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a question about gunstock oil on a neck...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by joebar, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    i bought a beautiful used SR5 yesterday. the previous owner slathered on too much tru-oil gunstock finish on the neck and fingerboard. it feels a little sticky and overly shiny on the board. he was a little over-zealous and sloppy with the application. he had just done it yesterday too.
    my friend told me that it wasn`t a huge deal and could be rectified with a little elbow grease.
    i want to be sure, so any advice would be appreciated as to how to remove it safely.
    this is a truly beautiful instrument.
  2. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Yup, elbow grease and lots of it... Grab some old rags and get to it. When you are done, do it a little more.
  3. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    yeah-wiping isn`t making a difference; a fellow TBer suggested 0000 steel wool; it also recommends that on the bottle of the oil. would that be acceptable or too abrasive?
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Check the label (online) I suspect that mineral spirits would help cut it, too - and they won't hurt the wood.
  5. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    MANY times a person can't find the ingredients of a product. IF that's the case, look up what is known as the "MSDS" for a product you are going to use on your Bass. For instance, Google, "MSDS (product name)", that way you can be sure of whatever you want to be sure of.
  6. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    First of all, make sure that the oil is dry. I'm assuming that the product in question is Tru-Oil or something like it. It has to be dry to sand or buff. If it is applied in a thick coat it takes a long time, as in a day or two, to dry. Thin, light coats take two to four hours. So, if it seems like the oil is on really thick give it time to dry. Someone suggested mineral spirits to remove the oil and I agree if the neck is maple. However, for the fingerboard I suggest buffing it with the fine steel wool to buff it out especially if it is rosewood. It will probably look really pretty. Tru-Oil is great for dark woods but not so much for light woods and their are certainly better oils for a maple neck. If you hate the oil on the fingerboard then sand it off with some fine grit sand paper.

    By the way. I'm not talking out of my ass here. Just last week I applied around 10 coats of Tru-Oil to the rosewood fingerboard of my fretless J bass. It darkens the wood and really makes the grain pop. It's the second bass I've done it too. It's a really easy process as well. PM me if you want to know how I did it.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'd be using mineral oil while the Tru-Oil is sticky...after it dries it's really tough stuff. Also, IIRC you can use 0000 steel wool on Tru-Oil between coats just to smooth the finish.

    BTW - I have no idea what an "SR5" is...what brand? Google searching turns up the Prominy SR5 Rock Bass (software).
  8. 49sfine


    Apr 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I refinish Wishbasses as a hobby and have some small experience with both Tru-Oil and Tung Oil. I NEVER use either one on a fingerboard or fretboard. Necks and bodies are fine, but not the FB! Fingerboards should be able to breathe, so to speak and should receive some kind of actual oil that will more soak into the grain, not lay on top of the wood. There are plenty of board oils available from suppliers like StewMac for example, and these need to be applied lightly, and evenly, leaving no puddles or areas that are heavier than others. (I like to apply the oil to my rag, not directly to the wood and spread as needed.) The secret to a good board is to level it properly and once radiused, fine sand out to the point where it gets 'beyond smooth' (like 6000 grit or more). I take mine out from 80 grit to 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1200, 2000 and so long on. By the time you are done, the wood is actually polished and feels like glass. I avoid any product that lays on top of the surface of the wood and thus can be rubbed off from contact with the strings. BTW, Tru-Oil can be cut easily enough with denatured alcohol and a good rubbing.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents!
  9. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    musicman stingray 5
  10. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles

    Honestly though, if you're only oiling the board afterwards, the moment you start playing on it, that 6000 job is gone in an instant. I mean if you touch it with your finger you're probably gonna ruin it. Why bother?
  11. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    thx for all the input folks; i have taken some 0000 steel wool to the neck and so far i am pleased with the results. i may do another coat as some people have said it may take 2-3 days to fully cure before sanding. after seeing how heavy he applied it, i think it is probably not fully dry...
    as far as the fingerboard, well... i am on the fence. i amy leave it but i hate the shine.
    the guy didn`t feel like he was doing anything wrong; he really believed that what he did was a good thing to the neck and fretboard.
  12. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'm in the process of a refin on a SUB Sterling's neck. Tru Oil is my only go-to for this. I've redone several necks and I'll shoot some advice about it...

    1) Thick coats of it are stupid. It only dries well in thin coats. If you get a drip, just steel wool it smooth and re-apply in thin layers.

    2) It's hard to screw up so bad that you're going to ruin anything. A beefier steel wool grade (00) will remove it back to wood and you can always start again.

    3) If you apply enough coats, you can buff it as shiny as poly. Fine sandpaper, a good polish (Flitz or Mother's Billet Polish), and a lot of elbow grease can perform miracles.

    Good luck with the project!

    EDIT: Here's the finished neck in a satin finish.


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