Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

fretboard oil: Old dog, new trick


Recommended Posts

fessing up:

I've never before used this stuff in over 50 years of playing. Didn't see the point. Well, since so many pros use it I thought I'd stop being stubborn & give it a try. I got some Dunlop 65 and used some last night for the first time. 

 

The results are as follows: 

1/ The (rosewood) fingerboard looks a bit darker.

2/ Because I had to remove all the strings (which I don't normally do), the set up has now subtly changed. I'll leave the guitar for a couple of days and readjust it if I have to. I don't want to. I'm lazy.

3/ There is no 3 yet.

 

You see, I still don't know if this stuff isn't snake oil; if I've been suckered in or not. Dunlop's description of that wodge of cotton wool as 'the Dab-O-Matic Applicator' has not reassured me. But at least I tried something new. I know most of those here use something similar. I am not looking for validation. I do have a question though. Can this be used on unfinished maple? I suspect not, but my Ric 650 Dakota has an unlacquered maple board. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, merciful-evans said:

fessing up:

I've never before used this stuff in over 50 years of playing. Didn't see the point. Well, since so many pros use it I thought I'd stop being stubborn & give it a try. I got some Dunlop 65 and used some last night for the first time. 

 

The results are as follows: 

1/ The (rosewood) fingerboard looks a bit darker.

2/ Because I had to remove all the strings (which I don't normally do), the set up has now subtly changed. I'll leave the guitar for a couple of days and readjust it if I have to. I don't want to. I'm lazy.

3/ There is no 3 yet.

 

You see, I still don't know if this stuff isn't snake oil; if I've been suckered in or not. Dunlop's description of that wodge of cotton wool as 'the Dab-O-Matic Applicator' has not reassured me. But at least I tried something new. I know most of those here use something similar. I am not looking for validation. I do have a question though. Can this be used on unfinished maple? I suspect not, but my Ric 650 Dakota has an unlacquered maple board. 

 

I had a Ric 4003 Bass and the maple fretboard was finished in clear lacquer. You usually don't condition maple boards cause they are finished, but if yours is not then I would e-mail Dunlop and see that they say. I use a product called Gerlitz Guitar Honey. I only condition my board about once every two string changes. So maybe I condition a total of 3 times a year. All my boards are ebony except for the D-15M which is RW. I have used the Dunlop 65, and Bore Oil, and Music Nomad F-One.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never tried the dunlop stuff, Nomad, and Gerlitz, yes.. Dunlop, no..

I think an unfinished maple board is fine.  My SG Standard's Fretboard is baked maple, I've used what I have on that a few times.  It seems to have same kind of results for that.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I had a Ric 4003 Bass and the maple fretboard was finished in clear lacquer. You usually don't condition maple boards cause they are finished, but if yours is not then I would e-mail Dunlop and see that they say. I use a product called Gerlitz Guitar Honey. I only condition my board about once every two string changes. So maybe I condition a total of 3 times a year. All my boards are ebony except for the D-15M which is RW. I have used the Dunlop 65, and Bore Oil, and Music Nomad F-One.

Yes maples are normally lacquered. I think the oil would stain it in this case. I'll try what you suggest with the message.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

fessing up:

I've never before used this stuff in over 50 years of playing. Didn't see the point. Well, since so many pros use it I thought I'd stop being stubborn & give it a try. I got some Dunlop 65 and used some last night for the first time. 

 

The results are as follows: 

1/ The (rosewood) fingerboard looks a bit darker.

2/ Because I had to remove all the strings (which I don't normally do), the set up has now subtly changed. I'll leave the guitar for a couple of days and readjust it if I have to. I don't want to. I'm lazy.

3/ There is no 3 yet.

 

You see, I still don't know if this stuff isn't snake oil; if I've been suckered in or not. Dunlop's description of that wodge of cotton wool as 'the Dab-O-Matic Applicator' has not reassured me. But at least I tried something new. I know most of those here use something similar. I am not looking for validation. I do have a question though. Can this be used on unfinished maple? I suspect not, but my Ric 650 Dakota has an unlacquered maple board. 

 

 

1.  The setup hasn't subtly changed.

b.  Removing all of your strings at once has never, EVER harmed a guitar.  In fact, for quite a lot of decades before there was an internet, everybody always took off of their strings at the same time.

2.  You don't have to let a guitar "settle".  Ever.  I don't know where that came from, I don't know how the internet spawned generations of guitar players waiting around for their guitars to "settle"

rct

Edited by rct
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, kidblast said:

I've never tried the dunlop stuff, Nomad, and Gerlitz, yes.. Dunlop, no..

I think an unfinished maple board is fine.  My SG Standard's Fretboard is baked maple, I've used what I have on that a few times.  It seems to have same kind of results for that.

 

Yes I have baked maple on my 339 and its already dark. The Ric has a maple through neck, so if it stains it would look odd unless I did the entire centre section & headstock.

7fiWhLC.jpg

Edited by merciful-evans
wanted photo ok?
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rct said:

 

1.  The setup hasn't subtly changed.

b.  Removing all of your strings at once has never, EVER harmed a guitar.  In fact, for quite a lot of decades before there was an internet, everybody always took off of their strings at the same time.

2.  You don't have to let a guitar "settle".  Ever.  I don't know where that came from, I don't know how the internet spawned generations of guitar players waiting around for their guitars to "settle"

rct

1/ The action is higher than it was.

2/ Removing all strings is something I used to do. I got out of the habit in the days I used a Floyd Rose bridge. I kept doing after that mostly out of habit.

3/ The reason I sold on my Epi Casino was that it wouldn't stop moving. I got fed up with adjusting the thing. It was kept in the same stable environment as my other guitars. So my experience varies from yours. Maybe the wood used never properly cured? Whatever it was, some guitars are less stable than others. Under these circumstances, do you still suggest I go with your experience rather than mine?

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

1/ The action is higher than it was.

2/ Removing all strings is something I used to do. I got out of the habit in the days I used a Floyd Rose bridge. I kept doing after that mostly out of habit.

3/ The reason I sold on my Epi Casino was that it wouldn't stop moving. I got fed up with adjusting the thing. It was kept in the same stable environment as my other guitars. So my experience varies from yours. Maybe the wood used never properly cured? Whatever it was, some guitars are less stable than others. Under these circumstances, do you still suggest I go with your experience rather than mine?

A. There's a bunch of ways to not mess yer set up up when de-stringing a tunermatic.  Makes it less of a pain.

2.  Floyds were, at the time, the worst thing that ever happened to guitars. 

c.  I have found that uh, well, less expensive guitars with crappy hardware, that brand in particular, do not stand up to the rigors of being a guitar.  That was about as delicately as I can put that.  I didn't think we were talking about such a guitar.  But you should always follow your own experience until you don't.

rct

Link to post
Share on other sites

anything with a Les Paul/SG Style bridge setup, easy to move the height adjust thumbwheels with no down pressure.  (you didn't mention what guitar this was, or at least I missed it reading the post.)

I usually keep the two E strings on, and slip them off to the side of the nut and keep some tension on them.  This helps to keep the height adjustments from moving too easily, but the neck is accessible for treating.

the only way to beat this every time is to measure your action on both Es at the 12th fret, then just put it back there when yer done.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

Yes I have baked maple on my 339 and its already dark. The Ric has a maple through neck, so if it stains it would look odd unless I did the entire centre section & headstock.

7fiWhLC.jpg

Cool guitar! All of the maple should be finished on that guitar including the face of the fretboard. It may be a satin finish that looks similar to bare wood 

 

IMO maple would never be left unfinished on a proper guitar but in the off chance that it happened, an application of a non hardening oil would not be desirable 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only always used Old English lemon oil.  Every string change I use Old English wood cleaner to get all the crud off the fret board,  and then apply a scant amount of the lemon oil twixt each fret and rub it in deeply.  My 49 year old fret board is still like new.  Never had a problem. Some I know use almond oil.  I've yet to locate any to try, but if I do I'll give it a go. 

And Chris, i guess it's a "to each...."  thing.  I really don't like that "beat to hell" fretboard look.  And especially don't like the FEEL of it!  [wink]

Whitefang

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dub-T-123 said:

Cool guitar! All of the maple should be finished on that guitar including the face of the fretboard. It may be a satin finish that looks similar to bare wood 

 

IMO maple would never be left unfinished on a proper guitar but in the off chance that it happened, an application of a non hardening oil would not be desirable 

I'm pretty sure its naked wood. Most other 650s were lacquered, including the present Colorado model. Yes I will leave it un-oiled. 

 

Just to be clear, the guitar I used the lemon oil on (and removed strings) was a PRS SE Custom 24 (World M. I. Korea) with a double blocked trem bridge. Its usually pretty stable. It is a cheaper guitar though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Whitefang said:

I've only always used Old English lemon oil.  Every string change I use Old English wood cleaner to get all the crud off the fret board,  and then apply a scant amount of the lemon oil twixt each fret and rub it in deeply.  My 49 year old fret board is still like new.  Never had a problem. Some I know use almond oil. 

Is that a rosewood board Whitefang? Pretty good if it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

Is that a rosewood board Whitefang? Pretty good if it is.

I'll have to investigate a bit.  It's my 49 year old  Epiphone FT-145 acoustic,  and I never was sure of what wood was used.

Whitefang

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/8/2021 at 6:29 AM, Sgt. Pepper said:

I had a Ric 4003 Bass and the maple fretboard was finished in clear lacquer. You usually don't condition maple boards cause they are finished, but if yours is not then I would e-mail Dunlop and see that they say. I use a product called Gerlitz Guitar Honey. I only condition my board about once every two string changes. So maybe I condition a total of 3 times a year. All my boards are ebony except for the D-15M which is RW. I have used the Dunlop 65, and Bore Oil, and Music Nomad F-One.

I’ve been using that same honey now for about 20 years on my rosewood boards. Always gives a great result!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure.  There were long periods where my guitar would lie fallow for one reason or another.  Plus, my not being a professional musician was a factor too.  And with a 40+ hours a week job, two children to raise and a home to maintain there was little opportunity to spend countless hours a day in playing the dang thing. Once I retired(and which by that time both kids were grown and on their own) the playing time increased.  But by 2014 I had a transient ischemic  attack("Mini stroke") which affected my dexterity and endurance, so more time was allowed.  And when my wife had HER stroke( far more serious than mine) and I became her primary home caregiver, even MORE time was robbed of guitar playing.  But I did make time enough to play some for her which would soothe her and cheer her up.  Now that she's gone I still try building up my endurance and dexterity, using a tiny bag of some kind of artificial sand which was designed to use as a device for stress relief.  So you see, I've never had the time or opportunity to wear out a fret board.

Whitefang

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

WF,   Sounds similar to my experiences.      I didn't have much guitar-time after I left home - for college, and "LIFE".   But I wore divots in the fingerboard of my LG1 up where the Cowboy Chords reside.  Keep up with the hand exercises - for me, at least, I've found the more variety you introduce, the better.   I've found a half dozen good ones on the internet.   I'll never wear out a fretboard either.  But, like you, I enjoy the challenge.   G'Luck !

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/8/2021 at 5:45 AM, fortyearspickn said:

I take my strings off one at a time.  Then I use snake oil.  

I do that too.. Not every String change but periodically. I use Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil & apply it on the de-stringed part of the Fretboard as I go. IMO it’s like using a Leather Treatment in my Corvettes’ Interior... It’s proper maintenance to keep it in like new condition...

Edited by Larsongs
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

All of my fretboards are rosewood or ebony. Before I started using flat wounds on all of my electrics, I would remove all strings and treat the fretboard when I changed strings at least every six months. Since going to flat wounds, I go over a year between string changes and no longer clean and treat fretboards, and I've not noticed any differences, except in the appearance. Lack of humidity and fretboard dryness are not issues where I live. The only reason I would treat a fretboard these days is to clean crud from where the frets meet the board.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in Palm Springs, Ca. Where Temps go well into the 100’s... Dryness is a factor.. Which is a primary reason I use Lemon Oil.. But also, for cleaning & treating the Fretboard to keep it like new.... The same as I clean & Polish my Guitars as well. I also like them to look as good as my Corvette..

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Fender custom shop fingerboard stuff.

But any rosewood fingerboard stuff should work fine. But just be sure no silicone in it.

I have a lacquered  maple board on my blue flower strat. Sometimes I want to scallop it. If so I would Probly oil it sometimes with something for maple just to help seal it a little. If it started getting all relic looking I would not put anything on it. I guess the grunge would be sealing it at that point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...