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Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Les Paul Newb, Sep 30, 2017.
Now we're talkin....
These images don't even begin to convey how 'dry" this fret board was. I almost returned it because of it.
The Ebony fret board is just one of the reasons I love my 2006 Taylor T-5 Custom so much.
Mostly, personal preference. But, An overly dry fret board makes the most perfect guitar incomplete....to say the least.
If you like it dried out, that's totally cool too. Most woods do not look their best in their 100% natural state. Can you imagine your furniture, floors, or almost anything else with no treatment what-so-ever?
^ he didn't ask about it looking dry.....he asked about a light vs dark colouring.
And I agree......too many people seem obsessed with fretboards being dark over every other aspect.
I don't believe it's as much of an obsession as a preference. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of people do not prefer green or purple LPs. IMHO, oiled RW looks more natural than...well...natural wood. And that seems to go for the use of wood in general.
We can each like whatever we like. There will generally be a majority on one side or the other. It doesn't make it right or better, it's just the way it is with all things in general.
My 2011 Les Paul "Classic Custom" Custom has the baked maple fretboard. It's as dark and smooth as Ebony in my opinion and looks much better than the Richlite material they've been using for years on them. When you look at my 2012 Gibson Flying V, compared to the LP Custom, the baked maple is darker and more uniformed in it's colouring. The baked maple darkens up nicely once the board is oiled a few times.
I don't understand why they just don't use it on all the Gibson models (could there be a cost issue?) I don't think there is any noticeable difference in the tone between the materials.
We all know Gibson are in trouble yet again and have been forced to tighten their QC (Quality Control), but those pictures of the rosewood board uploaded by the OP, make it look like that they are still shooting themselves in the foot. Since I started playing in the mid 90's, my uncle who was teaching me at the time, warned me that Gibson had a bad reputation for letting bad guitars into circulation regardless of it's price point.
For you guys who treat your fret boards, some caution is in order (according to the "experts") regarding frequency, what to use and amount. There is a good thread on TGP in which some guys who would know weigh in. Actually here it is:
I think you're thinking of China.
I think I read somewhere that Gibson subs out the fingerboards now to another outfit! They come in with the inlays alrady installed and supposedly ready to go. Piss poor move on Gibson's part as the supplier will try to get away with providing the cheaest Fingerboard they can get away with!
I get the same looking whitish residue when I use masking tape instead of the painter's blue tape for fret work...easy clean up with naphta, toothbrush, fretboard conditioner.
On a factory tour, I noticed Gibson uses masking tape on fretboards when applying sealer color, binding scraping, clear nitro, polishing, then tape is removed. Might not be polishing compound but masking tape residue. Nevertheless, should be detailed by the factory before boxing.
If no one has already mentioned it, most guitars hanging on the walls at GC have been used and abused and are not well taken care of.
Neither my 2016 USA Standard Stratocaster and 2017 USA Professional Telecaster have this issue.
My 2016 Gibson J15 has a walnut fretboard, a first for me. Looks great and feels great. Only time will tell how it will last. At least it's not that fabricated kitchen cabinet material they often use nowadays.
I've heard of bore oil on this forum. But in Australia guitar shops doing a restring or setup for you always use lemon oil. Person all I'd prefer they don't, not sure how long it lasts. But last set done I couldn't stand that lemony smell!!
Ever since I've done set ups myself and I oil my boards once only....using spray on olive oil - which cleans and darkens the boards permanently... Makes it nicer to play.. Though I wouldn't kep oiling every string change..
So what frequency do forum members oil their boards.
It all is ... lemon oil, bore oil, Fret Doctor, baby oil ... it's all mineral oil at one consistency or another.
Are you concerned about olive oil going rancid eventually? Not saying it necessarily will ever smell, but any food based oil can (and eventually will) go rancid after so long (olive oil's shelf life is typically about 2 years).
Same situation (sort of) with "Tung Oil", "Tru Oil", "Danish Oil".....
Danish oil - 78% mineral spirits, dye, penetrating solvents, dissolved waxes.
Tru Oil - up to 70% "Stoddard Oil". Stoddard oil is an archaic name for ... good ol' mineral spriits. The rest is linseed oil and driers.
Tung Oil in big box stores is a mostly mineral spirits (55%) and oil based varnish with penetrating solvents and driers. There is "some" tung oil in it.
On the latter... REAL tung oil is a joy and pleasure to work with. Its edible. Pleasant smelling, easy to wash off before it cures. It thins very well with natural oils (like citrus oil... aka REAL lemon oil). Its sort of a light tan opaque and thick goo in the bottle (or can) but goes on with a very very light amber tint. I think you can get naturally amber tung oil as well, but I've never used it. On a fret board, you'll need to thin it considerably (at least 10:1 solvent to tung), and only apply sparingly... and wipe it all off, getting as much off as you can. But... it does a nice job, and lasts next to forever. I once refinished a BSA-Martini single shot .22 target "Schuetzen" rifle with pure tung oil. Took about 20 coats over a three month period, then another three months to sit and cure. Buffed out by hand with coarse linen, and it had a "glow". I always wondered what a guitar neck would be like with real Tung oil. I happen to like the stuff.
Someplace around here, I've got an "Executive Bullshit Grinder" (Trammel of Archimedes) made by Andre Lis (Jan-L Products) back in the 1970's. Its made of a solid block of rosewood about 5x5 an inch and a quarter thick. When you rub it, it still has that fragrant lilt. Smells nice, flowery. The regular BSGs needed lube (aka Crisco) to stay smooth, and were made of cheap woods like poplar. The "executive" models were rosewood and lots more expensive. Must have been good wood, as its still self oiling.
Wow. Lots of file marks. My R9 has no file marks, but the 1-3 fretboard area is rough and the 14th fret is screwed.
I just bought a new American Pro Strat with a rosewood board. It was very dry. Dark and finished well but dry. A little lemon oil and all is well.
My LPs have differing colorations of rosewood. They are all dark enough but the thing that matters is they play well. I keep them oiled and cleaned once every six months or so.
Sourcing exotic wood has to be tough and I am sure Gibson is gunshy when it comes to wood sourcing.
Traveling overseas you’d be surprised at what you can buy. Had someone offer to sell me an entire 20lb hawksbill tortoise shell after I was looking around at vintage stuff to carve some picks from. He said hold on and came out with the shell.