Fretboard Conditioning Project using Raw Linseed Oil

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by G5422T, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Agreed. I use mineral oil only to add back moisture, not to resurface, fill in or build layers.
  2. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    Ha! True!

    For someone who loves playing with fire as much as I do I am psychotically paranoid about BLO and burning my house down. Something I learned just today is that even if you put used rags in water, once they dry out the curing process picks right back up and they can still combust.

    I may try an experiment - I've always put a couple shots of dish soap in the water in my rag can. I wonder if that breaks the oil down enough to prevent curing, even after the rags dry.

    Speaking of fire, it's finally cooled off enough to start having fires in the fire pit at my Legion post. Nothin' I love more than having a beverage or two and yakkin around a fire!
  3. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Phoenix Update.

    How do you know when the raw linseed oil is dry/cured? The "squeek" when rubbing it out.

    Today is the 3rd day that when rubbing out the fretboard with a clean micro fiber towel, I'm getting that squeeking sound/feeling.

    Plan on a stringing it up this weekend. Just did a few minor things that I wanted to get done before the restring.

    Match the bridge base to the top. Perfect fit now, and the raw linseed oil really makes the rosewood bridge base look a lot nicer. No more light colored/dried out look.

    Get the dang creeking spring on my DE arm out of there. The "stud" that goes through the arm and spring on mine, has a 1/4" - 20 thread on it. Bought some locking nuts with the nylon insert for replacements. .33 cents each!

    I always use these type of locking nuts only once. I've found that new locking nuts will hold and stay, used ones don't.

    Took the arm off, cleaned everything, and put just a tad of LaBelle #106 grease with Teflon on the bottom of the handle, the top of the string bar casting that the handle mounts to, and the counter bore that holds a brass washer that the spring used to seat on.

    My DE arm has two thin fiber type washers that go between the arm and mounting spring bar casting. I used these again, and assembled everything, but left the small spring off. Installed a "spring washer" on top of the brass washer, then the new locking nut. Tightened the nut slowly as it finally compressed the spring washer. Tightened it a little at a time until the handle rotated with the resistance that I liked. Done, smooth handle rotation that stays where you want it, and no spring screeching sound.

    Here's a few pics of these silly little "mods."

    20190927_143216.jpg 20190927_143257.jpg

    This Bird is ready to go now.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    calebaaron666 and new6659 like this.
  4. Outlaw

    Outlaw Synchromatic

    Jul 13, 2011
    Locking nuts are a great improvement, i replace the fibre washers with ones made from teflon and find that the arm moves a bit more smoothly.
    G5422T likes this.
  5. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Final Update.

    Playing and sounding great. No neck issues after restring. Action set where I like it, no buzzing, no dead frets, no gummy board, just feels great to play.

    So, no adverse effects of using raw linseed oil the board other than the dry time, but I knew that going into this project.

    No internet horror stories happened. The ebony didn't pull from the neck wood, inlays didn't fall out, frets didn't pop up, neck didn't twist or warp, the finish is smooth, binding wasn't effected at all, and zero gum up problems.

    A lot of time involved, but I do like the end result. Now it's time to just play it and enjoy it.


    This method isn't for everyone, but thought that I would share it, and and follow up on my end results.
  6. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Well, I was restringing the -58 Gent RI, and thought, why not.

    So it's got two very light coats, and the rub down process is moving along.


    It's a '07, so the ebony board needed a good cleaning and a little attention.
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Toothbrush still a "best friend" and a clean soft cloth.

    A little soft brushing the fretboard and then a soft rub out this AM.

    Real close to being cured out.


    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  8. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Really, really close. Down to just a light buffing once a day.

    20191114_154452.jpg 20191114_154153.jpg

    Could probably string up and play now, but I've got some other things to do on this guitar. Just plan on a daily buff while I get everything done.
  9. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    I know what you're saying about the F-One oil. I bought some about a month ago, and used it on my 6120-59QM. Looks great and I liked the results too.

    I also gave the -58 Gent's board a good cleaning, then 2 light coats of of the F-One. Also looked good, but went ahead and went ahead with two light coats of the RLO.

    It's really looking good. Better than ever.
    Merc likes this.
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