About 3 years I really messed up my Ibanez rosewood neck by cleaning it with a cloth (mr sheen or something) and didnt realise the damage until it was too late. I've been applying planet waves fret conditioner since every once in a while to help it but it always keeps going dry again. Is there a more permanent way to keep my rosewood neck feeling adequately oily?
>Gibson & Schecter Guitars
>Orange Amps
>And some neighbours to piss off
I use linseed oil. Got the idea from a youtuber with username Davey4557 who swears by it over any lemon oil product.
"Air created the greenness. And once you've got something, that leads to otherness." - Karl Pilkington.
Is that not just a temporary stop like the fret conditioner?
>Gibson & Schecter Guitars
>Orange Amps
>And some neighbours to piss off
Linseed oil works, because it never evaporates completely. It coagulates inside the wood itself, preventing dirt from getting in and moisture from getting out.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Never use raw linseed oil on your fretboard. You can end up with a sticky mess that takes weeks to dry (if ever). "Boiled" linseed oil (such as Tru-oil) should only be used extremely sparingly. As Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars puts it, "If you have to use linseed oil, use it once. Then don't use it again for at least two years. Then use it again, and don't use it again for ten years." Linseed oil is a *finish*, not an oil. Same goes for tung oil and walnut oil. It doesn't coagulate, but it does polymerize in the wood fibers.

First off, you never need to oil your fretboard, if it's rosewood or ebony. EVER.
You don't need to "hydrate" it, replenish it, any of that. If you never do anything at all, your guitar will be just fine. There are enough oils within those woods to handle everything. They may look a bit dry on the surface, but they're just fine and will last a few centuries with no treatment whatsoever. You don't need anything to "replenish vital oils" or any of that marketing crap.

If you feel the need to make the fretboards cosmetically pretty, take a tiny dab of mineral oil (lemon oil furniture polish is mineral oil with some solvents added for cleaning purposes), wipe it on, wait a few minutes (don't let it "soak in") and wipe it off. That's it. Mineral oil is about $11 per gallon. Fret Doctor (aka Snake Oil) is $12 per ounce (or two). You do NOT need anything to "penetrate deeper" or any of that BS. Buy what you like; it's your checkbook.

FWIW, "hydrating" your guitar is a good thing in a dry climate, but that involves allowing moisture in *vapor* form to keep the wood at about 45 % humidity (at around 70 degrees F). Oil of any kind actually prevents moisture in *liquid* form from soaking into the wood. Oil never "hydrates" anything.
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 6, 2013,
I actually dried mine out with solvents though, Im going to try the lemon oil thing and just leave it on the board a tad longer
>Gibson & Schecter Guitars
>Orange Amps
>And some neighbours to piss off
All fretboard oils out there are designed to make the fretboard less dry. Whether they're temporary or permanent depends on the climate you live in. If you live in a climate that is constantly changing, then you may need to oil your board every year or twice a year. If the guitar is kept in unchanging conditions, like a basement that is well looked after, then yeah you shouldn't need to ever oil the board unless you do something to dry it out yourself.
"Air created the greenness. And once you've got something, that leads to otherness." - Karl Pilkington.
What about orange oil? I already have some at my house and I'm not gonna go buy some lemon oil if it will work just as well.
You shouldn't really introduce moisture into a fretboard because there's always the chance it will cause uneven frets by swelling the wood or effecting the adhesive around the frets. Water is ok because it will evaporate quickly. If the fretboard must be oiled then use a small amount of 100% natural almond oil, and use it only once - not every month. Tbh though there's nothing wrong with the fretboard being dry as it's just a dead piece of wood in the first place, it doesn't need moisture or minerals or anything else.
I promise I don't work for Ernie Ball but these things are awesome:


I spent years just using a damp cloth to clean my rosewood fretboard and it was terribly dried out. I used this a month ago or so and it not only cleaned a lot of crap off the board I didn't know was there it restored the look and feel of the rosewood. Just rub down the fretboard good, let it sit a few minutes, and wipe away excess. It will feel 'wet' and slightly oily for a day or so but after that it's great.
I use the Gibson fretboard conditioner on my rosewood boards, works great. I've only had to do my HM Strat once in the 25 years I've owned it :P
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