I asked this on UMGF and nobody bothered to answer (sniff sniff). Here's the deal. I have an old Harmony 1213 Archtop that has developed a few rattles and on crack in the top over the years. I removed the back and reglued the braces, all of which were loose. I also grooved out the top crack and cleated it. The wood on this guitar is way dry. Understandable as it was made in '51. It's not a humidity issue as my guitar room is kept a 45-50% RH year round. But the wood is way dry.
I was wondering if I should put a light coat of thinned boiled linseed oil on the wood inside the body to rejuvinate it some. I realize that a lot of the tone (which is very cool in this guitar) comes from it being old and dry, but I can live with a little loss of tone. I just don't want it to crack or crumble into dust. Advice?

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Don't do a thing to the inside! It's just fine. That's just the look and feel of old wood. It needs no rejuvenation because there is no rejuvenation to do. Marian Anderson certainly had wrinkles but she could damn well sing and no one would have had the temerity to suggest she needed some rejuvenation. This isn't furniture.

Best regards,
A guitar adjusts to the environment that it is in. If it's kept at 45-50% RH, it is not dried out.
As Bob suggests, you don't need to do anything else. Boiled linseed oil on bare guitar wood will ruin it, use it on your gun stock but not on a guitar.

George, these two gentlemen are absolutely right. The myth that you have to "feed" wood or replace any "essential oils" is propogated by folks who want to sell Mrs. Housewife crap in the supermarket to smear or spray on her furniture. It's nonsense. Most of these products are loaded with silicone, but that's another rant.

Do you think anyone swabs the inside of their 300 year old Cremonese violin with oil? Boy, that's a scary thought. Cracks not caused by abuse are the result of humidity extremes. Avoid those and your guitar will be fine for a very long time.
dried is improper teminology for this aint dry its aged
Thanks for all the replys. The old girl is coming along well. Got all the braces reglued, the crack cleated and am rady to put the back on. Thanks again.

Rev George


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