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View Full Version : Coconut oil and fretboards



aperseghin
12-29-2012, 01:24 PM
Ok so im new here but i have been playing stringed instruments for years and i wanted to share this tip since it seems to fit so well on a Uke forum.

COCONUT OIL ! !

Coconut oil is a liquid above 97ish F. That is the temperature of the human body so it literally melts in your hand. Unlike most other vegetable oils (olive canola etc) it does not go rancid due to its very high fat content.

What makes it great as a fret board oil is that it conditions the wood an a very preservative way. Ebony and rosewood will suck it readily and the plant based fats bond to the wood fiber.

Now i know the traditionalists will want to use linseed or some other common fret board oil, but trust me, coconut oil is cheap, available, and magic on fret boards.

and of course the other bonus is that your fret board will smell like coconut thought its not a strong scent.


To apply it simply warm it (if needed) and use as you would any other fret board oil.

I use coconut oil for just about everything including cooking, moisturizer, massage oil and even more intimate applications.. Its wonderful to have around the house

anthonyg
12-29-2012, 01:30 PM
Unlike most other vegetable oils (olive canola etc) it does not go rancid due to its very high fat content.

Minor correction. ALL fats have a high fat content. Coconut oil has a very high SATURATED fat content.

I use coconut oil for cooking and on my skin. Its great stuff. I'll have to try it on fingerboards.

Anthony

aperseghin
12-29-2012, 01:39 PM
yes thats correct. of course its hight in fat, its fat... saturated fats are much more stable and less likely to spoil. Coconut oil lasts at room temperature for over 2 years.

Dan Uke
12-29-2012, 01:46 PM
I'm sure it works but why? How much does a bottle of "whatever" oil you're currently using? I use Gerlitz Honey and it will probably last me a decade or more

mm stan
12-29-2012, 01:47 PM
Yes I'd be careful...as some oils can get rancid in time....

aperseghin
12-29-2012, 01:53 PM
I'm sure it works but why? How much does a bottle of "whatever" oil you're currently using? I use Gerlitz Honey and it will probably last me a decade or more

Because its not just for fretboards, its organic and natural, it smells great, its works incredibly well, etc etc

808boy
12-29-2012, 01:55 PM
To the OP,
Could you explain "intimate applications"? Nah, just kidding. My Mom and most every female used it as hair conditioner, good but smelled like Mounds or Almond Joy, hehe.......

aperseghin
12-29-2012, 02:04 PM
To the OP,
Could you explain "intimate applications"? Nah, just kidding. My Mom and most every female used it as hair conditioner, good but smelled like Mounds or Almond Joy, hehe.......

well it starts out as massage oil and.....

Yup its great on hair, skin, cuticles, shrimp, fried chicken and everything else

coolkayaker1
12-29-2012, 02:46 PM
Yes I'd be careful...as some oils can get rancid in time....

This is an extremely key point that my comrade mmstan raises. The other uses people mention (skin, cooking, etc.) are single use. Putting it on something permanent is a different ballgame. Many oils will go rancid over time. for that potential alone, I think I'd skip it, since lemon oil, fretboard honey like Daniel mentions etc work so well. Do we really need to search for something "better"? When's the last time anyone had a cracked fretboard? I rest my case. lol

(PS Butter has similar properties to coconut oil, too. Ever had rancid butter...it's awful, even on toast.)

aperseghin
12-29-2012, 03:49 PM
This is an extremely key point that my comrade mmstan raises. The other uses people mention (skin, cooking, etc.) are single use. Putting it on something permanent is a different ballgame. Many oils will go rancid over time. for that potential alone, I think I'd skip it, since lemon oil, fretboard honey like Daniel mentions etc work so well. Do we really need to search for something "better"? When's the last time anyone had a cracked fretboard? I rest my case. lol

(PS Butter has similar properties to coconut oil, too. Ever had rancid butter...it's awful, even on toast.)

Coconut oil does not oxidize. therefore it does NOT go rancid.. if you do any amount of research on the subject you will find that MANY classical guitar players suggest its use. Your point is understood when it comes to other natural oils, but coconut oil is completely saturated so it wont oxidize over time..

Im not trying to push it on anyone, but i will defend its use. the argument about it going rancid is completely moot.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_causes_of_rancidity_in_fats_and_oils

mm stan
01-01-2013, 10:09 AM
:p
Coconut oil does not oxidize. therefore it does NOT go rancid.. if you do any amount of research on the subject you will find that MANY classical guitar players suggest its use. Your point is understood when it comes to other natural oils, but coconut oil is completely saturated so it wont oxidize over time..

Im not trying to push it on anyone, but i will defend its use. the argument about it going rancid is completely moot.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_causes_of_rancidity_in_fats_and_oils

Aloha Asperseghin,
I rather use coconut oil for my movie popcorn...LOL ha ha Nah only kidding...I just said be careful...SOME oils can get rancid in time.....did you miss that?

Aloha All,
I want to appoligized for my behavior to who may have seen my previous statements....It is NOT indicative to UU forums and certainly not me..... I got upset at this person not reading my post correctly and it should not have happened for any reason...Aspergers is a serious disease and I am aware how dibilitating and serious it is.... to the above mentioned....I will let it silde this time as
you MAY have made a mistake.....please do not test my patience in the future...I have deleteted the disparaging remarks and edited this post...

BlackBearUkes
01-01-2013, 11:27 AM
I would NEVER advise folks to use any oil that isn't meant for the job it was intended. Many oils will get rancid as has been stated, and some will mold on each side of the fret over time as dirt and grime collect. I have seen this on many older guitars that come into my shop for fret work or repair. When I asked what kind of fret oil they were using, they just said various vegetable oils because it was cheap. With all the products available to put on a fret board, why take a chance using something else. Also remember, that whatever oil you use, it is going to get all over the strings and fingers. If you like the feel of oily strings, well.....go for it.

bazmaz
01-01-2013, 11:47 AM
Coconut oils aside (which I would not put on a uke)

Felt the need to chip in on fretboard oils generally. Really really really.... Fretboards really don't need this treatment all that often. In fact they don't need it anywhere need as much as the manufacturers of solutions and potions want you to believe. In fact over application can swell and damage the fretboard.

If you are applying (and I do) apply only when fretboard looks dry, and not to a set schedule. For me that may be less than once a year. It frightens me when I hear of people applying stuff every month. Doesn't need it!!

Second. Lemon oil is the term often bandied around. You will struggle these days to find true lemon oil, only synthetic oil scented with lemon. Would I put that on my ukes? No I wouldn't.

Personally use bore oil - the stuff used by clarinet and other woodwind players - those at top level to protect their instruments from spit and stuff. Been used by them for years.

Edit - and if you are applying - apply so little you hardly can see it. You don't need glugs of it. I use a Q tip to put a thin sheen on wood. Leave 20 mins, buff and that's it. Bottle I have I have had for 15 years and loads left. That's how little is needed.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2013, 04:11 PM
I'm sort of in Bazmaz's camp on this one. If you're using any kind of oil at all, a little dab will do you, especially on ebony. Too much and you'll start rotting the frets right out of their slots. The idea is to keep the finger board from cracking or otherwise changing due to excessive dryness. Then again, if you've let your uke get that dry you've got other issues as well! In Hawaii I don't know anyone who oils their fret boards. If you're in the desert, then that's a different story. Watch the humidity as always and you shouldn't have to do much to "condition" the fret board. maybe once a year as Bazman points out.
The subject got my attention because working with coconuts is one of my passions. I grow them, process them and have recently started to make my own oil on a small basis. Maybe I should bottle it and sell it as Hawaiian fret juice.

sukie
01-01-2013, 04:21 PM
Thanks, Chuck, for the re-inforcement. I just changed my strings tonight and put no oil on the fret board. I sure wanted to, though. I'm afraid to wreck anything.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2013, 04:30 PM
Thanks, Chuck, for the re-inforcement. I just changed my strings tonight and put no oil on the fret board. I sure wanted to, though. I'm afraid to wreck anything.

I live in Hawaii and and you live in the frozen netherlands. Your home environment is a lot drier than my is here, especially in the winter time. (Cold air holds far less moisture than warm are does.) If frets ends are starting to protrude and your strings start buzzing that's a sure sign your uke is very dehydrated. Try not to let itget to that point. Watch your in-case humidifiers (of course you have one!) and feed your uke if it needs it.
My original point, as unclear as it may have been, is that many people overdo the cleaning and oiling of their ukuleles. A little attention now and then is a good idea. (I have no idea how coconut oil would work though) As I said, take a hint from the old Brylcream commercials. Or am I showing my age again?...... :)

mm stan
01-01-2013, 05:21 PM
Aloha Chuckie,
will a dab of Wildroot work too...hee hee yes you are right, in hawaii we do not need anything on our fretboards and I prefer it that way.....never had a cracked fretboard ever...

coolkayaker1
01-01-2013, 05:36 PM
If you're using any kind of oil at all, a little dab will do you, especially on ebony. As I said, take a hint from the old Brylcream commercials. Or am I showing my age again?...... :).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgrgv_xs-MU

Great advice. And not showing age, Chuck. I'm pretty sure this commercial is from 1989. I think I remember it, too. Kinda sorta.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-02-2013, 10:16 AM
I'm a Boiled Linseed oil man.

Markr1
01-02-2013, 02:28 PM
Ah! Glad to see you use boiled Linseed Oil. I made a post on another thread that I had been using this for many years on my guitars fretboards and was it okay and didn't get a response. I'm relieved now.
I'm a Boiled Linseed oil man.