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Linseed Oil

Freds55

Power User
This is from Bob Taylor at Taylor guitars..
I’d have no worries about using lemon oil on my fretboard It’s safe. Use it only on the unfinished wood like the fretboard and bridge. The wood can dry out over time, and an oil like this, or linseed oil, or even mineral oil, can protect the wood and beautify it as well. Don’t overdo it. Once a fretboard has been oiled a few times, you can slow down the frequency. The nice thing about lemon oil is that it cleans while it oils, so it won’t build up as easily, but be sparing. I don’t think your fretboard will need oiling more than twice a year, and eventually, once a year.
 

Freds55

Power User
Greetings Warrior.
Man I haven’t been in Ann Arbor in 40 years. Thanks for sharing that information and recommendation I have an old Robin Ford vhs tape that I used to watch.
Im going to check out the Howard’s Feed - N - Wax thanks for that information.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
When dealing with unfinished wood (rosewood, ebony, pau ferro etc...) a conditioner is what is needed if you want to leave the wood unfinished. Linseed oil is a type of finish, a preservative not a conditioner. Over time it cures or hardens to a certain degree, protecting by sealing the wood. Most oils that are "organic" (plant, nut or seed based) will have curing properties which make them good options as finishes or preservatives.

Conditioners are usually petroleum based or petroleum distillates, like Mineral oil, that don't have any real curing properties, leaving the wood "unfinished". Which conditioner is up to the individual and what they trust but I've used Guitar Honey for years and have no complaints.
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
The biggest problem I have with real lemon oil is availability and knowing what you are getting. There's so much BS online about essential oils being a miracle cure for everything. Makes it really hard to find good information on the product itself. So many things sold as "Lemon Oil" are not lemon oil at all. I personally have a healthy amount of distrust for anything sold at "health" or "wellness" stores. Some sources say it's good for wood, others say it's acidic and bad for adhesives and some inlays over time. Mineral oil is so much cheaper and easier to get, I pretty much just gave up on the whole lemon oil thing.

I've used Howard's Feed-N-Wax before on old furniture. It's a bit messy but it works well. I have a couple of old oil finished chairs that looked pretty rough from being stored in the hot garage, and it really brought those back to life. I dug up the SDS on it and it looks like it's mostly paraffin based with a few percent of carnauba and beeswax and a bit of orange oil.
 

deathbyguitar

Experienced
I've been using Fret Doctor brand bore oil on my guitars for like 15 years. The bottle still hasn't run out. Never noticed any buildup or anything.
 

brianv4

Fractal Fanatic
Anyone use Gorgomyte on frets ? It seems to remove a lot of stuff......but I have no idea what the active ingredient is.....

ps Congrats on post 15,000 Mr. Cliff ! ;)
I was using it regularly (maybe every other string change). A 2" square used to clean the frets and condition fretboard really well but lately it's been too dry almost like i'm getting old stock that's dried out. I don't feel like it's cleaning and conditioning like it use to.
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
Lemon oil is mineral oil with scent unless you buy essential oil.

I use bore oil for rosewood and ebony boards.

Lots of maple necks have been finished with linseed oil over the years. Many have been based on linseed oil derived products like Tru-oil gunstock oil. The result is a pretty hard finish that feels like raw wood. It’s not as durable as polyurethane or lacquer but there’s tons of old Charvels, ESPs, Jacksons, Music Man, etc necks that are still just fine after 30+ years.
 

lauke-lux

Power User
I've always wondered about the "apply oil so the wood does not dry" thing, cus drying is about moisture and not oil, right? What does oil do for wood's dryness?
It prevents from fragmentation/fragilisation/shrinking of wood fibers due to thermal stress and dryness
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
It also helps to create a moisture barrier to protect against your sweat. Dryness can make wood fibers shrink and crack, but too much moisture makes them swell and you can have the opposite problem.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
It also helps to create a moisture barrier to protect against your sweat. Dryness can make wood fibers shrink and crack, but too much moisture makes them swell and you can have the opposite problem.
Combining those two processes, you get a contract/expand loop that flexes the fibers and eventually breaks them down....

Same thing happens with tubes - except it's heat/cool expansion/contraction cycles.
 

Zedhed

Experienced
Here's how it happens: when linseed oil is exposed to air, it combines with the oxygen molecules. This chemical reaction creates heat. If the linseed oil is on something like a cotton rag, it can catch fire at as low as 120 degrees -- with no outside spark
This happened recently to a local brewery near my home. They have a lot of wood in the public area and were using cloth rags to apply linseed oil to it. When they finished, they threw the rags in a pile and within 24 hours the place burnt down.
 

Freds55

Power User
Hate to hear of a fire like that save the beer!!!
Yeah a lot of people don’t know that an organic material like linseed Oil will start making heat when piled up they will start smoking and then ignite.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
Hate to hear of a fire like that save the beer!!!
Yeah a lot of people don’t know that an organic material like linseed Oil will start making heat when piled up they will start smoking and then ignite.
Spontaneous combustion. A wadded rag will do the same thing. ALWAYS wring out excess oil or stain, completely open the rag or towel and drape over the edge of a trash can, dowel or hang from a rack so it can to let it dry completely. There are also fireproof trash cans, usually need to be partially filled with water. Laying them flat on a solid surface is not advised either, this can remove airflow under the rag allowing combustion to occur. It's less likely but possible nonetheless.

Saw this first-hand with stain rags in a cabinet shop I worked in. One of the clean-up guys threw a wad of rags in the trash. Noticed the smoke as we were walking out for the weekend. Opened a rag and it burst into flames. Talk about good fortune!
 

Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
I like F - One Oil.
Well, I got a bottle of the F-One oil not long ago, and re-did the fretboards on the Strat and the SG Special. Monsoons finally hit, and the higher humidity brought a little bit of stickiness with it.

I had used the alternate strings I was testing (EB Rock & Roll 9-46 pure nickel wrap #2252) after I oiled them. Test results: I decided I would love them if someone else is changing my strings every week, but I like the regular ones (#2222) better for the longevity and still very good feel/tone. The #2252s have something a little different in the top end twang on the low strings that's pleasant, but they don't last nearly as long before that goes away.

Played the SG Special for about a half hour after getting it tuned up with the new strings. Man, that's an awesome little guitar, once the original pickups were binned in favor of the DiMarzio Virtual P90 and P90-sized Super Distortion. I can't recommend those two enough. Punchy, balanced, full but still bright enough, and sound great in "dual sound" parallel humbucking mode....
 

JoKeR III

Power User
The #2252s have something a little different in the top end twang on the low strings that's pleasant, but they don't last nearly as long before that goes away.
I tried a lot of different strings some time ago. IME, the non-coated strings that seem to retain their tone the longest were Curt Mangan Fusion Matched Nickel Wound. Love the tone, had a similar feeling about the low strings as well; clarity with boldness. Nickel wounds all sounded fairly similar IME but the CM's have something sweet in the midrange that I really like.

Rotosound (colors) are my "inexpensive" alternative that I keep on my stay-at-home or seldom gigged guitars. Their tone was the most similar to the CM's but fades a bit quicker.
 
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