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What do you guys use to condition/oil rosewood and ebony fretboards?

DariStar

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
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24
Hi guys,
Wondering what is best for Historics and Vintage fretboards?
Thanks!
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
Only when necessary: Clean Zee-Gunk => Naphtha and microfiber ... wipe off well with clean cotton rag, let it breathe well enough after to thoroughly air out. Patience.

Then, add: Condition => Bore Oil, if particular branding is required, Fret Doctor. Once wood is clean and exposed. Exceedingly Sparingly! Let sit less than half-hour, then wipe... [that said, there are other reputable generic types and brands that all have their champions and detractors]. REPEAT: Seldom to rarely, depending.

When conditions merit, or to taste: If you feel you need to seal... (because super-dry environments), or just dig the feel => Howard Feed-N-Wax. Again, Sparingly! And don't let excess build up, lest you accumulate more gunk, which leads you to... see above.

Really, the simple answer is: the least required, depending on the state of the instrument, the environment in which it lives, and the chemistry of your hands.

Some go for years without needing anything, really. Be careful, the worst thing to do is overdo it, and get soggy-logged deterioration.


PS - I don't object to what Jim's using and doing, but would say be careful with anything stiffer than soft bristled toothbrush and would avoid that harsher pad.
 
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Dr. Green

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Dec 12, 2018
Messages
683
the best thing is almond oil with a small amount of vitamin E to prevent it from going rancid
read about what Oboe players use and it will bring you back to the above formula

nobody has problems maintaining wood like an Oboe player - google it - every aspect of being an Oboe player is a major challenge - its an interesting story

and as JB says dont go overboard

here is the best explanation of the subject that you are going to get :

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/HandyHints/oilingbore.htm
 
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DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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717
I suspect some guitarist don't have a toothbrush or clean rag available..may I suggest a dirty sock?..
be sure to use the upper part normally located on the calf..should be cleaner...
Are you making fun of us? I've been using a sock for years, granted, it was clean when I started using it. Its significant other perished in an unfortunate wash dryer accident...
Been using Snarling Dogs Lizzard Spit but since the bottle is pretty low after 20 years, I stocked up on a fresh bottle of Dunlop 65 oil.
 
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Les Paulette

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Apr 3, 2021
Messages
84
Are you making fun of us? I've been using a sock for years, granted, it was clean when I started using it. Its significant other persished in an unfortunate wash dryer accident...
Been using Snarling Dogs Lizzard Spit but since the bottle is pretty low after 20 years, I stocked up on a fresh bottle of Dunlop 65 oil.
I have heard rumours of guitarists brushing they're remaining teeth with that stuff..
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,307
A little bit of Fret Dr. works

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jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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4,196
Socks are way too expensive -- even at Costco -- save that coin!

Cotton auto rags, at Costco.

You can even get a tub of Crisco and pass it all down to your heirs. Wax too. Toothbrush three.

Frugality, wake up to reality.
 
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While socks seem to disappear, coat hangers seem to multiply. This is because socks are just the larval form of coat hangers and the laundry machines the catalyst for their metamorphosis. I don't know how they get from the dryer to the closet, but the process is all around mysterious. Anyways, I once cleaned my fretboard using linseed oil and newspaper. Worked out decently.
 

clapciadrix

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
40
It’s called “Bore oil”. It’s designed for wood instruments. Clarinets ets. Made to keep wood from drying out and splitting. It’s available on Amazon.
 

DariStar

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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
24
Thanks guys, you are the bestest pals a Gibson could have.
Fret Doctor bore oil (mineral oil free) seems like the best choice. The addition of a little Irish Whiskey does make sense, haha.
I use just clean cotton rags ( hard to find cotton socks now!) vs any sand paper, steel wool, scotch pads, toothbrushes, etc.
 

DariStar

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Oct 27, 2022
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I wonder how good MusicNomad's F-One is as an alternative to Fret Doctor.
It list as natural tree/seed oils, free of Petroleum ( works great in old Hot Rods, not so sure about fretboards!) water, lemon oil , waxes and silicone.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,636
I use unicorn bile.

Chits getting s'pensive though so now I "extend it" with ambergris.
 

bursty

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Dec 25, 2012
Messages
224
I have been using Old English Lemon Oil for rose' 'boards for over 45 years. I apply it liberally with a clean cotton swab and let it soak in.

Is it good to use this stuff for the purpose of 'conditioning' rosewood 'boards?
Don't know but I haven't noticed any negatives and haven't seen a single fret move out of place as some folks say will happen when one uses the stuff.

YMMV
 
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