Tru-oil help!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dredmahawkus, Feb 24, 2013.


  1. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

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    Ok I am about to do a neck in tru-oil. I have never done anything with wood before.....So I kinda have no idea what to expect doing this. ok now I cant grasp this at all planning this out in my head. I am going to sand the neck down and apply a coat of tru-oil. THEN after it drys I am going to westsand with tru-oil. now Its supposed to make a paste with the dust and oil combo...I then kinda smear that in against the grain to fill the pores.....now my question is and I cant find the answer anywhere!!!! do I let it dry with all the smudged pasty oil all over the neck? then just wetsand it out after it drys? wont that ruin the finish? wont the paste harden so I wont be able to see the grain anymore? or do I wipe off the paste after? does it sand out if it looks all smudged?

    again sorry for my stupidness I have never finished anything! And I cant get this thought out of my head its driving me insane!
    My neck should be here in a couple days and I have to have this all figured out before I start. I have found a million vids and posts about how to apply...and I have a really good idea on what to do. I just dont understand since tru-oil drys so fast and hard what all that wood fill sanding paste is going to do to it. I dont want to ruin it!
     
  2. Shanebo

    Shanebo

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    I have used Tru-oil several times--three gun stocks and one bass. All have turned out very nice.

    Don't over think it for starters. Just like any finish application, the amount and quality of prep you do before applying any finish will determine the outcome, to a very large degree.

    After you've sanded to taste (really make sure the surface is uniform everywhere, I take it out to at least 400 grit--800 is better), the surface should be ready for Tru-oil. I don't try to wet-sand anything after starting to apply finish, rather, if I notice a place that didn't get sanded enough, I just sand it when dry and the finish catches back up on the next coat.

    Tru-oil does tack up rather quickly, so I try not to mess with it while wet at all. Between coats I'll hit it with fine steel wool to knock down the shine a bit, and to make sure that the low spots (pores) can catch up.

    Birchwood Casey makes another product called Stock Sheen and Conditioner that I used on the bass neck after all coats were applied and dry. It's kind of like a polishing compound that you just rub in with a clean cloth until it dries out, then wipe/buff out by hand. It gives a satin feel and smoothness, minimizing/eliminating any dust particles that landed on your project while wet.

    The polishing compound is nice for me on the bass because if the shine is too high, it tends to feel sticky to me. Something about how our fingers tend to tack on to high gloss surfaces.

    I use cheesecloth to apply the Tru-oil, thinly in several coats. Depending on the species/hardness of the wood(s), it will begin to really shine up within a few coats.

    It's no big deal to re-sand whatever problem areas you see in the first coat or two and get back to finishing. It's best to support the piece in such a way that you can apply finish without having to move it at all while wet. One side at a time usually doesn't cause any issue as long as you blend the edges each time.

    Here's a picture or two of the latest job:

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    All the best,

    Shane
     
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    1) Read the directions.

    2) Follow the directions.

    Tru-Oil is easy to use. The only question is how many coats you use. That's up to you.
     
  4. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging! Supporting Member

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    There's some rudimentary information about oil finishes in the link, below, that might be helpful to you. Good luck!
     
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  6. kentiki

    kentiki

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  7. Quatzu

    Quatzu

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    I just did my first body using tru oil. It was surprisingly easy, but I did not do any wet-sanding. I imagine that gets way too complicated. After perfect sanding, of course, I simply rubbed very thin coats on with some very soft clean cotton rags (i bought a ten pack of rags made from "t-shirt material"). After about every two coats, I did some light rubbing with very fine steel wool, just to knock out some of the inconsistencies (I had some hairs, dust, etc. because I actually dropped the damn thing once!)

    Also, there were some spots I discovered after the first coat that weren't sanded as well as they should have been. I simply re-sanded those spots and applied more coats. It blended perfectly and easily.

    I think I put my last coat on last night, as I'm very satisfied with the look. The last step will be to hit it again with the steel wool, and apply a lemon oil finisher, but I'm going to let it dry for another week first.

    It was my first time doing this, and it was super easy, but again, I did no wet-sanding. There are tons of tutorials out there and they all differ. Here is the one I followed closest:

    http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/TruOil.htm

    Good luck!
     
  8. punkrocko

    punkrocko Supporting Member

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    What type of wood is the neck made of? The “slurry” method you’ve described is used on porous woods, like mahogany or walnut. A maple neck would not require grain filling.

    To answer your question;
    The wet sanding “slurry” is best done first, before a finish coat. You will want to let the slurry dry completely, then re-sand the neck. This will remove all the slurry except what is in the grain pores. You may need to do this a few times to completely grain fill the wood. Once filled and flat, you will proceed with the normal Tru Oil finish schedule.
     
  9. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    This.

    If you have a maple neck, don't bother with the slurry step.

    Just take your time and don't try to apply too much at once. By the time you get your first coat on, you will have a good grasp on the process.

    Don't try to slop it on and spread it out. Just go slow until you've got a handle on things, and if you feel the cloth sticking, you need more oil.

    TruOil is one of the most forgiving finishes you can use.
     
  10. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

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    thanks for the answers everyone!

    its bubinga so I have to wetsand!

    so I just let t he slurry dry on the neck then sand it off the next day? or kinda wipe it off as I go? I am going to have to do small sections at a time since this stuff drys so quick.
     
  11. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

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    oh one more thing.....since I am wetsanding is it ok to tape off the fretboard? like the oil and tape wont turn into glue and ruin the fretboard will it? using the blue mark off masking tape.

    and after I drysand the day befores wetsand do I wipe it all down with a damp rag? or should I use alchohol? then wetsand again? or start to build the finish.....how do I prep for starting the finish after wetsanding and drysanding. I saw lighter fluid on there somewhere. should I get some? I have a compressor and a blowgun I can blow it all off.....I guess the answer is will water get stuck under the finish if I wipe it off with a damp rag?
     
  12. punkrocko

    punkrocko Supporting Member

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    Bubinga may not be the best wood for the slurry method. Its pores are tight enough, the Tru oil alone may provide adequate fill. Are you going for a super high gloss look? The best advice I could give, would be to get a scrap of bubinga at the hardwood store or online, to practice on.

    To answer your questions;
    I’ve found it’s best to leave the slurry on thick to dry. If you try to remove it when wet, it will be pulled out of the pores.

    Yes, you should tape off the fretboard. I would recommend removing and reapplying the tape after each coat. I’ve had times when the oil seeped under the tape and made a gooey mess. If you can, address that and get ahead of it before it gets messy.

    Finally, I’ve had good luck using tack clothes to clean up sanding dust between coats. I would stay away from using any liquids until after the slurry fill is complete, and the neck is fully sealed with finish.
     
  13. Quatzu

    Quatzu

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    Tack cloths. Forgot to mention this. Very very useful.
     
  14. punkrocko

    punkrocko Supporting Member

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    Let me correct myself, it probably would be best to apply an initial finish coat before starting the slurry fill. Sorry, my memory was fading.
     
  15. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

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    yeah I was going for that like 20 layer high gloss EBMM look.

    I am off to the hardware store to get tack cloths! and some blue tape. I will ask if they have any bubinga but I doubt it! I would like to practice today before my neck comes in wednesday.

    the fingerboard is bubinga as well but I was going to leave that raw and just use some fret doctor on it.
     
  16. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    It's worth mention this:

    Be careful with disposal of your applicator rags. Lay them out flat to dry before throwing out. TruOil produces heat as it cures and wadded up rags CAN spontaneously combust.
     

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