Guitar Making and Repair/Oily hands


Hey!!  I've been using Magnesium Oil (Magnesium Chloride) as a supplement by spraying it directly on my actually works great to increase your magnesium levels.  However when I use it it seems to leave this filmy almost sticky feeling on hands/fingers.  Even after I wash my hands, my fingers feel a little bit slick.  If the oil is not totally being washed off, is there a chance that it could be damaging the guitar wood or strings?  I'm a little paranoid about it...I appreciate the advice!!

You have won my award for the most esoteric question asked in the last few years!

Here's my take on it:

Since the magnesium can pass from outside the body to be absorbed through the skin barrier, I would think that any magnesium not absorbed and metabolized could also cross through the skin the other way.

Of course, on unfinished wood you would eventually see a darkening of the wood in the contact area. On finished wood, however, you should just check once in awhile that the oil is not having an adverse effect. This would show up as stickiness in the finish, which you can catch in time if you are observant.

In terms of an unfinished wood fretboard, if you see darkening from the oil on your fingertips, just wipe the entire fret board down with some Dr. Stringfellow's Lem-Oil, which should render all of the wood the same shade, and can be wiped and polished so it looks and smells good. Use a soft cotton cloth.


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paul wilczynski


Anything concerning building, tuning, theory of construction. Specialist in finishing (40 years' experience); extensive knowledge of Rickenbacker instruments of all vintages. Rickenbacker factory connection on personal level; ONLY licensed Rickenbacker luthier in the world.


Extensive. I build and restore electric and acoustic guitars (steel string and nylon classicals). I build all of Rickenbacker's acoustic instruments in my own shops in San Francisco and Healdsburg, CA. I write two online columns with a total of over 15,000 posts since January, 2005. Google my name or my screen name, "jingle_jangle".

American Guild of Luthiers.

Mostly automotive and hobby (in the past).

Manage the University Department workshops(Industrial Design) in SF, also have taught and written design and fabrication classes for almost a decade. Have produced online classes, written curricula, syllabi, etc. Run an online forum for my students (500 in number).

Awards and Honors
Awards won for product, vehicle, and preschool toy design in the past.

Past/Present Clients
Rickenbacker International Corporation, Waterstone Guitars LLC, many Fortune 500 companies before I worked in guitars (I ran a design studio for 22 years). I have hundreds of individual--private party--customers.

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