Have this thread going on the Lets Talk Guild site and would just like to hear what the gang here thinks of best fret board final finishing liquid or polish before I attack my axe loaded with so much wisdom. Thanks to Bob my Gurian 3in one fret file is now working like it used to. Don't worry have a beater to practice my skills on before touching the Guild-Rob

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Just oil it. Like Pledge funature polish.

Martin used lard for a lot of years.

Very intresting on the lard Ron . Guess the theory there was if your guitar is set up right they must have assumed it should be then your strings wouldn't get deadend by excess lard material because the strings should only touch the frets.Todays players do a lot more grinding of their strings so I would think you don't want any material that really stays on the surface but penetrates into the ebony etc.
Do have a food grade lard type material that has a very low "soild point" which even stays in liquid state in the fridge.May give my old beater its final clean-up with that just to see how things look. Will get the name of it and pass it on if the results look good in a week or so.
Howard Feed'n'wax, or boiled linseed oil mixed with 50% mineral spirits.
I like Butcher's Wax with a little bit of mineral oil burnished with a rag made of pre-war muslin.
The product I plan to try plan to try which looks more promising by the minute is called ( My-Vacket 9-45K). Acording to the MDS sheet on this product it is made in Malaysia and is shipped to Canada by way of the Netherlands. It contains emulsafiers as does our Martin's people lard,a food safe lubricant property and anti dust properties.It does not solidify like lard in cold temps.Sounds like the best of all three worlds in a single oil.Will give my old beater a rub down with it then wait a few weeks to examine any negative problems.Some of these home made products are quite intresting -nanccinut
Plays like buttah!

I like Laurent's suggestion of thinned linseed oil, and wipe it off as well as you can.
Um, dead animal fat on a fingerboard?

We have used Kunos Oil (Google it for the spec) which is applied with a bio thinner and forms a water resistant hard surface protection after three applications. The use of a thinner as a carrier ensures a good penetration depth and a thin build layer. The thinner is bio based and does not react with guitar lacquer and oil finishes (HAVE NOT USED IT NEAR SHELLAC - PLEASE TEST FIRST)

I have yet to find a better protection system for 'wood in hard service' which is based on natural organics (see spec) and which has a remarkable ease of application and a high degree of protection. The finish also has an International Standard compliance. Can recommend this but am always open to better products. Rusty.
Another sounds intresting on this product! Will check out those spec to see its original intent for use in todays world. -nanccinut
I'm confused. Does a fretboard normally have a finish on it? The ebony on my guitars seems completely bare and it was my impression that you generally use woods that are naturally oily and will stand up to under the wear without the protection of a finsh.

Maybe I think too highly of ebony.
I build a few instruments, but mainly do repair work.
I have never yet been concerned about applying anything to the fretboard, especially a new one. I've built a number of 5-string banjo necks, and never applied anything, and never had any problems.

On occasion, on older fretboards, I have use a light dressing of Formsbys Lemon oil, applied with a Q-tip and immediately wiped dry with a soft cotton rag.

I doubt Martin puts anything on their fingerboards.

In a perfect world where things don't get hot and sweaty and things don't get spilled I guess you might not consider protecting the fingerboard...but, as is the case with all furniture and other wood leading active lives in service I suggest that protection against the ravages of time and various dirt, grime and acids (as found in sweat) is prudent.

However, if you are confused or don't wish to treat the fingerboard please feel free, Both Taylor and Martin don't recommend anything other than a scrub with 0000 steel wool to remove the grime. On the other hand they are played by gentile folk who sit down to play and scarcely crack a sweat.

The world of active performance requires protection and so goes my suggestion for that environment. Martin also eschews the use of lemon/orange oil to remove accumulated grime on the grounds that the acid in the oil attacks the frets. Fair call, but anyone who has refretted or cleaned an old electric (Gibson 225/335 seem to be grime magnets especially) and seen the green rot that lives under and around the frets may wish to use something to remove finger oils and sweat which is corrosive anyway.

And, to answer the question posed by Brent Hutto - we generally select fingeboard woods because they have particular tonal qualities, wear resistance and appearances and avoid those which are naturally oily because they don't glue very well (among other things). Maple, Rosewood and Ebony are all interior woods which require finishing/protection, whereas cedar and teak are good examples of wood which does not need finishing - hence it's use as an external timber on houses and boats. Wood is wood, and the rules don't change when you put it on a guitar.

Very well said Rusty ! So gang listen to this man and protect your fretboards with some type of protection seems to be the concensious so far to make your beloved instruments last for years to come.
Cheers again Rob AKA-nanccinut Canada's biggest Nanci Griffith fan,a girl who can play and gosh sing too at the same time without reverbs etc to accent her lovley voice!
Do we have any females out there who can tell us know -it-all males a thing or two about what we should or should not be using on our ebony?


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