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Old 11-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
pedecamp
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Fret Oil

I just play my guitars and dont do any maintenance and I think its about time. I've always read lemon oil on the frets....I dont want my guitar to smell like lemons! Whats a better fret conditioner? You should see the pickup covers on my goldtop, the nickel has oxidized and looks kind of green!
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
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Re: Fret Oil

Fret Doctor or a high quality bore oil.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Fret Oil

Old English lemon oil works great for me. Doesnt gunk up and its cheap. Also smells nice but not overboard. Some will say its more mineral oil than actual lemon oil, but it works great for me. I just did my ebony and rosewood boards last night in fact. In Minnesota it gets pretty dry in the winter and they soak it up. They look so much nicer newly oiled as well.

I know others will say different, but the rest is just snake oil to me, pardon the pun.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: Fret Oil

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Fret Doctor or a high quality bore oil.
Fret Doctor 100%! Old English has silicone and will clog the pores, when your guitar gets about 14 years old you'll have to take it to a dermatologist!
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:29 AM   #5
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Re: Fret Oil

I use Gibson Luthier's Choice exclusively.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:21 AM   #6
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Re: Fret Oil

Extra light olive oil on rosewood. Apply genorously, allow to soak in overnight, wipe off excess, and you now have the slickest fretboard ever.
I have used this for years, even slap some on a sticky maple neck. It doesnt mess up a Gibson.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:38 AM   #7
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by pedecamp View Post
I just play my guitars and dont do any maintenance and I think its about time. I've always read lemon oil on the frets....I dont want my guitar to smell like lemons! Whats a better fret conditioner? You should see the pickup covers on my goldtop, the nickel has oxidized and looks kind of green!
I'm not sure what I did w/ the link but,plain old mineral oil.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: Fret Oil

Lemon oil doesn't make it smell like lemons, lol. It's not like using Pledge.

I use lemon oil and it works great.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:40 AM   #9
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Re: Fret Oil

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Fret Doctor 100%! Old English has silicone and will clog the pores, when your guitar gets about 14 years old you'll have to take it to a dermatologist!

Bah, all my guitars except one are all more than 14yrs old, no problems ever.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Fret Oil

I use orange oil. same basic thing as rdamaral, in moderation, several coats over a couple of days. Olive oil/flax seed oil sounds like it would be good to try also.

When I do a string change I usually do a full strip, clean, oil and polish.

Unfortunately I think I need to do it for 4 of my guitars it may be a long weekend.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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Re: Fret Oil

Any rosewood or ebony fretboard I've ever owned on a guitar has never seen a drop of oil.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Re: Fret Oil

RE: Olive Oil -

I've never tried it on fretboards, though I have some in the house. I've heard of people using that for decades. I once read a story where Michael Sweet (Stryper) would take the strings off his Jacksons, oil them up with heated olive oil and let them set overnight. However, I recently read other accounts saying that olive oil is a bad idea because it can go rancid in th wood. Can anyone comment on whether that's fact or fiction?
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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Re: Fret Oil

Lemon oil won't smell like lemons ... just use it sparingly, and you'll be golden. I probably use it once / twice a year (don't overdo it) ... I use the Dunlop stuff.

Btw., I wouldn't suggest fooling around w/olive oil, as it has the likelihood of turning rancid over time.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by blues_n_cues View Post
I'm not sure what I did w/ the link but,plain old mineral oil.
Mineral oil is fine, in fact from what I've read many of the potions that are called "lemon oil" or "fret lube" are mostly mineral oil. I like oil on rosewood, no need on ebony.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: Fret Oil

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:10 PM   #16
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Re: Fret Oil

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #17
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by Vinsanitizer View Post
RE: Olive Oil -

I've never tried it on fretboards, though I have some in the house. I've heard of people using that for decades. I once read a story where Michael Sweet (Stryper) would take the strings off his Jacksons, oil them up with heated olive oil and let them set overnight. However, I recently read other accounts saying that olive oil is a bad idea because it can go rancid in th wood. Can anyone comment on whether that's fact or fiction?
yes.olive oil does go rancid. never use olive oil on any porous surface.
any cutting board oil that does not contain wax would work too. it's basically mineral & cold pressed lemon oil.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #18
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Re: Fret Oil

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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Re: Fret Oil

I've got a little container of Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes. I use one every once in awhile on my roseweood fingerboards.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:59 PM   #20
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by crossroadsnyc View Post
Lemon oil won't smell like lemons ... just use it sparingly, and you'll be golden. I probably use it once / twice a year (don't overdo it) ... I use the Dunlop stuff.

Btw., I wouldn't suggest fooling around w/olive oil, as it has the likelihood of turning rancid over time.
In my experience it never has gone rancid. I am so confident of this that i have used this even on an EDS1275 double neck, for more than 16 years.
It soaks into the surface but then it leaches out over time and then you end up with a dry board again. The reason i use it is nothing else has the slipperyness of olive. Some lemon oils contain petroleum distillates that can loosen glues. I got this idea from a violin player.

PS. IT will also make all the finger gunk slide right off the strings.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:07 PM   #21
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by Vinsanitizer View Post
RE: Olive Oil -

I've never tried it on fretboards, though I have some in the house. I've heard of people using that for decades. I once read a story where Michael Sweet (Stryper) would take the strings off his Jacksons, oil them up with heated olive oil and let them set overnight. However, I recently read other accounts saying that olive oil is a bad idea because it can go rancid in th wood. Can anyone comment on whether that's fact or fiction?
Michael Sweet oiled the fretbords. It doesnt go rancid. It leaches out before it does. Iv'e used forever and none of my guitars are "spoiled". Lemonoil is good for a cleaning because of the petro solvents.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #22
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Re: Fret Oil

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Bah, all my guitars except one are all more than 14yrs old, no problems ever.
In the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, "I say, I say your a little slow boy, you missed the joke!"
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:51 AM   #23
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Re: Fret Oil

Guitar Honey.


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Old 11-29-2012, 05:27 PM   #24
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Re: Fret Oil

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In the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, "I say, I say your a little slow boy, you missed the joke!"

Heh yes i did, lol! I've just heard this Old English has silicone and will clog your neck stuff before. First of all i'd love to see where this info comes from, and by God after almost 40 years of playing i've never run into the dreaded clogged up neckboard! Maybe the beer dissolved it, lol!
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:52 PM   #25
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by rmlevasseur View Post
Heh yes i did, lol! I've just heard this Old English has silicone and will clog your neck stuff before. First of all i'd love to see where this info comes from, and by God after almost 40 years of playing i've never run into the dreaded clogged up neckboard! Maybe the beer dissolved it, lol!
If theres no solvents in the oil/polish it wont penetrate the wood too seriously so its mostly on the surface anyway.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #26
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Re: Fret Oil

Snake oil...
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:57 PM   #27
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by rmlevasseur View Post
Heh yes i did, lol! I've just heard this Old English has silicone and will clog your neck stuff before. First of all i'd love to see where this info comes from, and by God after almost 40 years of playing i've never run into the dreaded clogged up neckboard! Maybe the beer dissolved it, lol!
I use Old English all the time.
I have for years.

When I first saw this thread I was gonna suggest you oil the fingerboard, not the frets.

Frets don't need oil, only polish once in a while.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:15 PM   #28
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Re: Fret Oil

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Originally Posted by ESPVH View Post
This is what I use. I've tried many others including lemon oil and I like Gerlitz the best.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #29
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Re: Fret Oil

I have used:

Fretboard honey (that red **** in the pump);

Gibson Luthier's Choice;

Household Lemon Oil (yellow crap in the bottle); and

Mineral oil (big bottle at the pharmacy area of Wal Mart)


Frankly, I have not had a bad result with any, which suggests one thing: you can use what you like along these lines, but you are CLEARLY paying more for one over the other. Someone on another site did a little research project about how linseed and lemon oil are either derivatives or analagous to common mineral oil (+/- an additive or two) so to him it stood to reason that mineral oil was the cheap simple alternative.

That convinced me to try it. I went to Wal Mart and got a bottle the size of a big Peroxide or Isopropyl Alcohol bottle for less than what a cum shot of Luthier's Choice/Fretboard honey costs. If there is a difference in results, it is so marginal that I couldn't detect it. So, use what you like but the cheapest is mineral oil.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:21 PM   #30
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Re: Fret Oil

I use Linseed oil. Sold at my local pharmacy as a food supplement(no crappy additives). Comes packed in small capsules, which is better than any bottled stuff since oil deteriorates being exposed to light and oxygen... One capsule is exactly enough for one fretboard.
Puncture one end of the capsule with a small needle and apply tiny dots between the frets.
Distribute evenly across the wood using your fingers. Avoid clogging around the frets. Let it soak in(you will see). Rub dry using an old towel. Good for another year.
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