dry fretboard - re oil?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DickHertz, May 28, 2015.

  1. DickHertz

    DickHertz Active Member

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    I just took delivery of a "new" 2013 LP traditional. The board felt dry so I lightly oiled with bore oil, but it still feels dry - it's darker, looks really good. Should I wait a while before applying more oil? I have used bore oil before, I'm not drowning anything, just a few drops massaged in with a finger then wipe with a cloth. I would think you'd have to use a stupid amount to over saturate but here I am asking for advice. Thanks.
     
  2. sixstring531

    sixstring531 Supporting Member

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    i got a 2013 Traditional months ago and its board was very dry as well. I used Gibson's oil and had to let it really sit and soak in for a while before it looked and felt like I thought it should.
     
  3. Ron

    Ron Supporting Member

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    Bore oil? Do you mean oil intended for use in a rifle barrel? If so, no way should that stuff be used on a fretboard.
     
  4. JefeMaximo

    JefeMaximo Huge Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes to the oil. Personally, I like the Fret Doctor brand. Pricey per ounce, but a small bottle will last for years.
     
  5. dazco

    dazco Member

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    No, as in the bore of a clarinet or some other wooden wind instrument.
     
  6. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    The problem with using too much oil is it can get between the fretboard and the frets and cause them to loosen. Is the fretboard actually rosewood or is it granadillo which is a lighter colored wood? I think 2012 or 2013 was when Gibson had some wood confiscated by the government and had to start looking for alternatives.
    I use the same oil as the OP, woodwind bore oil, which is really a higher grade of mineral oil. I apply it a couple of times a year. I wouldn't apply it more often than that. I don't think it can actually penetrate very far into the wood.
     
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  7. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    If that doesn't work a Sharpee pen and a garden hose will do the trick. ;)

    Hydrating it once or twice a year is fine, be sensible and all should be well. Use a good product meant for that purpose and play away.
     
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  8. Madguitrst

    Madguitrst Member

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    People think I'm crazy but I use nothing the smallest amount of water with a clean cloth.
    Not enough to wet/saturate, just a dab.....enough to clean.
    Then buff it with some elbow grease (it's fast).

    I own over 60 guitars.
    Not one problem....ever.
     
  9. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

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    Oh, I think I've spotted a problem. ;)
     
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  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Oil doesn't moisten. Oil may subjectively make a rosewood fretboard look better but you run the risk of it wicking into the fret slots, softening the wood and loosening the frets. Good luck.
     
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  11. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    The op's approach seems pretty controlled and reasonble to me. I like Fret Doctor myself, but have used other stuff. I think another few drops on cloth with a wipe on wipe off excess approach should be fine. Since you aren't getting carried away another pass is ok.
     
  12. MantraSky

    MantraSky Silver Supporting Member

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    "Fret Doctor" is a great choice! I've used it on Dry Rosewood and it brought it back to life, I've known a few people that have used it on there "Very Old" Gibson Les Paul's and are very picky about anything that goes on as "Oil".
    A little research is always helpful.
     
  13. wwit

    wwit Member

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    I've been happily using Gerlitz Guitar Honey on my RW boards as well as my Warmoth IRW neck for many years. Awesome stuff. Just a small couple of spritzes on the board and wipe until dry. No soaking needed. Makes all look and feel great. I apply @ 2x a year for each of my guitars. 1 small bottle I have had for 6-7 years is still half full.
     
  14. DickHertz

    DickHertz Active Member

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    Roche Thomas Bore oil is used for woodwind instruments.A $4-5 bottle will ensure that most of what's in the bottle will burn in a flash when the dying sun envelopes the earth in 4.3 billion years. Good point bringing up gun barrel oil; proves how a little info can be dangerous. I'd feel bad if someone read "bore oil on fretboard" and used a Remington product. Now that I think of it, when I've oiled other, less dry boards, I did wipe away considerably more than I did yesterday. I'll hit it again when I change strings. Thanks guys.
     
  15. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    This is the best thread I have read on the subject..
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/my-2-cents-on-fretboard-oiling.1329370/

    I've used fret dr for years as I hardly ever use it and a small bottle will last me forever. It recently occurred to me that I have no clue what is in it..secret formula etc..so I have no idea what I'm putting on my boards. Somewhat disconcerting. Seems to work great though.

    I may just buy some bore oil one day or even mineral oil from the pharmacy. But I only use it maybe when I get a new guitar that just looks dry and pale and then just a drop or two directly on the cloth. Then maybe a few years down the road I may reapply it. Read too many posts from techs who have seen fret issues etc for those who over apply it.
     
  16. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    As already stated, over oiling can cause problems. Keep playing it, the oil from your hands will help.
     
  17. MantraSky

    MantraSky Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have a Rosewood (or variations) Fretboard, you should clean & oil at least once a year, (that doesn't mean drench it in oil) Your hands by itself will pull oil from the Fretboard, also there's salt & dirt from the hands that's not good for the wood. If you don't protect the wood, over years the pours in the wood can have an adverse effect (also how clean do you keep the guitar?) If you research, pro's will advise the same. If you have tighter grain woods like Ebony or Maple (raw) they don't have as much effect, although there's always exceptions in how you take care of it.

    :)
     
  18. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Hydrating and oiling are not the same, as oil and water do not mix, as we all know.

    This is where folks get confused. The reason why maple, rosewood and ebony are often used as fretboard material is they are very dense and closed pored. You don't want to soak such wood with anything. A light coating of oil annually is plenty. This, according to builders I've asked in the past.

    We put oil and other products on finished furniture, typically not raw wood. YMMV
     
  19. ef_in_fla

    ef_in_fla Member

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    +1 on this product. I use it once or twice a year and it keeps my boards looking great. Gerlitz wax is great too (for the body of course).
     
  20. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Personally I would rather "play in" the guitar with the board on the dry side. The fact that we do see a meaningful number of guitars with degraded fretboards from oiling by guys with the very best intentions, tells me this is something that can sneak up on a lot of us. I'll go one step further and suggest that just maybe, Gibson knows a little about what they're doing that they sell the guitars with so little oil on the boards in the first place. I guess I'm saying, a "stupid" amount is much less than some people think.

    To me this is like autos and the coolant temperature in the motor. A real cold crankcase isn't such a good thing, but the motor is engineered to tolerate real cold start ups. Suppose instead of being so cold, it is an equivalent amount too hot? The gaskets and "freeze" plugs blow, valve trains disintegrate; lots of really bad things which mean an engine overhaul at the least. So, when it comes to oil on rosewood boards, Less is More and No New Oil except what comes off your hands is not actually such a bad goal. Err to the side of applying less - you can always relent and apply more oil later if I'm mistaken.
     

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