#1
Hi alll, I'm just wondering about lemon oil and the safeness of using it with certain types of woods.

I've heard a lot of bad stuff about using lemon oil on unfinished maple fretboards? What's the deal with this?

My guitars got a canadian maple neck but rosewood fingerboard. Am I still okay to use lemon oil on this guitar?

What types of fingerboard woods can lemon oil harm?

Also, for christmas I recieved some Martin guitar polish.

Would I be okay to use it with this guitar? Is there any guitar woods/or finishes I should be worried about using it on?

Thanks for the info
#2
"Lemon oil", such as "Murphy's Lemon Oil", is supposedly mostly mineral oil anyway. The "petroleum distillates" on the label is sort of a giveaway. That said, a light coat perhaps 2x a year does more good than harm. At least that's the general consensus.
This applies to rosewood boards. Maple fret boards are usually clear coated anyway.

Other than that, Lemon oil just smears and mostly rubs off of poly finishes. The stuff is really compounded for use with porous wood finishes.

Personally, I'm convinced you could use a car wax, at least on the body only. With one criterion, that it should be a natural carnauba wax, without cleaners. This at least for closed finishes such as polyurethane. We are unconcerned about trying to get road tar off the instrument, aren't we? I think the original "Simonize" was a non cleaner type of wax. You might hope a couple coats of wax on a guitar body might at least mitigate some of the pick scratches that accumulate on guitars without a pick guard.

Usually paint manufacturers ask you to observe a thirty cure out before applying any type of wax. So, if the axe wasn't painted the day before yesterday, I don't see a problem.

If you think about it, a guitar finish doesn't get the same abuse, or anywhere near it, as that a car finish endures. Although, guitars are constantly rubbed clean, and one supposes that takes much of an existing protectant with it.

I have a strong reservation toward buying boutique type branded guitar care products. I think that the propaganda makes you overlook how badly you're being ripped off with the price.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 30, 2012,
#3
the one thing i love about the faded finishes you never have to wipe them down for prints.
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#4
Lemon oil: use it on rosewood, ebony and a few other exotic woods. For rosewood, use a small amount every six months to year and a half, depending on how much you play the guitar, how its kept, the quality of the wood, etc. Ebony needs even less oil and even less frequently. Basically, the oils in your skin should be enough for any good quality ebony or rosewood, if you're playing it regularly and not near any particular heat sources (e.g. radiators). Oil should only be used to condition dried out fretboards (with rosewood this is obvious - the colour of the wood will become inconsistent and look 'patchy').
Woods with very tight grain, like maple, should not be oiled. Additonally, oil is of no benefit when rubbed on to a finish (double reason not to use it on maple, since nearly all maple necks and fretboards have a hard finish on them). In these cases, oils will most likely leave a stain and won't benefit the guitar in any way. The best you can hope for is it'll simple rub back off.

So, use a few drops on a clean microfibre cloth and gently rub over the rosewood (and only the rosewood) if it has dried out. Always use less than you think you need. Too much oil can damage the guitar quite badly. Remember that you can always add more but you can never take any back.

Finsih polish: depends on the type of finish you have. Polishes typically come in three flavours, one for poly finishes, one for nitro finishes and one for both. Make sure that the polish you have matches the type of finish your guitar has. Again, like with lemon oil, use small amounts on a clean microfibre cloth and softly rub in circular motions. Try to keep away from the electronics and hardware, as finish polish will only gunk those up; you can get metal polishes if you wish to shine up your bridge or pickups covers or whatever.
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#5
I use Kyser's "Dr. Stringfellow"... great stuff!
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#6
The benefits of lemon oil has been debated on other guitar forums many times. One of the arguments that detractors use against it, is that one of the chemicals that lemon oil is composed of is limonene, AKA D-limonene, which is a solvent that is good for removing glue and paint. So theroretically, if overused or used over a very long period of time it is possible that fret markers may come loose and neck binding could seperate. Being that limonene probaly makes up a very small percentage of the oil, and as Capn.Cranky has noted, it is mostly mineral oil anyway, I have that feeling that it doesn't do any harm.

Luthiers Don Taylor and Dan Erlewine both recommend using plain linseed oil on fretboards. For the price of a small bottle of lemon oil, you can buy a can of linseed oil that will last a lifetime.
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#7
Quote by jesse music
Hi alll, I'm just wondering about lemon oil and the safeness of using it with certain types of woods.

I've heard a lot of bad stuff about using lemon oil on unfinished maple fretboards? What's the deal with this?

My guitars got a canadian maple neck but rosewood fingerboard. Am I still okay to use lemon oil on this guitar?

What types of fingerboard woods can lemon oil harm?

Also, for christmas I recieved some Martin guitar polish.

Would I be okay to use it with this guitar? Is there any guitar woods/or finishes I should be worried about using it on?

Thanks for the info


don't put the "lemon oil" on anything except the rosewood fretboard.

use small amounts a couple times a year, and you're fine.

it's not going to harm it.
Jenneh

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