No pore filling on Ash

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by miziomix, Dec 8, 2013.


  1. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    I am spraying a Northern Ash body with poly. I usually do pore filling after two coats. After the first coat I found myself looking at the pores and thinking that the body looked pretty good without filling. Ash has got such a pretty grain.

    Do you spray Ash without pore filling at all?

    I'm thinking that, to get a good result I should probably spray fewer coats than I usually do for a clear finish. That way pores will not end up filling up unevenly. Then I should be extra careful not to let lacquer dust accumulate inside the pores. Does that make sense? How do you get a good result?

    Thank you!

    M
     
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Nov 17, 2010
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    I've never not grain filled ash, but the last time I sprayed ash was when I was still using nitro. The automotive urethane builds a lot faster than ash, so I think it could work with no grain filling. It might take an extra coat or two and alot more level sanding.
     
  3. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    Jun 25, 2012
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    I had ash in my first two builds and I just did Tru-oil with no grain filling and they turned out fine with a satin finish. I didn't do any sanding between coats, just steel wool or Scotch brite pad and those worked fine. Wouldn't sanding leave shiny spots where the pores are?
     
  4. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Indeed, sanding would leave shiny spots where the pores are. I was thinking of spraying fewer, thin coats of satin. But I am not sure I will do that. I'm still trying to figure out how that could work and I can't afford to respray this bass. I'm due to deliver it to the shop before Christmas. I should probably do some testing on another one.

    Thank you Hopkins and Lisa.
     
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  6. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    I've never sprayed it without filling, but, like some above, I also have done an oil finish with no pore filling. I like the texture a lot.

    Some (perhaps most) people think an open pore wood finished without filling the pores looks amateurish and unprofessional. Some (including myself and, apparently, you) love seeing and feeling the real wood texture.

    For me, what some see as more professional and "finished," is more plasticy. Everyone's tastes are different.
     
  7. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Well said.

    I should try oil finish sometimes. I have so far only used poly. I like the look of both clear and satin finish. My main concern with oil is that, as my basses end up in different climates oil finish might be at times a bit sticky? Or is that a urban legend :eyebrow:
     
  8. Big B.

    Big B.

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    Dec 31, 2007
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    Austin, TX
    I've done a couple of ash instruments without pore filler and it turned out fine. It's just a matter of whether you like the look or not. In both cases I used nitro and buffed it out to a high gloss. Those shiny dots that stand out while you are wet sanding dont even register against the gloss finish.

    The only issue I had was with polishing compound getting stuck in the pores. I use a super fine automotive cutting compound and swirl remover that show up white when dry. If you aren't quick to keep the pores clear it will dry and become very hard to remove.
     
  9. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Bib B, I use a similar super fine polishing compound and I know too well what you mean about it becoming very hard and [DEL]a PITA[/DEL] very hard to remove. Thank you for pointing it out!
     
  10. wcoffey81

    wcoffey81

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    when finishing with satin poly do you start off with gloss and then finish with satin or do you use satin all the way? the reason i am asking is because when finishing woodworking projects the flattening agents in the satin finish can turn things a little milky looking. i started using a full gloss finish until the last couple of coats and then top-coated with the satin to avoid this issue.
    in the bodyshop you could see a slight colorshift when adding a flattening agent to a conventional color or when spraying flattened clear.
     
  11. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Uhm, not exactly.

    There are many different kinds of oil finishes, and some dry much better than others. Plus, the new V.O.C. regs caused a lot of products to be "reformulated," and for some, it meant "ruined." Others are still fine.

    Tung oil, for instance, can be straight, or can be polymerized to varying degrees, and can have varnish included in it. Some companies even make a range of Tung with different levels of polymerization. More means dry faster and harder. Less means soak in more and dry slower.

    I understand raw linseed oil never drys completely, but boiled linseed oil does (never used it myself). Tru-Oil seems to dry pretty hard.

    IOW's, every freaking product is different. :rollno:
     
  12. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    I do exactly the same you do. Clear all the way, satin the last two coats.

    Great. Thank you for sharing. I think I want to give this 'new' Tung oil a try. Any brand you would recommend?
     
  13. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Behlen and Waterlox are two very good companies. I know they both have pure tung oil, but they have a wide range of products. Minwax has a nice Tung Oil "Finish" that also contains varnish - it would be a quicker drying product.

    The Milk Paint Co. sells a pure tung oil for floors - any product for floors has to dry completely and be very durable.
     
  14. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

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  15. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

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    I've also been using Formby's Tung Oil finish. I like it. I think that it's more varnish than oil and it dries fast and hard. It's also easy to apply and low maintenance afterwards. It's easy to find here in the US as well. Not sure if it's available where you're at.
     
  16. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Supporting Member

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    I have used behlen before. It turned out pretty good.

    Before
    [​IMG]

    After
    [​IMG]

    I can only do 2 to 3 coats in a day. I'm not sure whether that is considered fast or slow.


    Harry
     
  17. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    That is one PURTY piece of wood.
     
  18. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

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    NY
    That's a great looking body.What wood is that?
     
  19. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Supporting Member

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    Thanks.

    It is Tasmanian Blackhearted sassafras (not the same as Sassafras in the US)
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Houston Tx

    Its fine as long as its a satin finish. If the grain wasn't filled on a high gloss finish it would look incomplete.
     
  21. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

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    Location:
    NY
    There is some good looking wood downunder.I have a piece of what I belive is sheaok?The pic is in no way repersentitve of the outstanding figure of the wood!

    [​IMG]
     

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