TruOil over dyed veneer and other woods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Adam Harzuf, Dec 6, 2012.


  1. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

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    Hi,
    This will be my first attemt with a bass body. It will be a hollowbody mahogany bass with acoustic guitar Western Red Cedar soundboards, however, the top will be covered by a pepperwood burl veneer. I'll also add white binding on the top's contour.

    I don't have a dust controlled environmet here so I figured that cotton applied TruOil will be the easiest, fool-proof way of doing this.

    I wish to really enhance the depth and contrast of the grain using dyes without going too far away from the original color of the wood, and to reach a moderatly glossy smooth finish with TrueOil.
    Correct me if my thinking is wrong.

    I really liked the way this guy uses the amber and black dyes to enhance the grain, but don't know how it will work with the woods I'm using.

    I'm a bit confused about pores filling and sealing in this process.
    Your advice about filler, sealer, which dyes to use and how is required, and the order of application of this whole process.

    Forgive me, as my main language is not Enlish and I'm efforting myself to understand both a totaly new process and confusing terms in English.
     

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  2. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

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  3. Arnie

    Arnie

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    How I did mine in regards to a filling/sanding finish.. I applied a liberal amount of true oil and pushed the oil INTO the grain in circular motions with 600 grit sandpaper. The oil turned cloudy and that became the filler ( I guess) it dried sanded with 0000 steel wool and then started applying traditional coats with soft cotton strips.

    I am not sure how a veneer would take on oil so I can't answer to that!
     
  4. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

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    Which wood did you use (does it have open pores?) and did you reach a smooth finish ?

    Can I apply dye after a layer of TruOil?
     
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  6. Konquest

    Konquest

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    There won't be much of a need to enhance any grain with dyes, especially with that beautiful burl veneer you're using. After you press the veneer to the substrate, it is likely that you will have some imperfections: tiny cracks, holes, glue that seeped through the pores. This is especially common with burl veneers as the grain is swirling in many directions.

    I would NOT do a sanded-in oil finish on a veneered top. Since it is so thin, you need protection against scratches. I'd reserve the sanded-in oil finishes for solid wood that would be repairable.

    If you are looking to fill the pores, I would use coats of dewaxed shellac (Thin down Zinsser Seal Coat with denatured alcohol) with sanding in between coats until it was glass smooth, and then apply your wipe on finish. Another option would be something like squeegeeing on some epoxy to fill the pores in the veneer.
     
  7. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

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    Konquest,
    I still wish to reach the best possible contrast and depth, if dye could help that's great. Also, as I looked into examples of build, it always seems that different tinted layers adds depth that it apparent when the wood is looked at at different angles.

    If you think it's realy unneccesary, I'll drop it.. But if not, I prefer do it in the best way possible!

    I assume that if I want to fill the pores with shellac and add water based dye on top, the shellac should be water based as well?

    Do you meam regular epoxy (mix of glue and hardener)?
    Can it take dye on top?
     
  8. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

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    Dye first, then oil. If you oil first, the dye will not penetrate evenly, if it penetrates at all.

    Just make sure the veneer is completely dry before you apply the oil. Use an alcohol-based dye to avoid grain-lifting issues, or a water-based dye for greater color-fastness.

    Since you are looking to enhance grain, not drastically change the color of the wood, an alcohol-based dye would work just fine. Denatured Alcohol would work well.

    Many dyes, such as transtint, work with alcohol and water just fine.
     
  9. Konquest

    Konquest

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    Here's the problem: the multi-step dye process involves dyeing, sanding off, dyeing again, sanding again, etc. You don't have much to sand if it is 1/32" thick. Also, the veneer is going to soak up the dye differently than solid wood. Whereas a thicker piece would absorb the color deeper into the softer areas (curly figure) to "pop" the grain when sanded off, the veneer would probably soak it all in.
     
  10. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

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    ^^That's true. Hmm.....
     
  11. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

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    So, I'll have to keep the dye layers to a minimum and very bright colored. Maybe I'll experiment just with one or two layers of alcohol based amber dye and compare.
    Then carfully sand it with finest paper that won't clog and go up to about 400?

    But what filler should I use before the dye? (I assume it's before the dye)

    Thank you!
     

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