Dry fretboards on new Gibsons?

kisschicken

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Have purchased two new Les Pauls in 2021 and they arrived with what appears to be bone dry fretboards. I'm finding conflicting information on whether fretboards need to have that dark, oiled look. Since it's not one but two Gibsons, I get the sense that the dry fretboard is intentional. Anyone know?
 

Azmedian

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Untreated would be what I describe it as
My 2017 Traditional
Before Oil

1642133808620.jpeg


After (F1) Oil
1642133875265.jpeg
 
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CB91710

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Ya... all of my newer guitars have been pretty dry.
3 Gibsons, Epiphone, D'Angelico, Harley Benton...

Normally, my recommendation for Dunlop/lemon oil is never "soak" it... just a light treatment once a year or so, no more than once every 6 months.
But the new guitars that I've bought and seen in stores..... Give it a good heavy layer and let it soak in, maybe a followup with a quick wipe-down.
 

Dilver

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Are they actually dry or do they just look dry? I think the rosewood Gibson has been sourcing ever since the raid isn‘t East Indian Rosewood, but some other Dalbergia variant that still allows Gibson to call it rosewood. The color is less reddish purple and browner.
 

CB91710

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Are they actually dry or do they just look dry? I think the rosewood Gibson has been sourcing ever since the raid isn‘t East Indian Rosewood, but some other Dalbergia variant that still allows Gibson to call it rosewood. The color is less reddish purple and browner.
Look and feel dry.
Almost a dusty feeling.
They darken up nicely and feel just fine after a good oiling, and seem to remain nice for a long time after treatment.
 

Injector

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It's the quality of the wood that's the problem. Sure if you drench them with oil they will darken up but a dark board will be dark to start with.

Rosewood contains natural oils so never dries out as such. If you apply too much oil or you do it too frequently you can end up with loose frets.
 

CB91710

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It's the quality of the wood that's the problem. Sure if you drench them with oil they will darken up but a dark board will be dark to start with.

Rosewood contains natural oils so never dries out as such. If you apply too much oil or you do it too frequently you can end up with loose frets.
Yep...
Made that mistake with my early 90s Korean Epi LP.
Everyone said to oil it with every string change.
The fret market inlays started popping out after a couple of years of that.

Once a year... wipe on wipe off.
Twice a year if you live in a very dry climate.
No more.

But when new, they need a soaking. After that, they're fine.
 

Azmedian

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For the 1st Oiling
What I do is cover the board with oil using fingers to spread it evenly across
Leave it 5-10 minutes look at an 45 degree angle at the board to see if there is any "Dry" spots that absorbed the oil & re-oiled that spot, leave it a minute check again. Once satisfied wipe off excess

I oil all boards when changing strings or once a year if in storage


..
 

CB91710

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For the 1st Oiling
What I do is cover the board with oil using fingers to spread it evenly across
Leave it 5-10 minutes look at an 45 degree angle at the board to see if there is any "Dry" spots that absorbed the oil & re-oiled that spot, leave it a minute check again. Once satisfied wipe off excess

I oil all boards when changing strings or once a year if in storage


..
Once a year is good.
Every string change is excessive, unless you are only changing your strings once or twice a year.
"Every string change" is how I messed up my neck. Fortunately, it was easily repaired.
 

Mahoot

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My new LP standard is pretty dry but still as was out of the box. Not changed strings or anything yet. I intend to give it to my luthier for a set up once he's done with my Strat. Could leaving it dry for couple more weeks be a problem?
 

JayPDizzle

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I just looked back at pictures of my 2019 Standard '50s the day I bought it and the fretboard was way drier and lighter looking than it is now. It's now a nice dark rosewood. I remember putting a bit of oil on it back then but it must just be oils/dirt from my hands that have darkened the wood.
 

Milsco

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My 2020 60s standard was bone dry. It drank a lot of oil very quickly on the first (and so far only) application.
 

CB91710

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My new LP standard is pretty dry but still as was out of the box. Not changed strings or anything yet. I intend to give it to my luthier for a set up once he's done with my Strat. Could leaving it dry for couple more weeks be a problem?
It's been dry ever since it sat in Gibson's kiln.
Another couple of weeks won't hurt anything.
 

Classicplayer

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My new 2018 (in 2018) had a dry fretboard that was “darkened” with a dye. The dye promptly deposited itself on my fingers when I attempted to oil the fretboard with a mineral oil. Gibson told me not to be alarmed and that eventually the dye would blend into the wood. They apply it to darken lighter wood. After a week or so of ”tinted fingers”, it did as Gibson said it would. I do apply a light coat of common drug store mineral oil now and then; let it sink into the wood for 20-30 minutes and wipe it down.
Certain brands of lemon oil have other chemicals in them that over time are not particularly friendly to fingerboard wood. I gave up using that about 10 years back. I never had any issues with lemon oil, but some people have.

Classicplayer
 

CB91710

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My new 2018 (in 2018) had a dry fretboard that was “darkened” with a dye. The dye promptly deposited itself on my fingers when I attempted to oil the fretboard with a mineral oil. Gibson told me not to be alarmed and that eventually the dye would blend into the wood. They apply it to darken lighter wood. After a week or so of ”tinted fingers”, it did as Gibson said it would. I do apply a light coat of common drug store mineral oil now and then; let it sink into the wood for 20-30 minutes and wipe it down.
Certain brands of lemon oil have other chemicals in them that over time are not particularly friendly to fingerboard wood. I gave up using that about 10 years back. I never had any issues with lemon oil, but some people have.

Classicplayer
"Lemon oil" sold for guitars and furniture is simply lemon scented mineral oil. There is very little actual lemon oil in them... only enough to produce the scent.
Some contain beeswax as well.
 

Peter M

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"Lemon oil" sold for guitars and furniture is simply lemon scented mineral oil.

This. I have been using "lemon" mineral oil for decades and love the results.
 

Dogbreath

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My new LP standard is pretty dry but still as was out of the box. Not changed strings or anything yet. I intend to give it to my luthier for a set up once he's done with my Strat. Could leaving it dry for couple more weeks be a problem?
Leaving it dry forever isn’t a problem. Your hands have enough oil to take care of a fretboard, however my newest Gibson had a fretboard that was so light in color that it was embarrassing. I soaked it down in Fret Doctor. Looks better now.
 

JPummil

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Interesting thread as I recently purchased a new Les Paul Tribute and it does seem to have what feels like a dry or porous fretboard. I've not done anything yet, but had been contemplating options. These tips are most helpful!
 

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