Curious use of oil on an acoustic body


ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
01/07/2021 5:56 pm

I know there is debate about hydrating the fretboard.

How often ?

Lemon oil or a different oil.

lots of bare wood inside the body of an acoustic instrument whether guitar or ukulele.

Good old YouTube, I have just watched a tuber pouring oil inside the body, letting it swill around and pouring excess out of the sound hole.Supposedly to improve the tone of the instrument. [br]I could understand why someone may want to treat or protect bare wood but if it truly improved tone I'm sure it would be advised much more readily.

This was the first time I have seen it proposed and it seems quite weird.

Dave


# 1
manXcat
Full Access
Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,475
manXcat
Full Access
Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,475
01/07/2021 10:30 pm
Originally Posted by: ddiddlerI know there is debate about hydrating the fretboard. How often? Lemon oil or a different oil.[/quote]

Hi Dave,

I think the question and often ill informed strongly opinionative confusion arises out of the age old for traditional Rosewood, Ebony but not for Maple.

I do ALL my own guitar maintenance and setups, including modifications, shielding, pickup and/or pot, cap, switch, saddle & or bridge swaps, tuner swaps etc. including string changes, cleaning and full setup.

Whenever I have a question like this I haven't previous experience with and an answer to, StewMac here in conjunction with Dan Erlewine's "The Guitar Player Repair Guide" (of which I own a hardcopy) are my [u]preferred initial reference ports of call[/u]. If you can't find the definitive answer sifting through either of those, look on StewMac's You Tube channel for additional material not indexed on their website.

StewMac vid discussing cleaning the fretboard here (timed hotlink for relevance) in a general "How to Clean Your Guitar" video, but covering the topic. [u]Lemon oil[/u]. Not applicable to finished or unfinished maple. Alternatively, but also different purposed, Here's Dan himself in a very early vid talking specifically about Fretboard Finishing Oil.

I use Dunlop Formula 65 products mostly, so I use their Lemon Oil for my Rosewood or Merbau fretboards.

As to how often? The key is in the [u]hydration[/u] aspect of your question qualified by do you practice a policy of prevention, cure, or restoration. Climate also plays a part. I live in a hot humid one (35C/80% mid summer), although my guitars spend the majority of their time stored or played in airconditioning with humidity 40~50% at a temp of between 24~26C.

I practice [u]prevention[/u] including a quick string clean & lube with Dunlop Formula 65 String Cleaner & Conditioner every session, and use one of these plus a microfibre cloth applied to take residue off the fretboard, and my guitars get regular cleaning, so the fingerboards never get truly embedded sweat 'n grunge grotty.

I also change strings probably more regularly than the average Guitar Tricks student, the relevance being that I'd suggest a time interval of every string change for preventative treatment with Lemon Oil as the datum, but it's about as quantitative as as a 'piece' of string. Ridiculous for me, but ideal for some who are pushed to change them even annually unless they break that might be the perfect associative reminder.

So prevention, for me every few string changes as determined by Mk 1 Eyeball, standard issue, two thereof, my fretboards get a light wipe over with Lemon Oil either using the Dunlop bottle applicator, but more usually soaked into and using an oil impregnated cloth. The keyword is light application. That's all that's needed to keep them hydrated IMV&E. Three years on, other than apparent fingertip application, otherwise looking as good as new.

[quote=ddiddler]Good old YouTube, I have just watched a tuber pouring oil inside the body, letting it swill around and pouring excess out of the sound hole.Supposedly to improve the tone of the instrument. I could understand why someone may want to treat or protect bare wood but if it truly improved tone I'm sure it would be advised much more readily.This was the first time I have seen it proposed and it seems quite weird.

[u]Pouring of oil into the body[/u]. No experience whatsoever with restoration of old guitars, and although wood with inattention in storage and use can dry out, can crack, debond or delaminate with age, pouring oil of any kind into the body of an acoustic guitar? Think debonding of glues, resins etc. Unless there's a some special snake oil restoration treatment of which I'm unfamiliar? Those examples I've watched of very old poor condition old guitar restorations where attention is required internally are usually a deconstruction and rebuild job. Oil in the innards? Not something I've come across before, the caveat there are all sorts of expert idiots out there in You Tube land, pun intentional.

[br]Cheers,

manXcat


# 2
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
01/08/2021 9:42 am

yes indeed.

Always caveats around any utuber.

It was how to make a cheap Uke sound good.

Obvious change strings and set up etc

Oiling the inside wood could change it's characteristics.

Same as oiling a cricket bat to toughen it up.

Anyways . one I'm bypassing.

Dave


# 3
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 364
01/08/2021 9:58 am

suppose it goes along with the vids proposing the using of any old mineral oil rather than Dunlops or MusicNomad products.

Using the correct guage fishing line instead of nylon strings if you have enough instruments to get the benefit of buying spools. Same flourocarbon filament.

Trying to beat the usual added mark up in the guitar market.


# 4

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.