Oiling a Gibson Torrified Granadillo fretboard - before and after

LPCM&BFG

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
399
Reaction score
546
Well, tonight I oiled the fretboard on my 2018 BFG for the first time.

According to Gibson's legacy website, the 2018 has a torrified granadillo fretboard. It seemed horribly dry prior to oiling. Here you can clearly see the new vs the oiled fretboard.

All in all, it came out significantly darker than original, but after a few hours, it lightened slightly compared to the freshly oiled parts shown below.

I also found several areas where Gibson "reliced" the fretboard to fit in with the "BFG" theme. I'm not sure if that is done on purpose as part of the look, or if it is a result of the torrified granadillo being more brittle than rosewood (or from a sub-par fretboard). I'm looking to replace the frets with Medium Jumbo (my prefered size) but I do worry that it will chip more than usual.

2018-BFG-Fretboard-1.jpg



2018-BFG-Fretboard-2.jpg



2018-BFG-Fretboard-3.jpg
 

LPCM&BFG

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
399
Reaction score
546
As an update: I had read elswhere on the web people saying their Granadillo fretboard "swelled" after oiling. As of 4 hours after oiling it last night, mine has not done this (I didn't take a look this morning).
 

RocketKing

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
641
Reaction score
437
They should just use richlite IMO.
Not gonna get greener than that :thumb:
 

Moni

Banned
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
408
Reaction score
841
They should just use richlite IMO.
Not gonna get greener than that :thumb:
I love Richlite, it really is very good. I have Ebony and Richlite and can't really notice a difference in feel or looks. It's a great product and water/moisture resistant.

Solid.

But that being said I had a Black Hagstrom Super Swede with P-90s I sold recently that had a composite fret board, they've been doing it forever and a week, great fretboards.
 

Sinster

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2008
Messages
11,617
Reaction score
8,490
Fretboard material doesn't matter to me.

Doesn't all wood swell if you let liquid set into the pours.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
13,483
Reaction score
9,340
^ It depends on what the liquid is, and whether the pores will absorb it.
 

Niloy63

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
427
Reaction score
463
They should just use richlite IMO.
Not gonna get greener than that :thumb:
Although I personally disagree, I totally respect your point of view. For me, I'm an ebony guy through and through, even more so than Rosewood. The way I see it (which admittedly is only my opinion, and therefore susceptible to flaw), if I'm going to spend thousands of dollars on a guitar, I'd rather the fretboard not be a "paper-based fiber composite." I just can't get my head around that, however irrational it might be. But I'm open to having my mind changed. The Martin DCPA4 Rosewood that I really want has a Richlite board, and I'm slowly working my way towards trying to accept it.
 

Moni

Banned
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
408
Reaction score
841
Although I personally disagree, I totally respect your point of view. For me, I'm an ebony guy through and through, even more so than Rosewood. The way I see it (which admittedly is only my opinion, and therefore susceptible to flaw), if I'm going to spend thousands of dollars on a guitar, I'd rather the fretboard not be a "paper-based fiber composite." I just can't get my head around that, however irrational it might be. But I'm open to having my mind changed. The Martin DCPA4 Rosewood that I really want has a Richlite board, and I'm slowly working my way towards trying to accept it.
I have three Gibsons with Richlite that sound amazingly great. The Richlite darkens after a few months of using it to look literally just like ebony, even has wood grain in it if you look closely. I resists drying out and resists moisture damage.

If someone lives in a very dry climate like Arizona the wood doesn't crack and dry out and conversely in very humid climates or climates that have both very humid and also dry like New England the fret board remains stable and doesn't swell, no proud frets from being popped out on it's own from repeated swelling and then constricting back again wood.

Also the fret board doesn't swell and fight against the neck it is glued to so there's no seasonal fret buzz like with rosewood or ebony. No cracked binding on the ends of the frets either.

The most important thing of all though is the wood resonates well and sounds as good as ebony.

I have a couple of guitars with "real" ebony and I honestly cannot tell the difference in feel and tone.

It's an honest assessment by me. I literally have no problem with Richlite.

I'm sure that Martin is a great guitar.
 

yamariv

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
986
OP, just an FYI..As the oil dries up and wears off the fretboard will get lighter again in my experience.
 

Niloy63

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
427
Reaction score
463
I have three Gibsons with Richlite that sound amazingly great. The Richlite darkens after a few months of using it to look literally just like ebony, even has wood grain in it if you look closely. I resists drying out and resists moisture damage.

If someone lives in a very dry climate like Arizona the wood doesn't crack and dry out and conversely in very humid climates or climates that have both very humid and also dry like New England the fret board remains stable and doesn't swell, no proud frets from being popped out on it's own from repeated swelling and then constricting back again wood.

Also the fret board doesn't swell and fight against the neck it is glued to so there's no seasonal fret buzz like with rosewood or ebony. No cracked binding on the ends of the frets either.

The most important thing of all though is the wood resonates well and sounds as good as ebony.

I have a couple of guitars with "real" ebony and I honestly cannot tell the difference in feel and tone.

It's an honest assessment by me. I literally have no problem with Richlite.

I'm sure that Martin is a great guitar.
You make some fine points, especially re: the contraction/expansion of the wood throughout the year and the resulting fret buzz. I'm pretty good about fretboard maintenance and try to moisturize them every 6 months But at the end of the day, it's wood, I'm ok with that. Would you be ok with having a synthetic or metal neck as to avoid warping or needing to use a truss rod for adjustment? Richlite is basically a combination of recycled paper and phenolic resin that classically has been used for things like kitchen countertops. So that doesn't help things out in my head. lol Do I think I can discern a tonal difference due to fretboard material individually? No, I don't have dog hearing. But do I think it's part of the bigger picture with the guitar being greater than the sum of its parts? Yes, absolutely.

This rambling might just be my way getting "it" out of my system and towards accepting Richlite so I can put that Martin back on the queue for my GAS. Your post is reassuring, and I appreciate that.
 

LPCM&BFG

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
399
Reaction score
546
OP, just an FYI..As the oil dries up and wears off the fretboard will get lighter again in my experience.
Thanks! I know, it happens on my rosewood FBs too... Just never had the Granadillo fretboard before and had read elsewhere that it settles somewhere half way between "new" and "freshly" oiled. Should look nice, as the granadillo has some nice figuring to it.
 

Niloy63

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
427
Reaction score
463
That looks awesome...

I’m in Texas and have come to love richlite...

-Chris
ritchlite is one of the best things Gibson has done since i've been alive.
I’m in the process of coming around to it. I sometimes require verbal diarrhea to overcome mental hurdles. :facepalm: I might be stubborn, but not absolute in my stubbornness. Lol
 

Moni

Banned
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
408
Reaction score
841
You make some fine points, especially re: the contraction/expansion of the wood throughout the year and the resulting fret buzz. I'm pretty good about fretboard maintenance and try to moisturize them every 6 months But at the end of the day, it's wood, I'm ok with that. Would you be ok with having a synthetic or metal neck as to avoid warping or needing to use a truss rod for adjustment? Richlite is basically a combination of recycled paper and phenolic resin that classically has been used for things like kitchen countertops. So that doesn't help things out in my head. lol Do I think I can discern a tonal difference due to fretboard material individually? No, I don't have dog hearing. But do I think it's part of the bigger picture with the guitar being greater than the sum of its parts? Yes, absolutely.

This rambling might just be my way getting "it" out of my system and towards accepting Richlite so I can put that Martin back on the queue for my GAS. Your post is reassuring, and I appreciate that.
You mentioned a lot of “open to new ways of thinking” type descriptions, something the traditional Gibson owner absolutely could never do generally. I say that affectionately of course.

My Jackson guitars for example use graphite splines inserted into the necks next to the truss rod to reinforce them and keep them stable because they use thin necks. If Gibson ever did anything like that even though it works beautifully people would be offering their Les Pauls into a funeral pyre and posting videos online saying they’re “done with Gibson”.
 




Top