Rosewood fretboard cleaned, now it’s hard to bend strings

RLee77

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 15, 2016
Posts
4,466
Location
Nevada
I would suggest that there's no rational reason to be pushing strings down that hard. The fretboard should really be out of play.
If you completely avoid touching the fretboard doing a 2 note bend with vibrato on the G string in the upper frets, my hat is off to you. :cool:
 

oldunc

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Posts
3,171
Location
California
If you completely avoid touching the fretboard doing a 2 note bend with vibrato on the G string in the upper frets, my hat is off to you. :cool:
It's unlikely that we'll ever know, but it does seem like if you're trying to do a side to side vibrato while shoving the string down into the fretboard you're making life awfully difficult for yourself. If that kind of move comes up often enough to be a real problem, perhaps you should look into getting a dobro.
 

RLee77

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 15, 2016
Posts
4,466
Location
Nevada
It's unlikely that we'll ever know, but it does seem like if you're trying to do a side to side vibrato while shoving the string down into the fretboard you're making life awfully difficult for yourself. If that kind of move comes up often enough to be a real problem, perhaps you should look into getting a dobro.
The string is not getting shoved DOWN into the fretboard. It’s a standard, everyday, bend with vibrato wherein a portion of your fingertip brushes against the fretboard while the string is being pushed *sideways*. Not at all an odd thing for anyone familiar with a style of playing known as rock or blues.

It only became an issue on this guitar after the ill-advised aforementioned cleaning. No problem on any of my other guitars. After I use one of the many helpful suggestions in this thread, my issue will be resolved.
 

985plowboy

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Posts
6,190
Location
South Louisiana
I know we’re talking maple versus Rosewood fretboard, but didn’t Danny Gatton used to rub his down with baloney?
 

Rowdyman

Tele-Holic
Joined
May 17, 2013
Posts
769
Age
67
Location
Eastern Canada
"It's all just Baby Oil". This post from someone that compared MSDS's sounds legit.

"GEAR]Savings tip: Lemon Oil, Dr.Ducks Axe Wax, string and fretboard lubricant....It's all just baby oil
So I am a lab tech by trade, and I wanted to buy some oil and saw all the options. So I went searching for their MSDS to compare the components they contained to figure out which one I should go for.

Well, Every lemon oil/fretboard conditioners I checked (all the big brands; Dunlop, D'ADDario, Dr.Duck, Music Nomad and more) are 100% White Mineral Oil (CAS# 8042-47-5). Stuff that is supposed to make your strings slick too, like Dunlop 65 Ultra Glide is just mineral oil with <1% silicone oil (Dimethicone) added. And the different brands have different colorings and scents.

So, on to the savings part. Checked a couple of non-additive baby oils, guess what, same exact white mineral oil (CAS# 8042-47-5). Using CAS number is the best way to identify same compounds, as one compound will only have one CAS number, but the chemical and trade names can be plentiful and confusing.

And a bottle of 500ml Johnson's Baby oil is about 2$ and a bottle of 50-100ml "Lemon oil" is 5-10$. That's a nice mark up, no wonder everyone has their own Lemon oil to sell you."



Where/how do they get the baby-oil,, Do they use a press? ;)

Cheers, RM
 

oldunc

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Posts
3,171
Location
California
The string is not getting shoved DOWN into the fretboard. It’s a standard, everyday, bend with vibrato wherein a portion of your fingertip brushes against the fretboard while the string is being pushed *sideways*. Not at all an odd thing for anyone familiar with a style of playing known as rock or blues.

It only became an issue on this guitar after the ill-advised aforementioned cleaning. No problem on any of my other guitars. After I use one of the many helpful suggestions in this thread, my issue will be resolved.
So you're doing the vibrato by pushing sideways and releasing rather than push pull? I suppose not entirely impossible, but not an approach that would occur to me as practical.
 

teletimetx

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Posts
15,225
Location
Frontrangia CO
So you're doing the vibrato by pushing sideways and releasing rather than push pull? I suppose not entirely impossible, but not an approach that would occur to me as practical.

Perhaps you could post a video (or a YouTube) that illustrates your point? Seems like words aren’t quite adequately describing what seems to be a better technique.
 

oldunc

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Posts
3,171
Location
California
Perhaps you could post a video (or a YouTube) that illustrates your point? Seems like words aren’t quite adequately describing what seems to be a better technique.
I don't have any facilities to make videos, but I'll try to describe what I mean. I come from a classical background and use a back and forth vibrato, not really relevant here. As the poster I was replying to was speaking of his finger contacting the fretboard but not the string, I assume he's pushing the string sideways, which would require a lot of movement to turn around, and it would involve pushing the string down into the fretboard, or changing pressure twice (release, move, resume pressure) while making the movement. I just don't see any reason to be pushing a string down that hard; it not only ties up your hand, it's going to throw intonation off even more than it has to be.
 

SRHmusic

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Posts
1,872
Location
North Carolina, USA
The best cleaner/restorer for rosewood I've seen is a simple mix of furniture wax and "lemon oil" (the mineral oil, not from lemons). The oil soaks in a bit, helps loosen and clean gunk if you use and old toothbrush and a cloth, and the wax helps it stay set longer. Just wipe with a clean cloth at the end. The fingerboards come out really nice. That's needed only once a year or so, depending on how heavily used the guitar is. (This may be what the axe wax product is, too.)

In between I like the Dunlop 65 with the blue and white label. Most other things I tried either dry out too quickly or affected the wood in some way like they were removing oils. ( The Ernie Ball wipes, for example.)
 

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Posts
14,888
Location
Vermont
Consider this. If you step up on stage with a glittering guitar decked out in double binding, tree of life inlay, exotic woods and vibrant flaming finish, the audience is going to raise their expectations of what you're about to do.
If you jump up there with a ravaged humble Tele who's neck looks like it was used to stir up a pot of old lye soap, people will comment after show about the incredible sounds you were able to coax from that old homely instrument.
 

DekeDog

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
May 12, 2019
Posts
1,923
Location
Carolina
Personally, I'd never use anything on my fretboard that contains wax. I really don't care for the buildup and residue that wax creates. When the liquid polymeric layer is drying, wax migrates to the surface and can build up creating gunk on the surface.

I don't have any experience formulating fretboard cleaners/conditioners, but I did work as a coatings chemist for 35 years, so there's that. Oils dry (or cure, for lack of a better word) either through evaporation or through oxidation. Essential oils dry primarily through evaporation. That's why they are primarily used for their ability to dissolve resins or for aroma therapy. It is likely that that essential oils are not as good for reintroducing rejuvenating oils back into the fretboard due to their volatile nature. They might be better used for removing oils and grime from fingers. Because of the volatility of naphtha and mineral spirits, and to a lesser extent, lemon oil, they may be used more effectively as a cleaner than a conditioner. Tung oil, mineral oil, and vegetable oils dry more through oxidation/cross-linking.

Oxidizing oils, when oxidized and cross-linked, dry hard, and will likely be more effective at reintroducing oils back into the fretboard wood. But oxidation usually takes hours to occur, and there will likely be some residue from the oils. That's why it is important to wipe away those oils to leave as thin a layer as possible on the fretboard so that the oil penetrates wood pores and doesn't set on top.

Maple fretboards have a polymeric coating, and as such, may be best cleaned with a damp cloth, or some solvent, like naphtha, that is not a solvent for the coating.
 

SRHmusic

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Posts
1,872
Location
North Carolina, USA
Personally, I'd never use anything on my fretboard that contains wax. I really don't care for the buildup and residue that wax creates. When the liquid polymeric layer is drying, wax migrates to the surface and can build up creating gunk on the surface.
...
I had thought that, as well, but always had found oils alone just didn't work all that well, being rubbed off and drying too soon, requiring frequent reapplication. After having two guitars worked on by a top repair person here and seeing the best results I've ever seen, he told me what he used (see my post above). He had learned it from a top tier tech on the west coast. There is really no build up. Perhaps the oil thins the wax enough to prevent that. Just enough stays in the wood to keep the oil in longer. Really nice results.
 

wabashslim

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Posts
3,802
Age
71
Location
Sonorous Desert
You put COCONUT OIL on your guitar?!? Why???
It's not that unusual, certainly not unusual enough to rate that many punctuation marks.

Now, you want off-label condiment usage - find the old GP mag where Stephen Stills talks about rubbing barbecue sauce into his bass's strings because he likes them "thumpy".

As for the coconut oil I just might do that to my old homebrew guitar with the rosewood fingerboard from a Yamaha acoustic. This would be a good time since it's still hot outside and the oil stays liquid all the time. When winter comes it solidifies, even with the house's furnace running. How does it know what season it is? I want something that magical in my guitar! 😉
 

RLee77

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 15, 2016
Posts
4,466
Location
Nevada
So you're doing the vibrato by pushing sideways and releasing rather than push pull? I suppose not entirely impossible, but not an approach that would occur to me as practical.
At this point I’m not sure if I’m getting punk’d or if, as a classical guitar player, you just arent familiar with electric guitar string bending/vibrato, as done by players since the invention of the electric guitar. You can watch some videos on string bending/vibrato if you really don’t understand it. I’m not doing anything unusual technique-wise.
 

RLee77

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 15, 2016
Posts
4,466
Location
Nevada
It's not that unusual, certainly not unusual enough to rate that many punctuation marks.

Now, you want off-label condiment usage - find the old GP mag where Stephen Stills talks about rubbing barbecue sauce into his bass's strings because he likes them "thumpy".

As for the coconut oil I just might do that to my old homebrew guitar with the rosewood fingerboard from a Yamaha acoustic. This would be a good time since it's still hot outside and the oil stays liquid all the time. When winter comes it solidifies, even with the house's furnace running. How does it know what season it is? I want something that magical in my guitar! 😉
And coconut oil always reminds me of Hawaii, because all the tourists there smell like coconut sunscreen. Another plus!
 

oldunc

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Posts
3,171
Location
California
At this point I’m not sure if I’m getting punk’d or if, as a classical guitar player, you just arent familiar with electric guitar string bending/vibrato, as done by players since the invention of the electric guitar. You can watch some videos on string bending/vibrato if you really don’t understand it. I’m not doing anything unusual technique-wise.
It seemed like a pretty straightforward question, but I don't see much point in pursuing it. Neither string bending nor vibrato is limited to electric guitars, but those I've seen doing it appear to be using a push/pull technique; push release seems awfully tricky.
 

Chip

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Posts
2,697
Age
55
Location
Macedonia, Ohio
I’ve been using this stuff for years and does a great job.
992E75A0-D7EA-445F-9E9C-15080A46DCD8.jpeg
 




Top