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Lemon Oil for a Mahogany Neck


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I'd rather use something else. The lemon oil sold for guitar maintenance is basically scented naphta and/or white mineral spirit. The oil content is minimal and overall the product is made for those who don't know anything about oil finishing.

Boiled linseed oil has been used for centuries both on necks and fretboards so it's a known good product. Furniture oil-waxes like Osmo can be used as well.

The main idea with oiling is that you first apply the oil liberally and rub it in with all your might. When it starts to get tacky, you wipe all the excess off. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes and wipe off anything that has seeped out of the pores. Let cure for a day or so, depending on the atmosphere. Rinse and repeat until you've got a finish you're happy with. The first layers can be applied with wet'n'dry so it both cuts any raising grain (which you already should have got rid of by moistening and re-sanding with 320-400 grit paper) and makes a slurry to fill the pores.

After having got the finish to the desired level, protect it with some good wax like carnauba.

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I know nothing about Lemon oil. But I also like the almost bare wood feel on my necks, I find it quite easy to achieve that with Danish oil. Danish oil is quite cheap too, you can get a big tin of Danish for the price of a tiny bottle of Tru Oil :D 

My process is to put one heavy coat on, sand it in with 600 wit and dry, leave it for 3 minutes, then wipe fiercely with a clean rag until there is no excess left. I'll add a couple more coats (1 a day), same process just without the sanding, but make sure you wipe away all the excess or it will go sticky and stay like that.

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There is a similar trick for danish oil that calls for a heavy soaking dose applied and let sit for 15 or 20 minutes until the it has soaked in as much as it is going to. Wipe that dry with a rag, and apply a second coat with fine steel wool. Literally wipe it dry with the steel wool  right after or actually during the application of the second coat and the  result is baby butt smooth.

SR

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7 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I know nothing about Lemon oil.

All I knew was some vague memory of something Ben Crowe had said about it a couple of times. A quick Google search found several safety data pdf files confirming that. The main issue was to separate the wood finishing product from the lemon essential oil which is extracted from lemon peels.

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24 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Lemon oil is pretty good for cleaning a fretboard.....and that's about it.

As one safety data file told, the lemon oil in question was up to 100% naphta. Isn't that lighter fluid with a scent? Good for cleaning indeed, but not for lubricating. The good thing about it is that there'll be no residue whatsoever, no matter how liberally you apply it.

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

As one safety data file told, the lemon oil in question was up to 100% naphta. Isn't that lighter fluid with a scent? Good for cleaning indeed, but not for lubricating. The good thing about it is that there'll be no residue whatsoever, no matter how liberally you apply it.

had meant to post earlier... typed it out and everything but must've forgotten to send.  basically what scottr said above. 

It can't be naptha... and it does leave a residue/oil.  if you take a perfectly maple unfinished neck and add lemon oil to it many times... you'll turn it yellow.  (ask me how I know).  generally it is sold as clean/condition for wood and lots of folks swear by it for occasional cleaning/conditioning of fretboards.  I have only recently heard some arguments against it for that... and most of those arguments go something like "don't do it too much".  I'd add to that... don't use it on bare maple.

 

all that said... can't imagine using it as a finish.

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I have heard of this from a guy locally who was selling wood and doing cnc cutting boards.  apparently there is some waterproof demo they do... supposed to be really impressive.  up close and personal it had a really natural looking finish... I would have bought some but it was very expensive.  if it's the same stuff... I think it'd be great, but I can't recall if that was the exact name or not.  if it is made for cutting boards I would think it would seal it great... the only question would be if you will like the feel.  just my 2 cents and probably not worth a dime.

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There's pros and cons with food grade mineral (paraffin) oil. It's clear so it doesn't change any colours other than making them deeper. It's also relatively harmless, actually it's being used as a laxative even for babies! As it can be used on cutting boards it doesn't poison your hands either. And it doesn't go rancid like some vegetable oils may do.

It doesn't actually cure which can be considered as a positive feature on the fretboard, keeping it moist. On the neck it might feel unpleasantly greasy.

The last time I bought it was from Ikea, 500 ml for €6 which seems to be a common price in that size under various brands for kitchen use. Branded for a specific use like protecting the sauna benches the price can be sixfold! The last time I used it was at the city workshop where I "lent" a drop from a 10 litres canister for my fretboard.

All that said I would not recommend mineral oil for the neck. Boiled linseed oil is about the same price and basically nonpoisonous except for the vapourising additives that make it cure faster. 

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7 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

It doesn't actually cure which can be considered as a positive feature on the fretboard, keeping it moist. On the neck it might feel unpleasantly greasy.

The not curing aspect would make it a no go for me. Like on a cutting board it would need to be reapplied occasionally, basically because you've wiped it off with  your hands. Linseed oil builds a bit of a film and cures in weeks, and Danish oil soaks in and cures within the pores and fibers in a couple of days.

SR

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