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Behlen Fingerboard Oil

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Alaman, May 28, 2017.

  1. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

    Aug 16, 2015
    Sweet Home, Alabama
    First off this is not another thread about everybody's favorite oil to condition their rosewood or ebony, etc fingerboards. I have tried several "oils" and have my favorite to condition a fretboard. I've read a number of threads here and on other forums about folks who want a nice slick rosewood fretboard. There's folks who use steel wool or high grit paper and a conditioner, some who say just play it and it will get that way, etc. I'm sure they all work. I've also read about the views on putting a finish on a rosewood board (most say it's not needed or is detrimental).
    What I want to find out is anyone's experience with Behlen Fingerboard Oil. In reading the description, it does not sound like a conditioner but rather some type of sealer (or finish :eek:)to lock in moisture. Here is the description...Fingerboard Oil is ideal for preserving the feel and appearance of woods such as rosewood, ebony and similar woods used on stringed instrument fingerboards. It penetrates unfinished wood and dries hard; it does not become tacky when exposed to heat. Periodic reapplication will keep your fingerboard from drying out and in tip-top shape.
    It says it dries hard which sounds like a finish. The fact that it says periodic usage would concern me about build up but Behlen's is trusted brand for high end instruments so I would think that doesn't happen. Any users out there? If so, what results did you get versus normal conditioning of a fretboard? It sounds like something I'd be interested in if it can create that worn in slick feel on a newer rosewood fingerboard. Thanks!

  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    Mike Simpson likes this.

  3. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

    Aug 16, 2015
    Sweet Home, Alabama
    Bumping this thread...Looking for anybody who has used this product. Anyone?

  4. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Haven't used the product, but it looks like a proprietary derivative of boiled linseed oil - same as tung/teak/Tru/danish oils. The advantage with this type of finish lies in the fact that it's designed to soak into the wood, get wiped off, then dry in the wood. Your finished product looks richer, still feels like wood, and has a lasting moisture seal. Manufacturers and techs do this sort of thing all the time. I understand non-drying oils are appealing in that they're non-committal, but they don't last, and they can make wood soft over time.

  5. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

    Aug 16, 2015
    Sweet Home, Alabama
    I'm going to go ahead and give this stuff a try. It's not too expensive and I have good results with their other products I've tried. One site that sells it says the main ingredient is Polymerized linseed oil which fits your description poolshark. I've got a new 60's style MIM neck (one of those MIM Fender replacement necks) that's got a beautiful dark rosewood board I'm using for a 60's build but the rosewood texture is like moving your fingers over sandpaper.

    Klingspor's woodworking shop's description...
    • Penetrates and hardens in the wood, increasing wear resistance
    • Does NOT build a film above the wood that could scratch or flake off
    • Finish can be easily replenished periodically for a constant fresh look
    • Use for brand new instruments
    • Revitalize scuffed and dry well used, well loved fingerboards

    I found the Behlen video on how to apply...

    I like the idea of having the sealing/hardening effect of the oil and no build up on the board before hitting it with 0000 steel wool. I'll order some of the Behlen wool lube as well. Never used that before either but if I'm going to give this stuff a chance, I'll follow their directions all the way. Expect to have a smooth board afterward. I need to work on the nut a little more on this neck so when I pull it, I'll take the time to treat the neck with this while it's off.

    When I get the order in and have time to do this, I'll post results for anybody interested in future.

  6. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    Yep I use it. Everyone should be putting some type of oil on their non sealed fret boards from time to time depending on how often you play and the environment you instrument lives in. It Keeps that wood from cracking. I oil about once a year when I clean the board. In the winter the guitar is exposed to a lot of dry heat so that's when I usually oil. As far as their hardening claim, its not like you're putting Truoil on the board. You're just keeping the board smooth so it doesn't start to develop little cracks. The oil keeps the wood pores tighter during those dry periods so that's why it "hardens" the board.

  7. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

    Dec 28, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    I have used Tru-Oil on rosewood boards with good results. Not sure what the problem is that people have with it. I am interested in the Behlen Fingerboard Oil myself and use their products regularly.

  8. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

    Aug 16, 2015
    Sweet Home, Alabama
    Well I said I'd post my results but I guess I took my time. I have to say I am pleased with the product. It doesn't leave your board greasy or oily like some of the other fretboard oils. I have about 4 other top brand products on my workbench...they work fine as well but I'm going to stick with this Behlen's product for now. I've done 3 of my necks with it so far and I like the results. I will say is a 2-3 day elapsed effort with dry time so if you don't like to wait it'd be better to go with F-1 or some other regular wipe on/wipe off oil.

  9. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.

    Sorry I missed this the first go. I have used it, and my results have been similar to yours. I've used it on ebony and walnut, and have been quite happy with it.

  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It is. It is a resinous linseed oil-based material similar to Watco and other Danish oils. The best way I've found to apply it is like similar products - rub it in with steel wool. This provides the smoothest-feeling results.

    It's critical not to over-apply it or it will continue to leach out of the wood for quite some time and in this case *will* be sticky.

    I've applied it for others on request. To me a smoothed fretboard and standard fretboard oil feels just as smooth and has a more natural look.

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