#1
'Evenin all.

So. Lemon oil - the inconspicuous liquid that owners of rosewood fretboards have come to call their own.

I'm replacing my strings this week, (guy I know at a music shop in London is throwing me together a set for £25! woots.) and want to give the fretboard (and bass in general) a good ol' clean. I hear that lemon oil is the best thing to use on the fretboard, and so have been looking around for some to buy for reasonably cheap... To no avail.

So I considered making my own. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, "How hard could it be?"

Obviously I need lemons, but what would be the transfer medium of choice? I've been told organic oils over mineral, and groundnut oil has been suggested as a decent bet. Also, what would be the correct ratio of the constituents?

Also, is this a ****ing stupid idea that will ruin my bass? Should I just cough up the price of a label, (I'm sorry, but the price for just the stuff with a music brand's label on it is ridiculous.) or is there a specific shop that I can find the stuff in? Neither Boots nor Superdrug have it, and I'm not sure where to check next.

Thanks in advance.
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#2
mate just get the dunlop lemon oil, costs £5 or less and it lasts for years, i've had mine since 2008 and it looks like i haven't even used any - and i have 3 rosewood boarded guitars.
#4
Lemon oil is actually just mineral oil with lemon scent it doesn't actually contan oil from lemons
#5
Quote by H8ed H3r0
Lemon oil is actually just mineral oil with lemon scent it doesn't actually contan oil from lemons



....
Quote by Dogruitag
i think he wants to dream theater to be considered more metal, so he dyed his beard.


...

Quote by LookAlive
Lmfao, this is the best thread ever, aside from the fact that it involves a girl being harpooned through a tent.
#6
Actual real lemon oil will do damage. Don't use oil made from actual lemons!

The commercial stuff you buy, like the Dunlop 65 is actually just light mineral oil with some lemon fragrance, which is perfectly fine for rosewood and ebony.
#7
So if there's no lemon in it, how does it clean the board? I was under the assumption that the acid in the lemon cuts through the grime?
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...

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Lmfao, this is the best thread ever, aside from the fact that it involves a girl being harpooned through a tent.
#8
Quote by ToolBass_dude
So if there's no lemon in it, how does it clean the board? I was under the assumption that the acid in the lemon cuts through the grime?


Mineral oil is very light, almost water consistency. Most of the grime on the board is just your own oils and sweat and bits of dead skin etc. The mineral oil dilutes the oil grime and lifts it off when you rub it off with a cloth. It also helps to condition the fretboard at the same time.

You don't lash it on, just enough to get the job done and then a small amount for an all over fretboard condition. Wipe off the excess a few times and you're good to go.

Not recommended on sealed maple fretboards though.

But for unsealed rosewood and ebony it works a treat.
Last edited by Phoenix V at Sep 8, 2011,
#9
I have a few questions semi-related. So you could just put mineral oil on it to clean? And, when cleaning you take all the strings off? Doesn't that mess up the neck?
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#10
Quote by H8ed H3r0
Lemon oil is actually just mineral oil with lemon scent it doesn't actually contan oil from lemons

Its oil taken from the rind of lemons.
#11
Quote by Rawshik
I have a few questions semi-related. So you could just put mineral oil on it to clean? And, when cleaning you take all the strings off? Doesn't that mess up the neck?

Yup. And nope.

The myth that taking off all your strings at once will damage your neck is crap. OVER TIME, if you leave it off for days and put it through many temperature changes, the neck might warp, but it's not an instant thing. You can leave it off for hours and nothing would happen.

Don't worry, it'll be okay.
pinga
#12
Quote by Spaz91
Its oil taken from the rind of lemons.

No it isn't. You should never use actual lemon oil extract on unsealed fretboard.
#14
Lemon oil for wood is indeed made from an essential oil in lemon peel mixed with mineral oil. In the proportions found, the lemon oil helps lift grime from the wood, as well as provide that lovely lustre. It's not going to damage an unsealed board if used properly. You indeed won't want to use 100% D-limonene on your board, as it's a strong solvent, but use a <1% solution, your cleaning will be successful, your fretboard conditioned, and your fingers smelling good, as the plungers on lemon oil bottles are crap and you always get splashback.
Last edited by Deliriumbassist at Sep 9, 2011,
#15
Out of curiosity, why can't you use lemon oil on maple/sealed fretboards?
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#17
Quote by Deliriumbassist
As d-limonene is a strong solvent, it will start damaging the sealant used on maple boards.


Forgive my ignorance, but what's the difference between sealants?
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...

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#18
Quote by Deliriumbassist
As d-limonene is a strong solvent, it will start damaging the sealant used on maple boards.


Don't throw around those chiral terms in here! What if it's the racemic form?

TS, if you search around the internet, you'll find loads of different makeups for lemon oil. Some are (apparently) a petroleum distillate that just happens to smell like lemons. Other people say it's mineral oil with a dash of lemon oil in it for scent.

You could just use mineral oil for cleaning.
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#19
I just use butcher block finish. it's just mineral oil. the kind I get is about $12 a bottle. it's a big bottle too, it will last you a good few years.
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#21
Are any rosewood fretboards considered "sealed"?
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#22
Quote by bassman10101


[/thread]

not sure if trolling or serious....

that's just a container for lemon juice, not oil.
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#23
Quote by Rawshik
Are any rosewood fretboards considered "sealed"?

Sealed just means there's clearcoat or laquer on top of the fretboard. Most ebony and rosewood boards don't have this.
#24
ive been using lemon juice for many years. does the trick.


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#25
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#26
Quote by matt-attack
I've always had a big bottle of this Lemon oil. I've been using it for five years with no problems.

This is fine to use right?


I believe so, but don't go confusing it for old english 800
#27
Quote by Cb4rabid
Yup. And nope.

The myth that taking off all your strings at once will damage your neck is crap. OVER TIME, if you leave it off for days and put it through many temperature changes, the neck might warp, but it's not an instant thing. You can leave it off for hours and nothing would happen.

Don't worry, it'll be okay.


Actually, Beleive it or not I thought the same thing. UNTIL *dramatic music* I had an extremely off day with one of my basses.
ESP/LTD F404, perfect for 7 months with NO previous issues, and then when this happened and I fixed it, I have had no issues for the 6 months since.

Was at home one night restringing my bass, went to clean the bass Completely and took all the strings off, cleaned it, didnt change any of the set up etc. Put exactly the same string gauge/brand on (Power Slinky ernie balls) same tuning and everything and no climate change at all.... BAM action was over an inch high.... was like what the F*@K?

My idea of what happen was that somewhere along the lines the truss rod slipped. Obviously freaked out for a bit before i reset the truss rod(which happened to be an extreme adjustment) and it's been perfect since. But yeah... first experience where taking off all the strings fked it over. Never has happened on any of my other 12 basses over the last 7 years and the F404 plays like a dream again.
#28
Quote by tofuhead
Actually, Beleive it or not I thought the same thing. UNTIL *dramatic music* I had an extremely off day with one of my basses.
ESP/LTD F404, perfect for 7 months with NO previous issues, and then when this happened and I fixed it, I have had no issues for the 6 months since.

Was at home one night restringing my bass, went to clean the bass Completely and took all the strings off, cleaned it, didnt change any of the set up etc. Put exactly the same string gauge/brand on (Power Slinky ernie balls) same tuning and everything and no climate change at all.... BAM action was over an inch high.... was like what the F*@K?

My idea of what happen was that somewhere along the lines the truss rod slipped. Obviously freaked out for a bit before i reset the truss rod(which happened to be an extreme adjustment) and it's been perfect since. But yeah... first experience where taking off all the strings fked it over. Never has happened on any of my other 12 basses over the last 7 years and the F404 plays like a dream again.

Probably just a bad bass or a bad day has never happened to me, and every time I change my strings, I clean the fretboard, so off they come.

This doesnt happen frequently though and unless you plan on leaving them off for a long time, this shouldn't be a worry to anyone.
pinga
#29
Honestly I wouldn't mess on with your own oils unless you are really keen and don't mind the outside possibility of messing up your fretboard. I taught A level chemistry and work with wood a lot using a lot of different oils, linseed, tung, teak , Danish etc. Most of them are mixtures of oils with mineral oils and sometimes waxes and resins and detergents. Too light an oil will remove oil from the timber and then evaporate itself and other oils become sticky and turn into gums with age, meaning your fretboard ends up with more muck than you removed in the first place. I use Dr Ducks and like everybody else after 5 years it hasn't visibly gone down except when i spill it.
#30
Yeah, Ive pretty much always taken all my strings off etc. and Never before than did I have an issue. As you said, bad day but it kinda made me understand how the horror stories and freak out advice came from.
#32
Quote by tofuhead
Actually, Beleive it or not I thought the same thing. UNTIL *dramatic music* I had an extremely off day with one of my basses.
ESP/LTD F404, perfect for 7 months with NO previous issues, and then when this happened and I fixed it, I have had no issues for the 6 months since.

Was at home one night restringing my bass, went to clean the bass Completely and took all the strings off, cleaned it, didnt change any of the set up etc. Put exactly the same string gauge/brand on (Power Slinky ernie balls) same tuning and everything and no climate change at all.... BAM action was over an inch high.... was like what the F*@K?

My idea of what happen was that somewhere along the lines the truss rod slipped. Obviously freaked out for a bit before i reset the truss rod(which happened to be an extreme adjustment) and it's been perfect since. But yeah... first experience where taking off all the strings fked it over. Never has happened on any of my other 12 basses over the last 7 years and the F404 plays like a dream again.


I always loosen the truss rod on my AX-404 before taking the strings off ( I rotate between Rotosound rounds and Chromes). Sure, you have to set it up again after you put the strings back on, but unless you're restringing with the same kind of strings, you're gonna have to do it anyway.

On topic: I think my bass has a sealed rosewood fingerboard (I haven't bothered to look too closely), so I've never used lemon oil before. Sorry!
#33
Yeah I can understand that, but they were the exact same strings and the truss rodd adjustment I did.. was disasterously big... Im not talking about 1 or 2 turns... it was "lets wind this until it either works or the neck snaps"