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Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by purestmonk, Feb 28, 2009.
Does a pau ferro fingerboard need to be oiled?
Sure...a little lemon oil from time to time does wonders.
Cleans and conditions the raw wood.
i have a pau ferro fingerboard on my custom guitar as well. Joint onto a maple neck. I'd like to know some proper steps on maintaining this exotic wood to bring out the best of its potential.
Tung oil is more like a varnish than an oil. You apply it, let it dry and then lightly sand to finish a raw piece of wood.
The oils they're referring to above (Lemon oil, rosewood oil, etc) are rubbed on to keep the wood clean and "moist" so the wood doesn't feel brittle or look really dry.
My Charvel SanDimas has a Pau Ferro fingerboard and I find that it is actually harder and slicker than my rosewood fingerboards. My own natural skin oils are more than enough to keep it conditioned, but I do use oil once a year or so when I really scrub and clean the guitar (as opposed to just wiping down with a soft cloth after playing).
I use Watco Danish Oil on my oil finished Koa/Pau Ferro bass.
Never oiled mine since I got it in 1990.
1 pass of tru oil works great (and lasts FOREVER) but Im a big fan of using the oil that rises to the top in my can of dark bartleys grain fill.
Lemon oil can damage your board as it often contains destructive solvents.
Use Fret Doctor - www.beafifer.com/boredoctor.htm
Roche Thomas fingerboard cleaner/conditioner
I wouldn't use anything like Tung oil that creates a finish. Linseed would be fine.
I have an SRV Strat, I mix linseed oil with some lemon oil and use it about twice a year, been diong that on all my guitars since the mid 70's with great results. But I wouldn't say any fingerboard "requires" any oiling, it's mostly preference and whatever advice from luthiers, techs, other players, etc. that you trust.
I agree, as long as you are not leaving your guitar at the mercy of the elements fretboard wood does not need anything.
However, I have can create some really nasty sweat/skin grime that is a total pain to clean off of natural wood boards.
So I use paste wax - the kind for natural hardwood floors. A can costs less than $10 and will last your entire life (it also will not spill or evaporate) you wipe it on then lightly buff it off.
There's no miracle though. It is basically just a thin film of material that prevents other material (my finger gunk) from getting into the surface of the wood.
Linseed oil never dries to an absolute hardness . . . IMO that would result in ever-so slight absorption of the guitar's resonance
Agreed completely with you and am a long-time convert to the Fret Dr. Lots of stuff recommended on this post are not good for your board. There have been some long threads before on this topic--future readers of this post may want to search them out. Very informative and helpful if you have a guitar you plan to play and keep.
That's why ya hafta choose yer lemon oil wisely.
If you do choose to oil your fretboard, do so very lightly and wipe it down thoroughly and immediately. Too much oil soaking into the wood can dull the acoustic tone of the guitar for a surprisingly long time. Take it from one who found out the hard way.
I have pau ferro boards on two guitars and it's probably my favorite overall fingerboard wood. I go years between oilings -- might be five or more -- but my house is controlled for humidity so drying out isn't generally a problem for me.
cool guys, thanks man. Would appreciate more experiences posted!
Some good choices are Gerlitz guitar honey, Dunlop65 or Stew Mac Fingerboard oil. Those are the first to come to mind.Any of these will slow the movement of moisture through the fretboard without buildup, making it more stable and less likely to crack. Applying once or twice a year is usually enough to keep things in good shape.
Oh yeah, Pao Ferro rocks. I have 2 myself and have no had problems whatsoever.
Moderation and necessity is the key, I've read articles by well known repair guys and techs who speak about having done fret jobs and when pulling frets finding pools of solution in the slots. I think the worst thing is these guys I see spraying Finger Ease on their strings and fretboards like I put on deodorant. I'v enever used that stuff and never will. I know some bass players who like it on the back of the neck, but they don't put anything on the fingerboard.