Överlägset bästa oljan för greppbrädor! (Inte för lackade lönnbrädor)
Så här skriver Edmund Boyle, mannen bakom Fretdoctor:
This especially formulated, all natural blend of expensive non-toxic exotic oils, antioxidants, and stabilizers, controls the dimensional stability and water balance of fine wood instruments. It really, thoroughly soaks into the wood. Water is both the enemy and the friend of fine wood musical instruments and controlling the water sorption and description of (amount entering and leaving) the wood adds dimensional stability, retards the tendency to crack or split, prevents water logging, and improves the overall tone of the instrument. Your fine wood instrument should last many years with proper care. Especially good for dry environments - necessary for damp climates. Most bore oils on the market are cheap mineral oils!
Guitar players are sometimes troubled with the problem of micro cracking of their fretboards, which can lead to other problems. Guitar fretboards and inlays are often made from the very same hardwoods that are used in woodwinds like the fife: Rosewood, Grenadilla or Blackwood, Boxwood, Cocobolo, and Ebony, just to name a few. Like woodwinds, fretboards are sensitive to the problem of dimensional instability. They can crack, split, or shrink in size, loosening their binding to the frets of the instrument, often developing the problem guitarists call "buzz." The wood between the frets actually shrinks a bit and the frets can loosen. The best way to prevent these problems is to maintain the moisture level in the wood at where it was when the instrument was constructed. Just like with woodwinds, mineral oil, silicones, and various other substances don't really penetrate the wood. The wood remains dry inside.
Recently, many owners of fine guitars have discovered what woodwind players have known for years. Bore Doctor actually penetrates hardwoods, returning the fingerboard to its natural state and making it dimensionally stable. It can minimize the risk of future cracking or splitting. It also prevents the widening of the beds where the frets are installed due to shrinkage.
On the various guitar forums, countless opinions are heard in favor of skin oil, "nose" oil (a variation of skin oil), Linseed oil, Walnut oil, Rose oil, Almond oil, Tung oil, Olive oil, conventional bore oil (most are only mineral oil), baby oil which is really perfumed mineral oil, 3 in 1 oil, salad oil, WD40 (talk about smell), sewing machine oil, Castor oil, gun oil...the list is seemingly endless. It would be far easier to to get Vice President Cheney to vote Democratic than it would be to change the minds of many of these guitarists. I heard of another one who uses, would you believe, fish oil? There is no limit to the list of substances people will put on their boards! I thought Linseed stunk pretty bad. How about Vinegar and Mayonnaise? Also, Marvel Mystery Oil. I remember when my Dad would put some in his old Chevy, in both the gas tank and the crankcase. He swore that it increased horsepower. I also heard of someone who (I am not making this up) uses ear wax. This story gets pretty disgusting at times.
In order to save me countless emails and arguments, here is my view on the matter:
1. Linseed oil is more like a varnish than an oil. Because it forms a continuous film, it seals the surface of the wood like a varnish, but oils of plant origin may later slowly penetrate down to the wood. It can take years. It comes in many forms. The stuff from a hardware or art store is a paint variety, boiled or raw. Both of them stink. If you insist on Linseed oil, get the food grade from a health food store. This grade doesn't smell so bad. After multiple applications, nothing can penetrate it. If you use Linseed oil, take any rags or brushes that are used and dispose of them outdoors. When left in a pile of rags, this stuff can spontaneously burst into flame. You then lose both your ax and your home. Squeeze the bottle and screw the cap on tight, minimizing any air space in the container.
2. Tung oil is also a varnish that forms a continuous film. When used for this purpose, a small amount is applied and rubbed with one's hand until the surface feels warm. The heat from friction "sets" (polymerizes) the varnish. This is where the term, "hand rubbed," comes from, not from skin oil. A hand has no lint and leaves no brush marks. A Tung oil finish can also be later penetrated by a light weight plant oil. It is a very slow process. The good news is that, over time, some of the varnish may wear off from finger and string pressure, facilitating better absorption of oil. Same with Linseed.
3. Shellac is also a varnish, but different from the two above. Linseed and Tung oils are film surfaces. They polymerize and are very difficult to penetrate. Shellac does not form a continuous film, so some oil can get through, at least more easily than Linseed or Tung. I have never heard of it being used on a fretboard, but who knows? It is not advised.
4. Mineral oil merely coats the surface, giving it a bright sheen, but does not penetrate the wood. This oil prevents absorption by a plant oil after the fact. This includes most bore oils, but not all. Read the label. Most so-called fretboard treatments and bore oils are no more than inexpensive mineral oil with a scent added, like lemon.
5. Silicone-based furniture polishes also make it shiny but prevent later penetration in the short term. Silicone also eventually migrates into the wood, integrating with the cellulose structure and breaking it down.
6. Polyurethane and Nitro finishes can't be penetrated...ever.
7. Skin or Nose oils contain dirt, skin fragments, salt, bacteria and God only knows what else. "Hand-rubbed" does not mean skin oil! It means Tung oil.
8. Petroleum based lubricants behave like mineral oil, don't penetrate the wood, and prevent future absorption. Most contain solvents that can potentially damage some adhesives.
9. Corn oil, Safflower oil, Olive oil, etc., do penetrate to some degree, but contain no preservatives. They may become rancid over time.
10. Lemon Oil, Almond oil, Walnut oil, etc., food grade, are probably O.K., but make sure they don't contain solvents like naphtha or other petroleum distillates. Solvents can weaken any adhesives used in instrument construction. Be aware that most "Lemon oils" are no more than lemon-scented mineral oil, as are most bore oils. Real lemon oil is quite acidic, with a pH of 3.7 to 4.2. It is an effective cleaner, but wipe it off when you are finished. Rosewood oil does not even come from the same plant that your fretboard wood came from, not even the same country! It is consists mostly of an aromatic solvent with a Rosewood oil scent added.
Maple fretboards boards often come with an inpenetrable finish on them, but some are unfinished. On an unfinished board, Fret Doctor works great. See the bottom of this page.
If a fife or a fret board is made from wood that has been properly and slowly air dried (not in a kiln), and most stresses in the wood have been relieved at the time of construction, chances are nothing bad (cracking) will happen to it later on. So, in a sense, we are treating a non-problem here. However, occasionally, a piece will slip through. As it continues to dry, problems lurking inside may develop. Treatment with a penetrating oil system of plant origin with preservatives, like Bore Doctor and Fret Doctor, can prevent this in most cases. The oil replaces any remaining water that departed after the instrument was made and stabilizes the wood.
However: As a flute or fife loses moisture, the wood shrinks, and the finger holes grow larger. As a fretboard dries, the wood also shrinks and the slots for the frets widen, dynamically stressing the adhesive that holds the fret. A vegetable-based oil will never dissolve or weaken common adhesives. As dehydration continues, the fretboard actually narrows, creating the problem commonly known as "fret sprout."
"Darkening" Your Board
A very frequent comment I hear is that "Fret Doctor darkens my board nicely!" Over time, with exposure to air, light, humidity, and wear and tear, the board faded. The Fret Doctor simply restored it to the original color. The main reason for oiling a fretboard isn't to darken it; it is to preserve it. Remember that the verb, "darken," has created endless confusion on some of the guitar forums, and some quite nasty arguments, for quite a while. Fret Doctor will bring up the natural color, grain, and patina of a tropical hardwood, making it darker in appearance but not making it black. Ebony will appear blacker because black is the normal color of the wood. Your Rosewood will be far prettier.
For those who wish to truly blacken a board, Fret Doctor will not do what you want. You can make a board black with leather dye, wood stains or other means. It will "darken" both the board and maybe your fingers but will do nothing to protect it. It might be still a good idea to preserve the wood with Fret Doctor first. Be sure that you are "blackening" your board for the right reasons. Many old guitars came with Rosewood boards, in natural Rosewood color. They were treated at one time or the other with Linseed oil, which oxidizes over time, and turns black. The originals, in many cases were, not black at all! Only the Ebony.
Think of it as insurance!
Don't concern yourself with "oversaturating" the wood. There isn't that much air space in it. This isn't Balsa wood we are using here. If it won't take any more, it is full, like a beer mug. Any additional oil will simply wipe off. I am also told that Fret Doctor also works well on acoustic bridges and bridge pins. I suggest that you apply it a few times per year, or at string changes.
Please remember that Fret Doctor is not "just another bore oil." A bottle of most bore oils and fretboard treatments contains about a dime's worth of mineral oil. Bore Doctor and Fret Doctor are composed of a complex mixture of rare and expensive vegetable-based oils imported from all over the world. That's why it works so well. If money is an issue, go to the drugstore and buy a pint of mineral oil. It will make the board look nice, but will do nothing to preserve it.
A fretboard has a much larger surface area than a woodwind bore, so an amazing number of orders had been steadily coming in for many multiples of the normal 10 ml size of Bore Doctor. To accommodate these users, I made the oil available in more economical 30ml and 60ml sizes. It was renamed Fret Doctor in order to more accurately address its application, but it is identical to Bore Doctor in every way.