Treatment for...fretboard?


Apr 29, 2023
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Getting ready to restring, of ukuleles, my baby. He came a little dry, probably in shipping (summer's been 113-117 deg.) And despite keeping his humidity at 47%, this still showed up. What looks like/feels like raised buts along the fingerboard (see pic). As per the FB uke group, I'm going to increase the humidity a smidge, but as stated, I really love this little one and want to keep it in great condition ( I love my ukes). I'm oiling it this week, giving it two days to rest, stringing either Tuesday or Wednesday (Uke Logic), more accurate tuner and checking string action, too.

How would you treat this fretboard?

Thanks again!


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I would not use real lemon oil. Synthetics designed for string instruments should be ok
Beware, fretboard oil is good for treating and reviving the wood but does it increase the humidity of the fretboard? I don't think so.
I recently researched all this and ended up ordering Music Nomad F-1 Fretboard Oil Cleaner and Conditioner. Mineral oil (which is what most “lemon oil” is, principally) isn’t a good idea. You can get it from the big river or ….

I knew a guy that used who knows what on a guitar fretboard, and shortly after had several frets come loose. You don't want to soften the board or lube the frets like he did. .. :oops: ..

So, I don't treat fretboards, just use a cloth once in a while. Most of my ukes are 16 years old and look fine, all have rosewood boards and satin bodies. I never use any chemical on any part of a uke. Just a soft makeup brush and flannel dust rag from the dollar store.

I did risk something once on my thrift shop Truetone classical. Korean made and sold by Western Auto in the Sixties, I bought it in the Eighties. I don't think the gummy fretboard had ever seen even a dry cloth. I dampened a soft rag with Formby's Lemon Oil Treatment ( I still have it), used that with a Soft toothbrush and finished with a dry cotton rag. Still looks good. The Formby's doesn't list ingredients, but says it contains "aliphatic hydrocarbons". Mineral oil. Probably a low percentage, at least it's yellow and still smells like lemon after 40 years.
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