Did Boiled Linseed Oil ruin my Fingerboard? How much for New One?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Imerkat, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    I have a guitar that has a rosewood fingerboard and tailpiece that don't match. I wanted to darken the fingerboard to match permanently so people recommend Linseed on the LP Forum. I did the mistake of following the directions and letting it soak in for 10-15 mins. Well it had some adverse effects. Some of the dot inlays look like shattered glass or something; some all the way through some half way thru. The board itself lost its zebra type grain pattern and looks overall like bland seamless grainy wood.

    So this is a long winded way of asking how much does a new fingerboard cost now a days and an admission that my wife was right that I should take it to a Professional.

    Thanks
     
  2. Khromo

    Khromo Supporting Member

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    It is tough to say without pictures, or knowing which product you used. I wouldn't think it is time for a new fingerboard, though! That is one expensive proposition, maybe $400 to $1,000 depending on a lot of things.

    It's possible that the inlay material reacted with the oil. It would be a lot easier to replace the inlays than to replace the board.

    Most oil finish problems seem to start with leaving too much material on the surface. A lot of the finishes available today (Tru-Oil is a good example) dry pretty quickly, and if it gets sludgy, it can be hard to remove. Guys often leave too much material behind, and sometimes the material left behind can skin over and wrinkle up to look something like broken glass.

    Some one who has done it a few times can probably strip off any residual material and rub it up to a decent finish.
     
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  3. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    Yeah i'm waiting it to dry and see what it looks like today, so pics coming. Guess thinking the Linseed oil could move all the frets out of wack is that's was it does to the fret markers. after watching a Taylor guitar tips vid they called it a sealant; which can't be good to reserves any effects
     
  4. sitedrifter

    sitedrifter Gold Supporting Member

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    Get some naptha and start cleaning the linseed off.
     
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  5. hogy

    hogy Member

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    No, linseed oil did not ruin your fingerboard, nor crack your inlays.

    If you want meaningful input, you need to supply meaningful information. And pictures.

    And if you are still waiting for it to dry, don't use a cloth with some naphta or lighter fluid to remove what hasn't dried yet.

    Lastly, always listen to your wife.
     
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  6. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    Well everyone has been real helpful so far. What I did right away was press down with a clean cloth trying to get it out as much as I could. I have a before picture and waiting for the after. figured more time would be more informative?

    Thanks
     
  7. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    I've got no idea how to go about removing the boiled linseed from your fretboard. I'm pretty sure it cures to a hard surface.
     
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Once you've cleaned off as much as possible, you can scrape the fingerboard with a single edge razor blade to remove the rest. The BLO doesn't penetrate much beyond the surface so scraping down to clean wood is very easy. Caution: if you haven't had any experience using a razor blade as a scraper, have someone else do it or practice on scrap. It's not difficult to get the hang of it, but you can make a chatter-marked mess in a hurry if your technique is bad.
     
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  9. Blackmoreguitar

    Blackmoreguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    Apparently linseed oil can be a fire hazard, as it generates heat as it dries and it not unknown for rags that have been soaked in it to spontaneously combust. Just though I'd mention it in case you were not aware:

    https://thecraftsmanblog.com/how-to-use-boiled-linseed-oil-safely/
     
  10. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    If you used a good grade of pure boiled Linseed oil, it is very very unlikely that you have damaged the plastic inlays; rather what has probably happened is that the oil increased their transparency...you can now see-down into the plastic and it's internal striations etc are visible, when before they were not.

    It's best to remove what you can before it dries. Using a cloth slightly dampened with mineral spirits, get off what you can without soaking the wood. Use your thumbnail on a thin soft cloth to get right up along the shoulders of the frets. You'll never get rid of all of the oil, but what is left behind will eventually gel and in the long run you might be ok.
     
  11. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    Here is a before and after:
    [​IMG]

    and now:
    [​IMG]

    You can see the clouding on the dot inlays and the flatter yet drier looking wood. it feels wet to the touch. Scrapping sound like a good idea but I'm not having a good streak right now lol
     
  12. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    here is another look:
    [​IMG]
    Looks like splintering and full of pits now :/
     
  13. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    I think it looks fine, but I am not very picky as long as it plays well.
     
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  14. antvas1963

    antvas1963 Member

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    I don’t think it’s a bad look.
     
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  15. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions

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    well one thing is for sure
    you will never do that again...
     
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  16. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    That's the look of clean rosewood, brotha.
     
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  17. dspellman

    dspellman Member

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    Your fingerboard will be fine; you don't have to worry about getting a new one.
    Linseed oil (as you've probably gathered) isn't a first choice for your fretboard, so now you know who NOT to trust in that regard. Ordinary mineral oil, wiped on and wiped off again after a minute or two, is all you need.
     
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  18. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Ive use BLO on all my fretboards. Taylor guitars recommends it for dry boards so I figured it was a good bet. After trying it I prefer it over non drying oils. Id rather not have my board permeated with a non drying oil. Any excess should be removed right away, prior to drying, though with a clean cloth. Does look like a bit of excess but even if there is it didnt ruin the board . Not sure exactly why the dot markers look as the do but its probably as Terry suggested. I think it looks pretty nice.
     
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  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

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    mineral oil is a waste of time, it doesn't seal or moisturize
    I hope you moisturized the fretboard BEFORE you put the linseed oil on it, and I hope you were careful to avoid spontaneous combustion.
     
  20. galibier_un

    galibier_un Supporting Member

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    TL;DR: Play the darn thing until it needs a refret!

    Alternatively, send it to me for proper disposal.

    Seriously, your photos are out of focus, but the dots look fine to me, to the extent I can see them.

    When you wrote "dot inlays", I missed the "dot" part, and was visualizing something like PRS birds. If the demons in your head are causing you to lose sleep over the dot inlays, have a qualified Lurhier (not a hack) remove and replace them.

    ... Thom
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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