Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fretboard Oil and Guitar Polish - Luthier's Finest




I often get asked what oil to use on rosewood or ebony fretboards.
There are so many products out there. Over the years I've tried most of them with varying results. So after a lot of research and experimentation I've developed my own.
 I've combined different oils from around the world into what I believe is the best fretboard oil on the market.

 Oiling your board is important - if you never clean your guitar or your strings, never coil your guitar leads up neatly or check your intonation the chances are everything will be fine. If you don't oil a rosewood or ebony board the chances are it will absorb or loose moisture and bad things will happen.
 In damp conditions an un-oiled board will absorb moisture and this can result in back-bow and buzzing especially around the first few frets.
 In dry conditions your board will shrink, frets can lift, the board can crack. When it comes to re-fretting a dry board the wood can just crumble making it hard to re-seat new frets. This poor old Gibson es125 has a cry crumbly board - a big problem to re-fret.

 Oil seals your fretboard preventing moisture problems. Applying the oil cleans and preserves your board helping it look and feel great and making string bending and vibrato easier.
 I've been using this oil a little while now and my customers love it - that's why I've started selling it, popular demand.

When applying the oil only use a little, just moisten the wood. Be aware that if you drench it then some oil can seep under the frets and lift them. A little and often is better than going mad once a year - bit like exercise.

Here's a short vid to show you how:

 I suggest to players they oil their board and clean their guitar every time they change strings. More often would be better but realistically when you change strings is fine.

This is not for use on lacquered maple boards - use guitar polish for that.


On the subject of guitar cleaning - I've also developed my own guitar polish. It contains no wax or silicone and leaves no residue, it's biodegradable and odorless. It is suitable for fine nitro-celulose finishes such as on Gibsons or shellac finishes as used on some handmade instruments. I advise using it with a microfiber cloth on most guitars to avoid scratching.
 It only takes a fine spray and a quick wipe to remove most marks. With some older guitars there's a build up of dirt that needs to be cleaned off first.

Both products are available from my workshop, Bungalow Bill's or  and soon to be in more guitar shops.
 They come in 125ml bottles - a bottle of each lasts me about 2 months in the workshop, they'd last you years.


Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.

Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
New Zealand
09 307 6501, 021 912678