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Pale rosewood fretboard FIXED with lemon oil!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by effcee, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. effcee

    effcee Tele-Meister

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    ... And I could not be happier!

    A few months ago I took delivery of my new CS Custom Telecaster. Everything about it was A1...except for its pale rosewood fretboard. After much searching online I was convinced that the only way to darken (fix) it was by using some type of dye or stain -- which I had no interest in doing.

    Finally, even though my guitar was brand new and clean as a whistle, I decided to give some Dunlop Lemon Oil a go, just for the purpose of conditioning. And would you believe... ! My formerly PALE rosewood board is now DARK! We're talking a MAJOR change here.

    The wood was sooooo dry that it soaked up the first application like a sponge! So I let that soak in for about an hour and even applied a second coat which I allowed to soak in for another couple of hours. When I finally got a good look at the resultant effect I damn near fell out of my chair! That rosewood is now just as beautiful as anything on my other 10 guitars.

    So there you go. To the rest of you who suffer from pale rosewood fretboard syndrome: go get some lemon oil -- again, I used Dunlop's -- and see what a couple of liberal applications can do for you. :)

    Apparently some manufacturers are sending out guitars with some EXTREMELY dry rosewood boards these days!
     
  2. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    With out pictures, it didn't happen.

    Before and after showing the result, but just after would be good too.

    You have me wondering if we are talking like ebony dark on your rosewood...
     
  3. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    Classic! PRFS. I suffer from PMFS, but it's getting there.

    M
     
  4. effcee

    effcee Tele-Meister

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    I'll try to get something posted. I'm peeved at myself for not taking 'before' and 'after' pix. But frankly, I was not expecting such a major improvement.

    Also, to clarify, we're talking a change of color from 'pale and. chalky' to 'suitably dark rosewood' -- not ebony/black.
     
  5. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wishful thinking / interjecting on my part, sorry....
     
  6. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I experienced similar results with stuff called Bore Oil. It's intended for rosewood wind instruments. I bought a f4 dollar bottle at a music store and conditioned all 7 of my guitars several times and maybe used 1/16 of the bottle? It's a little different than Lemon Oil, I don't think there's mineral oil in it, but it works nicely.

    But, yeah, my Les Paul was really light and chalky colored... kinda gray like you described. After one treatment it looks rich and reddish brown the way rosewood should look!

    My Fenders were all pretty dark to begin with as was my Squier CVC, but a good coating of bore oil every six months and they shine beautifully and look vintage dark. It's helped my old Fender acoustic and my Gretsch too.
     
  7. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the tip. I just came from the local Guitar Center yesterday and picked up a bottle of "ProLine Lemon Oil Fretboard Conditioner". It says on the bottle that it contains "White Mineral Oil and Processed Castor Oil" and if swallowed call a poisin control center immediately. In addition it has a California Prop 65 or whatever the number is it is so small, warning that it contains known chemicals that cause cancer, so it is going back.

    I realize that rubbing some oil on the neck of your guitar is not going to give you cancer and they place the warning so if someone swallows it on a regular basis they cannot come back and claim something, but to me my guitars are like the altar; I come to reverence and revere them, and coating them with a cancer causing agent just doesn't chime with me.

    They list those two things as the main ingredient but what don't they list? I don't think that products that are not intended to be ingested have the same rules as food products to list all of the contents. This is just my opinion, opinions may vary, and just like advertising for all the other pharmaceuticals this product has been known to lead to liver disease, kidneys falling out, going bald, and generally having a good time at your local pub when the inebriated chick decides she loves guitar players and it is time to exercise her right to love someone, at least for the night.
     
  8. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

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    Oil looks fine, but it rots my fingertips so now I stay clear.
     
  9. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

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    I just Googled the whole issue and found this site from some guy pushing his stuff but he sheds light on some of the different materials commonly used on fretboards. After reading it all I started fretting about ruining my fretboard so I saved it to favorites and decided to wait.
    Here is some good reading on the subject though http://www.beafifer.com/boredoctor.htm
    He also has some nice before and after pics of some dried out fretboards.
     
  10. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    "Lemon oil" is really just mineral oil with some "citrussy" fragrance in it and an inflated price. I have used the Dunlop and Gibson stuff and it's fine but the cheap, foodsafe (I also use it to condition butcherblock kitchen countertops) basic mineral oil that costs a couple of dollars for a big bottle from my local grocery store works just as well.

    Something like this...

    [​IMG]

    I probably oil my rosewood fretboards about every 6 months, keep the guitars humidified in the colder winter months and have used mineral oil for at least the last 20-plus years with no problems.
     
  11. Muttcaster

    Muttcaster Tele-Holic

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    "Nitro" = Nitrocellulose lacquer. Check it out. Gives me an _instant_ headache.

    Shellac's different. It's made from bug carapaces and I mix mine with Everclear. If you were locked into your workshop, you could survive on shellac and hide glue. And after awhile, you might not care if you were locked in. In fact, I suspect some luthiers get "locked in" on purpose sometimes. Try that wth nitro.

    For your fingerboard, I suggest paste wax. Smear some on with a cloth, let it sit for a couple seconds, wipe it off. Use beeswax if you want for an even more organic experience.
     
  12. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

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    You can also rub plain old Vaseline into your fingerboard. ;)
     
  13. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the good info. I found that after a few months of play the color got darker on my rosewookd fingerboards. By one year, I forgot it was a dry looking wood. I have a Martin that was realy dry looking and felt so dry it gripped the fingers good.
     
  14. 3 Chord

    3 Chord Friend of Leo's

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    Lemon oil is good but like most things, a little goes a long ways and too much of anything is a bad thing (well, money, Teles and muscle cars might not make the list).

    And I agree, the stuff from the grocery store is good enough, you don't need some "fancy" stuff that has been repackaged and sold in a guitar store.
     
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