Fretboard oiling

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ezcomes, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. ezcomes

    ezcomes Member

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    I have an ebony board...ive read a couple different things...some, dont oil...some do...

    Thoughts?

    If you do it...what oil do you use...
     
  2. Thrillhouse

    Thrillhouse Member

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    I oil my fingerboards (ebony and rosewood) using Gerlitz guitar honey at least twice a year.
     
  3. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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    I use orange oil.. all the time.. ;)
     
  4. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I use the natural oil from my fingers. I suppose if I lived in a dry and cold climate I might use something to treat fretboards if the fretboards looked like they were getting drier than normal.
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    a bunch of threads about this, and notice that there's never any real agreement or consensus, even among experienced players, techs and builders; this tells me that none of it makes much difference good or bad, and i've come down on the side of not bothering anymore.
     
  6. BoogieManSC

    BoogieManSC Supporting Member

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    rosewood & ebony, Fretdoctor once or twice per year...
     
  7. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

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    Ebony doesn't need oil. It needs hydration. Unlike rosewood, ebony can crack if it dries out too much. Buy a humidifier if you're worried about your ebony boarded guitars. Oil and hydration are two different things.
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    that's the part nobody seems to get.
     
  9. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

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    But it is an important distinction though. For the occasional unlucky guitar, the effects of an overly oiled board can get a bit.. mushy, at least regarding the fret slots.
     
  10. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Right.

    Oil is definitely a different treatment for a different reason.
     
  11. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Oiling a board does not hydrate it. Ebony needs hydration/humidity. Well, all woods do.
    Regardless, oiling more than twice a year is too much.
     
  12. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    That's it right there. Overdo it and you can end up with mush.
    A little dab will do ya.
     
  13. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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  14. blong

    blong Supporting Member

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    If you play it, the oils and moisture from your fingers should do fine unless you live in a very, very dry place and leave the guitar out in a garage or the trunk of your car. Really. You can tell if the wood dries, then you need to either oil or hydrate. I only oil if it is necessary, or if I clean a fingerboard with sandpaper, steel wool, and/or naptha. Naptha can dry a board out, so I will oil it with Guitar Honey, Fret Doctor, or my new favorite, F1 oil from Music Nomad. Bore oil works well, too. At most, once or twice a year for most people, as stated above. Ebony rarely should be oiled unless you buy an old LP Deluxe that's been sitting in a hot attic for years. I usually oil rosewood, but, again, only if it's dry or I cleaned it.

    Bob
     

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