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Oiling maple fretboard pros and cons please?


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I picked up a real beater guitar at a buddies shop last month. It was an Ibanez DT-250 with the trans red poly finish in really bad shape. This far I have had to strip all the finish down to bare wood, Repair a decent size crack at the base of the neck and several long cracks along the body that were shallow, but might eventually become worse. There was also a chunk broken out of the body where the neck meets the body right before the neck pickup.

The neck is straight though which is a plus. I can't say much for the frets/fretboard though as the frets were way beyond a mere re-leveling/re-crowning. It looked like someone tried to sand back the red poly finish on the fretboard, only to get mad at the job and beat up the frets with a tack hammer. I had to pull all the frets and luckily only had one small chip out at the 13th fret, which if I replace them with a little wider fret wire it will be hidden. The fretboard needs to be re-sanded to clean up the grubbiness.

Once I get the neck back to the point where I am ready to seal the fretboard, I am interested in using tung oil as the sealer instead of a lacquer as I do not intend to refinish the neck except the headstock face to match the body. Will any of you who have experience in sealing a fretboard this way give your pros and cons to finishing the fretboard this way as opposed to using a poly or lacquer finish please?

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Wes, as long as one stays on top of maintenance shouldn't get too bad? Even if it will grunge up fairly quickly, As long as it comes from me, I'm not too worried. I don't own, nor want a trailer queen. All my guitars are players that are rode hard and put away wet in a manner of speaking.

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Tung oil also tend to lift any grime off the wood so if you re-oil often the problem should be smaller.

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