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I've seen a number of references to using oils to finish the fret board.  However, often, no clarification is given.  I see some use olive oil, but… what kind?  I also see tongue oil mentioned...how would you use it?  Heated? rubbed in? how many applications?  I also see Mayo mentioned.    What brand?(joking) 

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Lots of folks rub in lemon oil.  I use grape seed oil, real cheap in a grocery store and good for a number of things.  I rub it in with a piece of an old tee shirt, a few light coats with an hour dry time in between. And here's a tip - when you're done and sure the last coat is dry, lightly rub it with a coffee filter - the ultimate fine abrasive and it shines it pretty good.

I think tung oil would be kinda sticky and never really get hard enough - it's too thick and always seems tacky to me, i'd never use it on a neck.  A good oil for finishing a body and maybe the back of the neck is tru-oil - made for finishing gunstocks.  It dries hard and with 0000 steel wool then a coffee filter when it's dry is smooth and fast.

Olive oil turns rancid after a time.

I don`t fool around with fancy finishes, just spray the whole build with Deft laquer.

I just checked with Yamaha, they agree with lemon oil on their guitar fretboards.

Over the years about everything I've read has recommended lemon oil be used to clean and lubricate a guitar, fretboard and body. 

Boiled linseed oil I have found to be the best and was once the standard before the newer oils came to be. You can use ordinary linseed oil, but the boiled will set much faster. Heat it a bit before applying and it will penetrate much deeper. I will sand them down with a 600 grit wet-dry paper but smack the paper often as it will clog faster than regular sand paper deemed for wood use.. If you take it to that fine of grit, once oiled, it will shine and look as if it was lacquered.

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Has anyone tried walnut oil? According to Wikipedia, it dries faster then boiled linseed.

I wonder if heating Grapeseed or Lemon oil would dry faster and seep deeper?

Joe Thomas said:

Boiled linseed oil I have found to be the best and was once the standard before the newer oils came to be. You can use ordinary linseed oil, but the boiled will set much faster. Heat it a bit before applying and it will penetrate much deeper. I will sand them down with a 600 grit wet-dry paper but smack the paper often as it will clog faster than regular sand paper deemed for wood use.. If you take it to that fine of grit, once oiled, it will shine and look as if it was lacquered.

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Do ya have any idea on where to get some?  I'd like to try it.



Charles W. (Charlie) Brown said:

Has anyone tried walnut oil? According to Wikipedia, it dries faster then boiled linseed.

Amazon lists it.

"Boiled" linseed oil isn't always actually boiled, the name denotes flaxseed oil with ingredients to aid drying.

A quote from Wiki:

Additionally, a luthier may use linseed oil when reconditioning a guitar, mandolin, or other stringed instrument's fret board; lemon-scented mineral-oil is commonly used for cleaning, then a light amount of linseed oil (or other drying oil) is applied to protect it from grime that might otherwise result in accelerated deterioration of the wood.

I'm not sure about linseed oil on a finished surface, but it works on bare wood.

Yee-ow! They-uns mighty proud of it, ain't dey?

Charles W. (Charlie) Brown said:

Amazon lists it.

"Boiled" linseed oil isn't always actually boiled, the name denotes flaxseed oil with ingredients to aid drying.

I use Johnson's Paste Wax, rubbed in with an old tshirt. When it's dry, rub it a second time with the tshirt for a nice sheen.

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