just ordinary light machine oil (3-in-1 or similar) made to "smell nice" so's they can charge a high price for it ;)

3-in-1 was certainly recommended by one of the major guitar manufacturers, whether it was Martin or not, I can't remember, but it works perfectly well for me, on my stringed instruments and my woodwinds, but I do keep it off the mouthpiece ;)

YMMV :music:

EDW
01-12-2019, 11:42 AM
Bore oil, made for woodwind instruments is what I use lately. It's available in most music shops and works well. But IMO any oil should be applied very sparingly, like a drops in a rag and rub up the fretboard until you need another drop... 3 drops total is enough to do an entire tenor fretboard. Rub it in well, and only do it once a year or so. .

According to some techs I have known, the bore oil you often find in a generic music store is often a petroleum based product. I have been told that natural oils and products are better. Some great products that many techs and WW players swear by-

http://doctorsprod.com/cbuy/supplies/wood-care

some also like
https://www.justforwinds.com/naylors-organic-bore-oil-0

I have also heard some recommend sweet almond oil

Kenn2018
01-12-2019, 04:23 PM
I know that MyaMoe & Mike Pereira used Birchwood Casey TruOil gunstock finish on their fretboards for a while. TruOil is boiled linseed oil and other natural oils. (Might have tung oil in it.)

I have read differing opinions about applying lemon oil over it. Both pro and con. Anyone have any experience with the stuff?

MopMan
01-12-2019, 06:11 PM
Certain oils, including linseed oil, tung oil, and TruOil, will harden into a polymer coating. I would be certain, before using one of these oils, that I was intending to refinish my instrument and not simply "refresh" the fingerboard.

Recently began using something called Howard's Feed-n-Wax, which you can find at the hardware store, for occasional cleaning and polishing. I use it very sparingly. So far no ill effects.

Swamp Yankee
01-13-2019, 02:00 AM
According to some techs I have known, the bore oil you often find in a generic music store is often a petroleum based product. I have been told that natural oils and products are better. Some great products that many techs and WW players swear by-

http://doctorsprod.com/cbuy/supplies/wood-care

some also like
https://www.justforwinds.com/naylors-organic-bore-oil-0

I have also heard some recommend sweet almond oil

I've never used sweet almond oil, but I have used sesame seed oil based on a recommendation from a banjo builder many years back now. The problem with some of the nut oils is that many of them can go rancid. Sesame oil is readily available in Oriental markets...I've had bottles of it for years and they didn't go rancid. It also smells wonderful going on :D

I think the key to using anything on a fretboard is using the bare minimum and quickly rubbing it in. Also - avoiding anything with silicone.

I personally wouldn't shy away from petroleum distillates, however, and many of the products suggested by others in this thread are petroleum based.

The organic veg-based bore oil is interesting... I ought to get a bottle. Thanks for the tip!

bazmaz
01-13-2019, 02:03 AM
I never use lemon oil as there is no real true lemon oil about these days. It's just synthetic and full of artificial scent. I don't want that on my ukuleles

I use bore oil as used by woodwind players on clarinets and oboes. And most importantly - I use it INCREDIBLY sparingly. Like a drop or two every few YEARS.

If you apply this stuff religiously and too much you will swell your fingerboard.

vanflynn
01-13-2019, 04:59 AM
Dunlop Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil Is what I have used on all my string instruments and like it.

Kenn2018
01-13-2019, 08:20 PM
I just received my new Martin 1T IZ tenor. I have never seen a bridge or fretboard so dry. The bridge was a very pale color with no finish on it at all and a little rough. The fretboard looked hideously dry. Both are Rosewood. I used Music Nomad F-1 Oil on both and they were rejuvenated and look great. (Like they do in the Martin photos of the model.) I apply it sparingly by putting it on the cloth and rubbing it in. Then reapply where it soaked in quickly. Wipe off the excess.

So far it has been excellent on my ukes. I oil when I change strings if the fretboard or the bridge look like they could use it. So far, about once a year.

bratsche
01-14-2019, 07:07 AM
I live in South Florida, so it's been eons since I've even seen dry wood (or dry anything, for that matter). No feeding of fretboards needed here!

bratsche

Jerryc41
01-14-2019, 07:08 AM
I recently bought a used Koaloha that had sat in storage for several years. I contacted the company (KoAloha) and was told to use Music Nomad F-One Oil, to clean and treat the fretboard.

I bought a little bottle at Guitar Center and it worked like a charm. You only need a little bit, so the small bottle will last years.

(It was really inexpensive)

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Nomad-MN105-Fretboard-Conditioner/dp/B006WPGZAG

DPO
01-14-2019, 12:44 PM
I have in the past used a little olive oil and also natural beeswax.

bonesigh
01-14-2019, 01:06 PM
Well, being a Hawaiian instrument, I used coconut oil of course :-) actually not joking, I have used coconut oil.

Nickie
01-15-2019, 02:43 PM
I only use LoPrinzi's Fretboard Butter. It works like a charm, cause I don't like oils.

CommonCurt
01-15-2019, 02:58 PM
I only use LoPrinzi's Fretboard Butter. It works like a charm, cause I don't like oils.

I might order some of that when my Concert gets shipped to me.
Does it say what's in it on the little plastic canister?

wildfire070
01-15-2019, 04:07 PM
I use the LoPrinzi Fingerboard Conditioner as well. I like that it doesn't feel oily and doesn't leave a residue. Smells great too.