Fingerboard Oil

1 April 2008

One difference between the old and new lacquers is that the new 2007 compliant lacquer is less tolerant of the lemon oil I used on fingerboards for many years (see my news item 11 July 2006). If overspill isn’t quickly wiped off the new lacquer, it can mark it permanently.

I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement ever since, trying various nut and vegetable oils. Fingerboard oil should ideally waterproof the fretboard without completely permeating it, should leave a pleasant matt gloss, and should not damage lacquer at all.

I’ve recently come across ‘Squirroil’, an exotic (and unfortunately expensive) oil which fits the bill perfectly. Made from the scent glands of grey squirrels, it is both inert and completely non toxic. It is also environmentally friendly in that it is a completely recycled product; grey squirrel carcases (culled because of their threat to native UK red squirrels) would otherwise be incinerated.

Squirroil is available from 5oz and 20 oz bottles. It can also be obtained from Martin Simpson’s product range at