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Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 18
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 3:02 am:   Edit Post

I have just found a small bottle of lemon oil that I normally would use in an oil burner at home (if your still single like me, the girls love all this kind of stuff). I tis made by a company in the U.S. called D'Andrea. I don't know how I came across this in Scotland, but I was wondering if it is safe to use on the fingerboard and finish of my 1976 Series1 to help keep her in good shape. The bottle does say however that it contains Petroleum distillate so I thought I'd best ask before doing something really stupid.
Senior Member
Username: dnburgess

Post Number: 447
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 3:13 am:   Edit Post

The oil to use on your fingerboard is pure essential oil. (This can be used in an aromatherapy oil vaporiser.)

BTW you may find Ylang Ylang suitabile for your non-fingerboard applications.
Advanced Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 206
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 4:06 am:   Edit Post

What David said. Want to add anything with Petroleum Distallates is not pure and not recommended.

Here in the States you can usually find pure lemon oil in the aroma therapy section of your local health food store.


Mistyped David's name. My apologies.

(Message edited by keith_h on October 12, 2005)
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 632
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 6:31 am:   Edit Post

Agreed, you need essential oil from lemons, not lemon-scented non-essential oil.
Username: mpisanek

Post Number: 73
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 7:26 am:   Edit Post

I have found that Tisserand put out a good lemon oil product. It is available at most pharmacies and health food shops around Scotland.
Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 366
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

I use Culpeper Pure Essential Oil.

Available mail order from here www.culpeper.co.uk

(Message edited by rogertvr on October 12, 2005)
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 49
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 9:15 pm:   Edit Post

I went to a bath and body store and found pure lemon oil. At first, it seemed expensive at around $15 for less than 1 ounce. However, I was able to oil the fretboard on both of my Alembics and I stil have 2/3 of a bottle left. Considering that I won't have to do this again for 4-6 months, it is really not a bad price to pay.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 717
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post

I got mine from these people- $12 for 5 oz.


Quick delivery and they sent a free sample little bottle of wasabi oil! By the way, when I looked at my bottle to get the URL I noticed for the first time that it says to refrigerate after opening. Duh, I never put it in the refrigerator! Any opinions about whether the non-refrigeration affects its usefulness for oiling the fingerboard?

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 512
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post

Wasabi, cool! I knew they had tangerine, lime, and maybe grapefruit, but this must be new. How is it? Not on the fingerboard - you probably wouldn't want to rub your eyes after playing - but taste-wise?

5 oz is a lot. I bought my bottle from a local store, and use it on the entire bass (oil finish), and it's going to last way beyond the two years they suggest, with "proper" storage.

I think we'd really need a chemist to answer the question. My guess is that by not refrigerating, you would more quickly lose the aroma/flavoring characteristic, but the basic structure of the oil that is important to us here will probably last much longer.

Again, just a guess, but assuming you've now got it in the fridge, I wouldn't throw it away for a couple of years or more. And just to be a fanatic, take it out and let it warm up for an hour or so before applying.
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1103
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 5:53 am:   Edit Post

I'd be concerned that a pure fruit-based oil, like any other oil made purely from foodstuffs, would turn rancid over time, hence the refrigeration requirement. The petrochem-based "Lemon Oils" don't appear to have this problem.

FWIW, as stated previously by me in similar club post(s), my luthier uses a polymerizing tung oil that hardens. He's as anal as they come: after fret leveling and dressing, he scrapes the FB, oils it and then works the oil before it dries and hardens. He finishes by buffing the FB on a wheel! The resulting surface is non-oily, hard as a rock, and looks and feels incredible with a silky smooth glossy finish! It really has to be experienced to appreciate it. He claims that the FB needs to be sealed and finished...not just merely kept oily. He says that regular non-hardening oils just serve to saturate the wood and keep it soggy, harming (deadening) the tone. He's been an anal arch-top jazz box maker for 35 years or so, and he is a gifted child-prodigy jazz guitarist with an incredible ear, so I'll buy his argument for now, LOL! He is very picky and opinionated about tone, which is perfect for a picky PITA like me who shares those wonderful traits, LOL!

Gibson's Nashville Custom Shop Manager (Ernie King) was very impressed by my guy's work on my LP Elegant when it went in for warrantee issues. Obviously, Gibson doesn't go to the same lenghts when they ship 'em out of the factory, LOL!.
Advanced Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 371
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 4:46 am:   Edit Post

Hi George.
For what it's worth, I've had a bottle of the same d'andrea lemon oil for about 8 years and have used it twice a year on my epic. Up till now I've never noticed any problems with it and I've recently used it to oil my rogue fingerboard. Judging from some of the responses you've had, I've probably commited a cardinal sin. However, the bottle does say it's specifically made for fingerboards and some of the boutique brands mentioned are probably only avaiilable in the states.


BTW, are you interested in joining Mike and myself (and possibly Ian) at Bassday UK?
Username: grateful

Post Number: 99
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 5:08 am:   Edit Post

Lemon oil has to be extracted with some organic solvent. There will always be traces of this solvent left in the resulting oil. Petroleum disillate/ether is extremely volatile and will evaporate rapidly leaving just the lemon oil. So I'm pretty confident you won't have done any damage Graeme. Here's a list of the constituents of lemon oil, and this brand is available in the UK.

Mark, ago
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1110
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 5:40 am:   Edit Post

Hell, I've used those petro-based "lemon oils" for 25yrs. While I don't go nuts with the stuff, I've never had a problem with my fingerboards (or wood bridges on my flat-tops). Regardless, my luthier says that is the absolute wrong way to go. He envokes the soggy stick analogy: take a formerly dried tree limb thats become saturated with water, and an identical dried tree limb and tap them on the ground...the dry limb is resonant, and the soggy one is "dead" sounding (i.e, dull thump). It's a bit exagerated, but you get the idea. He claims the non-hardening oils do just that..saturate the wood and dull the sound.

Beats me, but my axes never played or sounded better since he's been applying his magic mojo elixir to them, LOL! Who am I to argue with that?


Username: edwin

Post Number: 92
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 5:49 pm:   Edit Post

If you are looking for lemon essential oil, my wife carries it (she is a perfume designer and certified aromatherapist). I bet anything she would be willing to set up an Alembic discount for this.

http://www.essenseoils.com/ and click on the essense oil link.

PS She also can hear the difference between an Alembic, Fender, Modulus, etc. Her ears are as good as her nose!
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 722
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 6:15 pm:   Edit Post


I looked, but I couldn't find lemon oil on your wife's site. It could easily be an indictment of my computer skills. LOL

Bill, tgo
Username: edwin

Post Number: 93
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 5:53 pm:   Edit Post

Do a search for lemon under product and then I think it's the 1/8 or 1/4 oz amber bottle that is the pure essential oil. You could also call her at 800 551 0701. She did say that she would be happy to do an Alembic club discount! Just tell her I sent ya! I think she'll be able to come up with a code to put in the coupon field for web discounts.


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