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Cleaning and treating an unfinished fret-board - real lemon oil

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Cleaning and treating an unfinished fret-board - real lemon oil

Postby Felonius » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:45 am

I bought an inexpensive new bass. The fret-board is of Indian Laurel, but I'm fairly sure that it has been stained to a darker, rosewood-type colour. The board has no shellac, etc.. I may sand a small corner of the board to see if the real colour shows.

It is my understanding that the wood will fare better if treated with oil of sorts, and I am aware of the commercial products, that the oil will protect and clean the wood. I have some real pure lemon oil (not the commercial products called Lemon Oil which are mostly scented mineral oil,) and I have the commercial product Old English Lemon Oil (which is made in old USA.) Is the real lemon oil good, or bad, for treating the wood? Perhaps someone way back when chose lemon oil because it smells good compared to a lot of other oils, I don't know; nor do I know the properties of the oil.

If anyone here knows if real lemon oil is of any use for a fret-board, please advise. As a secondary thing, is the Old English of any use?
Thank you.
Felonius
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Re: Cleaning and treating an unfinished fret-board - real lemon oil

Postby zenguitar » Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:09 am

welcome to the SOS forums :thumbup:

Pure Lemon oil is too concentrated, Martin specifically advise against it.

I don't know the Old English Lemon Oil, but it is specifically marketed as a furniture polish. One thing you have to be wary about is that not oil lemon oils contain lemon, in a lot of the furniture products the lemon scent is extracted from lemon grass and the yellow is a colouring.

For well over a decade I've been using a bottle of Kyser Dr Stringfellow lemon oil. It's done a couple of hundred guitars, and I don't know if it is still available. I have an unopened bottle of D'Addario lemon oil ready for when the Kyser finally runs out.

My advice is to use a reputable guitar brand like D'Addario or Dunlop.

And you only need a little, once or twice a year. I see a lot of guitars that have lacked TLC for many years where the fretboard is very dry and at risk of developing loose frets, so I will use a little more than normal if required.

I wouldn't sand the fretboard. It is what it is. And as a new instrument it really should need any lemon oil for a while yet.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Cleaning and treating an unfinished fret-board - real lemon oil

Postby billw22 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:39 pm

welcome to the SOS forums :thumbup:

Pure Lemon oil is too concentrated, Martin specifically advise against it.

I don't know the Old English Lemon Oil, but it is specifically marketed as a furniture polish. One thing you have to be wary about is that not oil lemon oils contain lemon, in a lot of the furniture products the lemon scent is extracted from lemon grass and the yellow is a colouring.

For well over a decade I've been using a bottle of Kyser Dr Stringfellow lemon oil. It's done a couple of hundred guitars, and I don't know if it is still available. I have an unopened bottle of D'Addario lemon oil ready for when the Kyser finally runs out.

My advice is to use a reputable guitar brand like D'Addario or Dunlop.

And you only need a little, once or twice a year. I see a lot of guitars that have lacked TLC for many years where the fretboard is very dry and at risk of developing loose frets, so I will use a little more than normal if required.

I wouldn't sand the fretboard. It is what it is. And as a new instrument it really should need any lemon oil for a while yet.

Andy :beamup:

agreed
D'Addario or Dunlop are the best solution in terms of quality
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