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Best woods for oil finishes?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by philthygeezer, May 24, 2004.

  1. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    Could you comment on which tone woods look and work best with an oil finish?

    I have a yen to do up a body with Tru-Oil or Tung oil, and would like to know which woods would work best with which oil.

    Thanks much!
  2. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    Looking for beauty and durability. Tone is a lesser consideration as many more variables can affect that.
  3. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    Alder is my all time favorite, it's a great tone wood, and it's easy to get a great oil finish. For something that sounds, and looks superb, try a slab of burled Myrtle. Gallery Hardwoods may have what you need.

    H2 :cool:
  4. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    Walnut is pretty coll with oil, as is just about any figured wood.
  5. Dittos on the Walnut - just about any figure of any type looks great under oil

    I would suggest Tru-Oil. This is a modified oil (not even sure it's a linseed) that has some super dryers and hardeners added to it. Application with 0000 steel wool will make a very nice, durable and, ultimately, repairable finish. You can even spray the top coats to achieve lacquer like results.
  6. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I've recently ordered a Black Korina body, & hear it does really well w/ a Tung Oil finish. I do have a question regarding this, however.

    Would you still fill the grain on a body, you were planning an oil finish for? Also, Once I've applied a few coats of the tung oil, will it be possible to get a Nitrocellulose finish to adhere to it?
  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I'm in Ohio, so I called Stew Mac... They're pretty sure I'd have adherance problems, getting nitro to stick to a body that'd been rubbed w/ Tung Oil....

    I stopped over at ReRanch, & checked out what they had to say. Saw where a guy, applied the Tung Oil, w/ 400 grit sandpaper, to create a slurry effect, & it helps to fill the grain naturally. Then, it dries in that way... Sounds interesting.

    I just wanna see what my blank looks like, as this is driving me nutso! I may just use Stew Mac's black tinted grain filler & clear nitro it...
  8. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I 'm finishing up a black korina body capped with burled myrtle.
    I'll be using Formby's semi gloss tung oil. Ill start with 320 wet/dry, then 400 w/d, 600 w/d......untill I reach 1200 grit. I basically work the oil in while sanding...........kind of like "wet sanding". Turns out like a dull mirror like finish. I have never used myrtle or korina, I have heard great things about the tonal qualities of black limba, or korina. I was also told by Gallery Hardwoods, that myrtle makes a great neck blank, especially when laminated with wenge; that will be the next project.

    peace, stevO
  9. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    Mostly because I've half toyed w/ the idea of ordering a myrtle burl top from Gallery to glue to my Dinky J.

    Might I ask you to post some pics as soon as possible... I'm really curious.
  10. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    McHack...I won't be done anytime soon, but I'll try to email you a pic of my blanks.

  11. I made a bass with a black limba body and I put a base coat of ultra blond shellac and tung oil over that. It came out great. I used some pumice while applying the shellac and the pores filled in very nicely. The end result doesn't show the porous nature of the wood which looks horrible with just tung oil IMO. Its also a relatively shiny finish.
  12. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Some of my favorites:

    Purple heart