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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2006 » Archive through October 20, 2006 » Fretboard oil and string change « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 522
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post

Even after you've thoroughly wiped down your fretboard after a little lemon oil, is there still a certain period of time you should wait before putting on a new set of strings?
Senior Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 454
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 1:58 pm:   Edit Post

Jonathan - Mica recommends putting the old strings back on for a couple days. To be honest - I've oiled my board and put on new strings within a couple of hours with no problem. But then, if guitar strings get gunked up they aren't as expensive to replace as bass strings.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1339
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 2:04 pm:   Edit Post

Heck, I oil mine with the strings on it most of the time. It might not be best if you're into that crisp stainless roundwound tone, and you might want to let it dry a little. I'm no expert, but I would apply the oil and give it 5-10 minutes to soak in. At that point, I'd give it a wipe down to pick up anything left on the surface and wait another five to re-string.

I think it is mostly an issue if you have to heavily oil the board because you only do it once or twice a decade. Something on the order of 5-6 drops does my whole board about quarterly, so there's not much slop to get on the strings. Love that lemon oil smell!
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post

I read somewhere, I can't remember exactly where, that this was one of the benefits of using pure essential lemon oil, as opposed to stuff with mineral oil or other additives, that the lemon oil was not going to gunk your strings. I think human oil from your hands and fingers is more harmful to the strings.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 616
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 11:12 pm:   Edit Post

Usually when I oil mine, I leave it to soak in overnight then wipe off the excess before I put the strings back.

I don't change my strings that often as I''m not a regularly gigging bassist. To be honest I haven't had a problem with the oil being picked up in the strings and have oiled the necks on my instruments maybe about 3 times in the last year. I use Elixir coated strings for guitar mostly now so i presume they would not get impregnated with the oil anyway.

talking about oily things gunking up strings, I'm sure I read somewhere that old Jaco sometimes put chicken grease on his fingers to lubricate them before playing. So I'm sure a bit of lemon oil won't hurt that much.
Ok here is a link about that and there is also a mention on the fender web site too.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1720
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 6:48 am:   Edit Post

I find that right after I oil my fretboard the strings, especially the plain E, B, and G, do tend to blacken a little at the frets where I play the most. For this reason I follow Mica's suggestion and put the old strings back on for a few days of playing before I change to new strings.

Bill, tgo

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