A question for those that finish with oil products.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    What do you apply it with? I keep getting fibers in the finish. What tricks do you guys have?..........t
  2. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Would newspaper work?
  3. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I have used old tshirts, ones that have been washed many times, so that no more fibers come loose.

    I have also had success with industrial grade paper towels. (the blue kind that come in huge boxes)
  4. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    I have been using polymerized tung oil from lee valley:
    I apply the oil with a brush ( chinese bristle brushes are excelent) and then rub the finish down by hand.
    Here is the step by step process:
    1. sand the bare wood to 350 grit. sanding finer can burnish the wood and hamper the oil from soaking in as well.
    2. apply 3 heavy coats ( allow a day between coats ) of low-gloss tung oil: these are for the main purpose of soaking into the wood. once these coats are dry sand the whole instrument down to 1500 grit.
    3. finnishing coats: I use a mixture of lee valley's high gloss and low gloss PTO -- about 50/50. using a brush, I apply the lightest coat of oil possible-- that is, I dip the brush in the oil and then get as much of the oil out by running the brush against the edge of the jar. Then I cover as much surface area as possible with that tiny amount of oil. ( I usually do the whole front of a bass with 1 dip of the brush.) Once the surface is completely coated, I start rubbing the wood by hand. I rub my hand back and forth on my pants or something, to get the surface of my palm warm. Then I litteraly smack the guitar face- bringing my warm palm down on the oil. then I will rub the area briskly, the friction keeping the whole area warm. I reapeat the process for each area until the whole instrument has been smacked up and rubbed down. The idea behind this is that the added heat and pressure causes the oil to "set up" faster- almost instantaniously, in fact - which will lead to a smoother finish. Also the surface of the human hand ( at least my hand )is probably the equivalent of 2000 grit sandpaper, so rubbing the finish is like wet-sanding with the aforementioned (ha!) paper.
    This seems like a really strange method and I thought so too, but it yields great results. The idea is from an article I read in Woodsmith, a woodworker's periodical. I'm not sure which issue it was ( I am currently loaning it to a friend ) but I will let you all know when I get it back... perhaps it could be found online. The article was an interview with a fellow who produced PTO, and this is what he suggested.

    Hopefully this is of some help... Its a rather long explaination but that is what I use to apply my oil finish... a brush and a warm hand!
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    very interesting..t
  6. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    I use the lee valley stuff too. I just use old, well washed white cotten t-shirts. I sand to at least 600, apply with t-shirt, leave on for 5-10 min, wipe of excess vigorously(sp?), then go back periodically(sp?), like in half an hour, then every hour for a few more times to wipe it down some more, quite vigorously, almost buffing the surface. I get great results this way.
  7. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I use cheese cloth.