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lflex
12-23-2010, 04:15 PM
Dear All,

On a recent trip to Waikiki I picked up this very used Kamaka Soprano. The inner label is missing but it is supposed to be 80's vintage according to the shop.
The fretboard looks a little dry at places and since I want to replace the strings with Aquila I thought that I may as well treat the fretboard at the same time.
Kamaka's homepage suggest oil on the fingerboard, but I think they refer to the current product's rosewood fingerboards.
As you can see on the photo the wood on mine is light in color, and it is difficult for me to determine if it originally was laquered (and in that case should not be oiled).

Anyone familiar with the proper treatment of this particular model?
18730

Thanks
Niels

southcoastukes
12-23-2010, 05:12 PM
It is best to stay away from anything that hints of wax. It will simply attract dirt. Many oils do the same - mineral oil, for example, never truly dries.

On our links page (look for the Fifer) you'll find "Fret Doctor" - a light vegetable source oil. It is the best I've seen at rejuvenating wood without any sort of build up or residue, no matter how many coats you need to soak it with to bring it back. Won't add color per se, to your light fretboard, but the oil will deepen the natural color.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/index_files/links.htm

Kalihonu
12-23-2010, 05:14 PM
Aloha iflex,welcome to UU. If the fret board does not have a laquered finish on it I have used Dr. Ducks AXWAX.

OldePhart
12-23-2010, 05:38 PM
I have always used ordinary lemon oil on rosewood and ebony guitar fretboards with great results. On my KoAloha I'm not sure what the fretboard is but it is very light and, while smooth, appeared completely dry and unfinished. I decided not to risk darkening with the oil so I just used some Renaissance "Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish" - it's expensive stuff but it works great on everything I've tried from lacquer to varnish to paint to metal to bare wood. It worked very well on the KoAloha fretboard, sealing it nicely and leaving a very smooth surface without darkening the wood.

John

mm stan
12-23-2010, 06:06 PM
Aloha Niels,
I am positive that your fretboard is rosewood...you seem to have a white label soprano Kamaka....circa...1975-1982....I have the same ukulele..I am sure that the fretboard wasn't laqured...
I would be careful of what oil you use as some can go rancid and spoil.....I hope you had a wonderful time in hawaii and Waikiki...I have many kamaka's and never seen them dry out, especially
from the oils from your fingers...what probally was done for reselling, it was cleaned with a cleaning agent to look clean and nice...I have never used any type of oil on my fret boards and they
are fine...but then again hawaii doesn't have extreme temperture changes...I know of a friend who used mineral oil but don't suggest it as I know little about it. Happy Holidays and enjoy your
Kamaka!! Merry Christmas, MM Stan...

RyanMFT
12-23-2010, 06:09 PM
One thing that works really well is plain old Mineral Oil, which one can get at the drug store or at Target/WalMart. Very little does a great job. I got this tip from Frank Ford, one of the best repairmen around. Here is the article....http://www.frets.com/fretspages/Musician/GenMaint/Cleaning/cleaning02.html

I have used it on my fretboards and it does make them look great. One bottle is a lifetime supply.

lflex
12-23-2010, 10:36 PM
Thanks all for your answers! You have been most helpful.


I am positive that your fretboard is rosewood.....I am sure that the fretboard wasn't laqured... Thanks. I didn't know rosewood could be this light in color, but then I suppose I can just use regular guitar lemon oil to wipe it over lightly.

And yes mm stan - I absolutely loved Waikiki and really want to go there again!

Merry Christmas

Niels

Pippin
12-24-2010, 01:34 AM
I have always used ordinary lemon oil on rosewood and ebony guitar fretboards with great results. On my KoAloha I'm not sure what the fretboard is but it is very light and, while smooth, appeared completely dry and unfinished. I decided not to risk darkening with the oil so I just used some Renaissance "Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish" - it's expensive stuff but it works great on everything I've tried from lacquer to varnish to paint to metal to bare wood. It worked very well on the KoAloha fretboard, sealing it nicely and leaving a very smooth surface without darkening the wood.

John

Good stuff. Pure lemon oil is the key on the rosewood and ebony. I never tried the Micro-Crystaline. That sounds interesting. Do you have a brand name?

OldePhart
12-24-2010, 11:33 AM
Good stuff. Pure lemon oil is the key on the rosewood and ebony. I never tried the Micro-Crystaline. That sounds interesting. Do you have a brand name?

Renaissance is the brand name. It comes in a little white tin - it's pretty expensive but I've had a 200ml tin for several years and haven't used but maybe a quarter of it.

Here's a link to their web site (http://www.picreator.co.uk/). In the states you can order it from high-end woodworking suppliers - that's how I got mine, anyway. I was turned on to it by a guy who made some of my Native American flutes.

John