Black korina; Fill grain or not?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Motoboy, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. I just got a (BEAUTIFUL) black korina body from Warmoth. I've done the searches and see conflicting opinions about filling the grain. I love the way this body looks and will apply Tru-Oil to seal it.

    What are the benefits/drawbacks to filling the grain or not? With filler or just tru-oil? And if filling the grain is suggested, what should I use to keep the appearance of the wood the same? I know the oil will darken the wood some and that'll look sweet!


    (And by the way, in case anybody cares I finished the Saga kit. It looks great, but the electrics don't work, and the saddle screws stripped, preventing any sort of set-up. It was a fun learning project, but it's only value is about $25 as a decoration at Applebee's... :meh: )
  2. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I don't see a need in filling the grain.

    Also, I wonder why you never see basses on display at Applebee's or Ruby Tuesday. It's always a Strat with screws through the body and headstock.
  3. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    For an oil finish, I would suggest the following for the best results. This is not my process, I found it online from a custom furniture builder John Paquay and it produces fantastic results. His original process can be found at:

    Here is an abbreviated version of the process that I use.

    - Block sand the wood to 240 grit. Wipe down with a tack rag

    - Apply the oil for about 30 minutes with one of those cheapy sponge foam brushes. Keep going over and over the wood to allow the oil to really soak it. Allow to dry (overnight to 2 days probably)

    - Apply more oil with a cheapy foam brush to the wood. Using 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper, wet sand the oil into the wood paying particular attention to the end grain. Keep applying oil to keep the wood wet. You're going to build a "slurry" of oil and wood dust that will fill the grain and keep the natural look of the wood. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes or so, then wipe off the excess.

    - Allow to dry, may take several days.

    - Repeat the above with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper if desired.

    - Allow to dry, will take several days.

    - Using Watco Satin Finishing wax, wet sand the wood with the wax using 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Allow to dry

    - Apply two coats of Howards "Feed-N-Wax" as directed on the bottle (or use any natural bees wax, caranuba wax, etc. just nothing with silicon)

  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Kahuna I have seen you post this before but you included the part about being sure you don't have light and dark woods together because you will bleed into each other.....t

  5. I've done this method and the results were really nice. Do you have any suggestions to make the contours easier to do? Flat surfaces are not hard but the curves at the horns can be a bit tricky.

  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I've have very little to any problems with the oil / wood dust from the combination of light and dark woods so far.

    As far as the edges, I use a hard EVA foam sanding block
    (bought at an automotive paint supply store) on the flat surfaces, but on the round edges I do those with my hand to allow the sandpaper to mould to the shape a bit better and I don't use quite as much pressure.