Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby Laredo » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:18 pm

I have maintained an done work on fretted basses and guitars for years.........I never owned, played (seriously), or have done work on fretless basses until now. My question is a simple one............Do you recommend using a fretboard conditioner (oil) on the fretless (ebony) fingerboards? I keep all my (fretted) basses well oiled and clean, but it occured to me that fretboard conditioner on the FL Bass may soften the fingerboard surface and lead to premature wear???? Maybe just use sparingly, once in a while, to keep from drying out???? Sorry for such a novice question [smilie=stfu.gif], but I figured you guys would know!

Thanks!
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby aussiemark » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:45 pm

Ebony is darn hard, but it also appreciates some nourishment from time to time. I've always used orange oil on my ebony boards, including fretless boards, a couple of times per year or whenever the board looks in need of some moisture.
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby noahvale » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:36 am

Clarinets are made of ebony. Many upright luthiers use clarinet bore oil on ebony fingerboards. I use it on ebony and on rosewood boards. Works great. Just rub in a small amount and then wipe off the excess with a rag. It's very cheap and you can get it at any music store that has high school band instruments.
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby ghiadub » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:37 am

I treat them the same as my fretted boards. Give them some love when they look like they need it.
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby Laredo » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:03 pm

Thanks for your responses and useful information...........It looks to me like common sense and standard routine maintenance is the way to go. I was just worried that the fretless boards would wear more if kept oiled (being moist). I would not have to worry about that anyway because with my inotation, I will never play the same note (spot) twice! [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif] Sounds like oil as needed, and enjoy! [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]
YOU ARE NEVER TOO DEAD.......TO BE RESURRECTED!!!!
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby Golem » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:41 am

I use Tru-Oil gunstock oil. It seals and toughens the surface.

No need to actually apply a full finish to the wood like you would with a gunstock [altho you can, but it's tedious ...]. A wipe on, wait 20 min, and wipe off works well, altho you should let the FB dry overnite even tho you wiped it off. A small coating remains and it's beneficial to let it set up overnite. The 20 min is very variable, but you wanna wipe it off before it gets really gooey. It will thicken up somewhat, and that is the time to wipe it off, leaving just a slight residual coating.

Before applying the Tru-Oil, I clean the board with lemon oil on a rag. After I've done the Tru-Oil once, further occasional treatments are done with slightly diluted Tru-Oil. Using lemon oil to dilute it, I just put both on the same rag, about 1/2 as much lemon oil as Tru-Oil.

Pete Brunelli occasionally reminds us that a great deal of what's eating up the FB is the dirt that gets into it, acting like machining compound [fine abrasive paste], so cleanliness promotes FB longevity. The reminder is Pete's, the anology is mine. Anyway, some degree of surface sealing makes it easier to clean up effectively after playing.

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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby Gil Escalera » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:50 am

noahvale wrote:Clarinets are made of ebony. Many upright luthiers use clarinet bore oil on ebony fingerboards. I use it on ebony and on rosewood boards. Works great. Just rub in a small amount and then wipe off the excess with a rag. It's very cheap and you can get it at any music store that has high school band instruments.
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Re: Dumb Question, But I Have To Ask..............

Postby oogie boogie » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:55 am

The dumbest question is the one you don't ask. This was a good question.
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