Newby needs some help.  I've done a couple of guitars with red oak necks & fretboards.  I've stained the necks then poly coats.  Have only stained the fretboards.

Now, I've got a neck almost complete.  It's maple with a walnut fretboard.  The frets are installed already (probably a mistake).

I'm thinking Danish Oil on both first to set deep in the wood.  Then something extra on the maple neck only for a satin finish, maybe poly?

I like the idea of the danish oil's finish soaking into the wood.....Looking for ideas from more experienced builders.  I like the raw colors and the natural tints of the woods so I'd like to enhance the grain but I'm not looking to darken the woods.  What would you do and why?  

Fretboard:  Lemon oil, Olive oil, Danish oil, Tung oil, tru oil?

Maple Neck:  Danish oil with poly coat, Tung oil buffed a little, tru oil?

Thanks!

Al

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Welcome to the addiction!  This topic comes up and gets recycled from time to time.  If you go in the search box and type "Wood Finishes"  you will get a dozen or so threads with many opinions.

Me?  I've used Boiled Linseed Oil, Danish Oil, Tru Oil, Lacquer, but not Tung...

Linseed IMHO is great for my hardwood fretboards, but in the Luthier world linseed is loved or hated, and there are many polarizing and heated discussions on the subject. I often linseed my fretboards, and if done post-fretting, the frets just need some cleaning...

Lots of people here use various finishes.  Personally, I like the feel of wood, so a single coat of linseed oil on the neck is great for me.  Danish oil performs similarly (and contains linseed oil).  Tru Oil, as I understand it, will build up a finish if you want something deep and shiny.

Again, do some searching, and read some old posts.  There are a lot of great builders here, and I never stop learning...

OH:  Heed the warning on oil finishes:  DON'T leave your rags lying about, you might wake up to a fire...  I have a metal paint can for my oiled rags, and it goes outside for a couple of days just to be sure.   I've seen charred rags that were used with Linseed oil and left outside . . 

I use teak oil. 5 coats, paint on wait 30 minutes rub off. Seems to work good.

I love Danish oil, easy, little goes a long way, feels nice, not sticky, comes in colors or natural.

Grape seed oil is another choice. It is a very light oil and great for a fretboard.

Me too....

OH:  Heed the warning on oil finishes:  DON'T leave your rags lying about, you might wake up to a fire...  I have a metal paint can for my oiled rags, and it goes outside for a couple of days just to be sure.   I've seen charred rags that were used with Linseed oil and left outside .???

rags don't just burst into flames with outside sources.

      John you are absolutely right. Take a rag with this stuff on it and put it on a concrete driveway where it will be no chance of fire spreading and try it if you doubt him. That sucker will be smoking in a few minutes, if it is warm. It doesn't just have to be oil either. I set a dumpster on fire one time by taking the cardboard filters out of a spray booth that had nothing but lacquer based stuff on it. It is a little coarser than baby powder after about a  month of accumulation. Had done it before many times, but when the lids were closed,padlocked, and drug out into the sun in Alabama in July. it spontaneously combusted. I definitely got a phone call on that one.

BH........the Alabama sun in July could spontaneously combust just about anything lol......great for "baked on finish" ;)

I use wipe on poly,satin, I usually put 3 coats. I use Danish oil on my woodcarvings but boy do they smell for a long time. I don' t know what Grape seed oil is.....

I realize that it will probably be a try & see process as most things are for everyone.

As I'm new, I'm looking for something on the easier side to apply.  I think I'm gonna go with the Danish oil for now and make sure I put on thin coats.  I still have some spray poly that I'll use up if I want to add after the oil.  After the poly's gone, I'll probably try tru oil.  Then again, who knows!

Also, rest assured, I always soak my used shop towels/rags in water and leave outside in a can.  Learned that years ago with gun solvents.

Thanks for all the replies!  I like to see what other's M.O. is.

Al

Man you are looking good so far. I have never used anything but poly on my gits,so I feel I am not qualified to answer your question. That being said, I do intend to use penetrating oil type finish on a batch. Personally I think you are O.K. with the frets in there if you plan to use penetrating oil finish. It will be a problem as you are going to have to apply cross grain because of the frets. There again I defer to those who have used this stuff. This vid is what convinced me what to try. I like the look of the tru oil,but you can make your own choice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDiN9TCZkHk

Apparently truth in advertising requires manufacturers to label products as "... oil" or "... oil finish". A "finish" has some small amount of varnish mixed into the oil and may give a slightly harder, shinier result, although it soaks in with the oil and "varnishes from the inside out"--leaving the wood with a more natural feel than with a coat of varnish on the surface.

I've developed a fondness for Minwax Antique Oil Finish (in the red cans.) It isn't available at Lowe's or H Depot, but I find it at upscale hardware stores on the expensive side of town. Apparently it's the weapon of choice for perking up grannie's expensive antique table every 20 years. It has enough varnish to give a good shine, but you still feel the wood grain. I use it on instruments and on more valuable furniture.

For a quick and dirty on cheaper furniture, I like Minwax Wipe-on Poly to leave a shiny film on the surface.

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