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I just tried to use lemon oil to clean my rosewood board

someone told me wipe the oil on the board
wait for a while and then wipe them off

I tried to do that
but it seem the board is still "oily".....
 

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IMHO, Lem Oil will dry out the board, which is cool I guess, because it will remove any other undesirable oils in the wood.  (I may be wrong!)

Try to find "Gibson Luthier's Choice Professional Quality Fretboard Conditioner."

I used this stuff (in conjunction w/alcohol, 0000 steel wool and elbow grease) on the GMC when I got it and the gretboard looks better than brand new!
 

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I use regular wood lemon oil on my fretboards and I love it because it really darkens the fretboard and evens out the color. I do it every time I change strings, which is usually about every 2 weeks or so, depending on how much I've been playing. By the end of the 2 weeks, the boards are still pretty dark but do start to dry out, and get little spots that are lighter then the wood around it. Which looks like crap.

cow-if the board feels to "oily", its probably because you put to much on and the wood wont absorb any more. Drenching it will probably hurt it. Although I'm no luthier so this is just a guess. I just apply a very thin coat and rub it in and wipe excess away.
 

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My understanding is that rosewood is a naturally oily wood, and it's not a good idea to saturate it with other oils. If you use lemon oil to clean it, use just enough to get the grime off the board.

Cleaning wood with alcohol would DEFINITELY be a bad idea... that's a sure-fire way to dry out the wood.
 

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I use Lem Oil as well, and there is a bit of oil left over when Im done.  I drop a dot in each "note" (for lack of a better word) and rub it in, let sit a moment.  There is some leftover when I string it back up.  Keeps the strings kinda slick for a while.  Eventually it evaporates or absorbs.  Not a major concern for me, so I say do the maintenance as opposed to don't, and let nature take it's course with the excess.
 

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ive been told by 3 different luthiers that it is good oil ebony with bore oil, lemon oil is ok, but bore is better -- but not to oil rosewood as it is a very oiled wood naturally and adding too much oil can cause the wood to be more susceptible to change in shape, lifting of frets, and/or separation from the neck in extreme cases.  obviously, one drop per month is not going to cause this, but too much oil can.  i dont claim to know one way or the other, this is just what ive been told.
 

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i've been told by 3 different luthiers that it is good oil ebony with bore oil, lemon oil is ok, but bore is better -- but not to oil rosewood as it is a very oiled wood naturally and adding too much oil can cause the wood to be more susceptible to change in shape, lifting of frets, and/or separation from the neck in extreme cases. obviously, one drop per month is not going to cause this, but too much oil can. i dont claim to know one way or the other, this is just what ive been told.
I agree and have been saying just this on each incarnation of the forum. I'm not sure the fascination with 'oiling rosewood' among guitarists, but it's a common... right or wrong. If you have a rosewood board and feel the need to oil, perhaps something try a no-wax polish like 'endust' first.

If i'm choosing between two similar used JEMs where one was lemon oiled regularly and one wasn't, i'm I'm taking the one without the oil each and every time... glen
 

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you don't need to clean "wood". Use endust type no-wax wood polish with a soft cotton rag and wipe clean. Any fretboard type. If you feel the need, bore oil on ebony to darken/moisten... glen
 

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I actually do ues the Gibson Fretboard Conditioner on my rosewood fingerboards a couple of times a year.  The reason?  When you guys on the east coast have are sweltering in 90 degrees and 90% humidity, it's 100 and 20% - 30% humidity here in Colorado and winter is drier, usually less than 20%, especially with gas heat.  Yes, I keep my guitars in the house and we do have a humidifier on our central heat to keep some moisture in the air during the winter, but it still gets really dry.  
 

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Maple - let me state that there are two fretboard scenarios here.

1. is a mint fretboard with the clearcoat intact. Here it pretty much doesn't matter what you use, since you won't be effecting the wood. Again an endust type product is the smartest, or a Gibson/Martin type polish.

2. is a worn board where the clearcoat on the fretboard is worn, where the maple is exposed. At this point, the board starts to look dirty. At this point ligher fluid can help remove the dirt, but chances are you need to use 0000 steel wool and elbow grease to remove the clearcoat on the fretboard. At that point you can also keep clean with the same polish as above. Note this has NOTHING to do with the rear of the neck, i'm talking fretboards.

If humidy is a factor (or lack thereof) then consider a humidifier that is used in the guitar case while storing... glen
 

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Hmmm, I thought we were talking about rosewood.  

I agree, you can use any standard polish on a maple board with a clear coat.  
 

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Ok before I stop using lemon oil are we all POSTIVE that it is a BAD thing?? Lifting frets? Twisting? No thank you I'd rather take a board with little marks here and there, but if its just someone's guess then I'd rather keep doing it.

Glen- Why exactly would you take a non-oiled guitar over an oiled one? Is there something you feel or hear different? After I started oiling my rosewood boards I didnt hear/feel any difference. They just looked a hell of a lot nicer.
 

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Because it would be an educated guess on my part as to how the axe was cared for. Sometimes less is more. Personally i would rather the previous owner do NOTHING extraneous and rather leave it alone. That is unless they are a luthier or have vast experience. I don't believe you should saturate wood with unnatural oils, barring overt problems such as extreme heat and dry climates. Again under the advice of someone knowledgable.

You want to buy a car from somebody who experimented their way thru their regular tuneups with a buddy? or someone who regularly the shop with a pro mechanic? An extreme example but this is why. Remember for every rule there is an exception so use your best judgement... glen
 

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Hey Madwell,

I used lem oil on all of my guitars. The ones with ebony fretboards and the rosewood ones. I never had any problems with it, as long as you wipe the excess oil off.

But another option for rosewood, ebony and even maple is boiled linseed-oil. It fills up the little holes and stuff and gets hard like a laquer or clearcoat. Your fretboard will look very dark. I personally like it very much. It protects the wood from absorbing moist, and once used on a fretboard you can wipe off the dirt as easily as a maple fretboard with a clearcoat.

You just use it like any other oils. Put some on the fretboard... whipe it out over the wood... let it stay for a while and whipe off the excess. It will look great!

Grz,
Alex
 

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Man what a thread! I'm in the Chicago area where our temperature inversions are very high. The guitar sees all temperature and humidity combinations throughout a one year period. Let me tell you what I do. For customers, I see a lot of filthy grime and it needs to be removed. It is not good for the wood. I use Naptha (lighter fluid is ok), and sometimes if I really have to I will use Flax soap, or murphy's oil soap very sparingly with a toothbrush for major ground in ca ca. With the speed in which I do it, nothing is really getting below the surface. Maybe 1mil or so.  For mildly dirty fingerboards, I use lemon oil. But just enough to moisten the rag. I don't want it soaking in the board. Everything we're talking about is surface related. The problems are when you dump it on and it soaks into the grains. It can then TRAP moisture in, keep moisture out, do all sorts of things counterproductive. I don't like the Gibson stuff. It is really thin and it sucks waaaaay down into the pores. It also comes back up for a long time after you put it on. In my experience, it is addictive, because it is temporary and then it dries you fretboard out so that you need it more.  By the way all they did was go to a company that was already making it either for gun stocks or furniture or whatever and get their name on it.  As for maple, Glen is right on.  But I don't like any spray endust product on bare wood. There are fragrances and thinners and waxes and lots of other things in there that I don't want on my board. Also, if you have hands that gunk up a fretboard, anything you put on there, if it sticks in there, like linseed or tons of lemon oil, will become gunk later, and the process repeats. You do have to clean wood sometimes, too because if all you are doing is rubbing lemon oil in, you are mashing your gunk into the grains just by the rubbing you are doing. Man this is a long post. Maybe I'll make up a fretboard care sheet. Another reason we oil is to prevent cracking. Lemon oil does just fine. Drying of the wood also means shrinkage leading to cracking. The oil helps prevent this. As far as warping and frets pulling out, The expanding and contracting due to inversions really contributes. Oiling will cut down on that too. Re-cap: Kirk, the Gibson stuff dries the board as it evaporates, making you need it again. The lemon oil does not, unless it has alcohol or other thinners in it. Cowcowcow, you put too much on. Just a little on the rag is enough, and no waiting before you wipe it off. Do it instantly, removing as much as you can.  Tomizm, extra lemon oil slicking your strings will soak into them killing them sooner. The oil gets between the wrappings and the core, deadening the string. Madwell, keep doing what you're doing, making sure that if it's every two weeks, use very little and keep wiping it dry like you are doing. And Glen, a really dark, oily rosewood fretboard can be a sign of majorly clogged pores choking off the wood. Take the unoiled guitar, and then put a little lemon oil on the fretboard when you get it.
 
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