Fretboard Oil

I decided to sum up a lot of what I’ve read on this topic.

Very little oil is required when oiling the fretboard.
Wipe it on, wait 2 mins, wipe off the excess. Doing this once or twice a year is plenty unless you live in a very dry climate. Although, doing it every time you change your strings won’t hurt anything.

I’ve used boiled linseed oil but I like it better for using on outdoor furniture.

Lots of people say not to use plant based oils because they get rancid.

Some people are hell bent against lemon oil because the acids can hurt the fretboard. Other people say it’s been 50+ years since anyone used actual lemon juice in lemon oil. It just has lemon scent in it.

@Griff uses gun oil and so do a ton of other people.

Martin & Co. Guitars are notoriously picky about what to use. They use 2 in 1 oil on all the machines, Dr Ducks Ax Wax on the neck, and their own products everywhere else.

Don’t oil a maple fretboard. They already have a coating and the oil doesn’t do anything.

MusicNomad F-ONE Oil Fretboard Cleaner & Conditioner seems to get the highest marks all around and I’ve never seen anyone say don’t use it.

There is a ton of misinformation about what is and isn’t good on the Internet. Most of it boils down to…

  • Don’t ever use ‘x’ because your fretboard will fall apart. (Mostly backed up with zero reliable information. I mean, yeah, don’t used battery acid. That would be bad.)
  • Always use ‘x’ because it’s magic tone juice. (Also not backed up with any reliable data.)

I got some Dr Ducks Ax Wax that I’m going to use next week. I figured if Martin uses it, considering how picky they are, it should be plenty safe and it has orange scent that people have reported “smells really good”.

So, let it fly folks! What’s your best fretboard oil recommendation?

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Music Nomad F-One oil for me.
Too many people reco it highly for it to be a bad thing.

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If you remove gunk you loose the funk.

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Following. This should be good.

Lots of people seem to recommend snakeoil, but I can’t find snake oil for sale in Ireland. Probably something to do with St Patrick… no snakes in Ireland.

I’m hoping someone says its not what you have,but how you use it …

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I use dAndrea/Dunlop lemon oil.

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I use Howard Feed-N-Wax on my fretboards and wood body basses. I use these other 2 on my color painted bass body’s and wipe down body’s with micro fiber cloths. My 🪙🪙cents.

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I can never get passed how gross this statement is. :rofl:

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Wipe it on, wait 2 mins, wipe off the excess. Doing this once or twice a year is plenty unless you live in a very dry climate.

Adding this as an edit.

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The lemon oil products that are specifically made for fretboards are pretty safe? I always see luthiers using Dunlop lemon oil.

Don’t use pure lemon oil. https://www.guitaranswerguy.com/12-lemon-oil-debate/#safelemonoils

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This applies to everything.

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I saw a post from @gio, not sure where of course, and he does the same thing as I do.

I use boiled linseed oil on my rosewood fretboards and lemon oil (without silicone) everywhere else. I buy these by the litre from Lowes or Home Depot for a fraction of the price of anything from a music store. Last purchased over 20 years ago.

As somebody said previously stay away from vegetable oils because they go rancid over time.

Just my preference for the last 50 years and no problems.

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Are you saying funk players don’t bathe?

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:rofl: :joy: :rofl:

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I used the F one for the first time last week and was really impressed by it.

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Anything that fills in surface scratches on the back of a neck?

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+1 to this.
Mineral or linseed oil on anything used for shredding, fret or cutting boards.

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That’s surprising. My can of boiled linseed oil said it was NOT safe to use on anything used in food preparation.

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Not all linseed oil is food safe. I was reading past those parts in the context of bass.

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I use motor oil but only use the synthetic stuff. It’s more expensive but your bass is worth it #nobadideas
image

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I don’t know about filling in cracks, but F-One on the back of a non-gloss neck also works wonders.
I have a can of Finger Ease to try on the back of the neck too at some point (was going to try it on the fretboard, but I am happy with F-One.

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