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Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1338
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 2:34 pm:   Edit Post

There is a great discussion about what types of oil to use to oil your fingerboard here. And there is a follow-up thread here, and a more recent follow-up here.

In the first discussion, Mica had the following to say:

Our standard figerboard is unfinished. Pure tung oil always seems a litle tacky to the touch. Polymerized tung oil .. finishes the fingerboard and will feel different from a more raw board. Formby's has wax in it, which won' hurt anything exept the next set of strings you put on your instrument.

... we like the lemon oil because it replaces some of the large molecules that evaporate out of the wood as it ages, and leaves the fingerboard unfinished with the nice touch of the natural wood. Cracks in the board start at cells where one of these large heavy turpines has evaporated. The heavy turpines in lemon oil are similar to the ones in ebony, so it's not like soaking it in water, more like ebony juice ;) and just replacing what was lost.

I've heard horror stories about lemon oils (the solvent types). A friend of mine hurt his Les Paul after vigorous over oiling with a solvent based lemon oil. He oiled it for months nearly everyday to the point of oversaturation. The fingerboard started to separate from the neck! Now, I suppose the oil may not have been to blame, but it does make one wonder.

With the pure lemon oil, you only use a scant amount, it cleans up easy, nourishes the wood, smells nice and makes the ebony a rich wonderful black.

Just like most things, there's no one correct way to care for the fingerboard. There's lots of products out there we have no experience with, and unless something will actually hurt the wood, if it works for you, I wouldn't worry.

(Message edited by davehouck on February 12, 2005)

(Message edited by davehouck on February 15, 2005)

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