tolex over tung oil? amp covering advice sought

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by yodedude2, Jun 16, 2012.


  1. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    rio grande valley, texas
    hi y'all, i'm reviving a basket-case fender silverface amp head. it came to me tolex-less.

    i have the outside sanded down to bare wood. ugly, it is. i plan to finish it with tung oil. however, i don't want to do anything to it that precludes a future restoration. so my questions are:

    can an amp head that's finished in tung oil be recovered in tolex in the future? would the tung oil finish somehow keep the tolex from adhering to the amp head? is there some other issue of which i should be aware?

    thanks much y'all.
  2. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    Generally speaking any oil will interfere with most glues used to hold Tolex on so I would think Tung oil is a bad idea if you are even thinking of re-Tolexing it later...
  3. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Why not sand the finish off?
  4. R Baer

    R Baer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Disclosures:
    President, Baer Amplification
    Oil and glue seldom play nice together.
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  6. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    You could but keep in mind tung oil usually goes at least 1/8" deep into the wood fibers. If it is real dry wood it can go deeper.
  7. Dean N

    Dean N

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Take your time, figure out which finish you prefer, and commit to it. Gluing over oil (or pretty much anything that isn't bare wood) is a recipe for disaster.
  8. FatherG

    FatherG

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    If you want to have the best of both worlds, give it the absolute best sanding you can and then spray a varithane finish on it that can be sanded again if you decide to tolex it.
  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    rio grande valley, texas
    thanks for the good advice, everyone! looks like the tung oil is out.

    the head is a '74 bandmaster reverb. it works just fine but is cosmetically challenged. i'm working to clear the grunge and do some simple maintenance and cosmetic repair with materials i have on hand. my limited skills do not include re-tolexing, so the next owner will have the choice of doing that or not.

    i don't see much use in it as a bass amp, so i doubt i'll have it for very long. we shall see; i'll give it a fair shot once i have it all pinned back together. thanks again!
  10. John D

    John D Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    If you want a natural finish, why not build (or have a cabinet shop build) a case out of some nice furniture grade wood? This wouldn't be terribly expensive,and it would look much better than the plain pine box that Fender used. Moreover, you could save the original box for someone else to restore later.

    Edit: Better yet, if you have a woodworker friend, get him to teach you how to build your own box. That way, you can enjoy the feeling of pride that comes from doing it yourself.
  11. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    Tung oil, like Linseed oil, actually dries completely to a hard finish. It doesn't remain 'oily.' Hit it with 220 sandpaper and you can paint over it. Not a problem.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Perhaps the best advice is to try this on a test piece of lumber as I can see all of the above scenarios as being possible.
    Tung oil and let it dry for a week.
    Then some adhesive and a piece of scrap Tolex.

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