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Basic maint query (lubricating fretboard)

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Basic maint query (lubricating fretboard)

Postby BJG145 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:24 am

Just a simple thing, but I have a Strat I want to look after and it's developing some lighter patches on the rosewood fretboard. It plays and looks fine, but I'm not sure if these things need rubbing down with oil or whatever periodically to increase longevity, or protect against wear...?
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Re: Basic maint query (lubricating fretboard)

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:36 am

Yes. I use Jim Dunlop No.65 lemon oil. Put some on a cloth, wipe it over the fretboard and let it soak in. I normally keep applying until no more oil soaks in, then wipe off the excess so that it's nice and dry. Take the strings off first (so wait until string change time) and you can then polish the frets at the same time.

Any unfinished/unlacquered fretboard wood will continue to loose moisture over time (not juts rosewood but also ebony, pau ferro etc.). As it does so, the wood shrinks a bit and the fret ends can start to poke out. In more extreme cases, the frets can also start to become loose in their slots.

So it pays to keep the board lubricated as the oil replaces the lost moisture. The oil itself will evaporate over time. so oiling should be a regular occurrence. I'd recommend at least once a year, but more doesn't do any harm. Rubbing the board with lemon oil on a cloth also helps remove dirt and dead skin build-up and keeps the board feeling nicer to play.
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Re: Basic maint query (lubricating fretboard)

Postby BJG145 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:36 am

OK! Thanks Wonks.
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