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Bocote finish???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mikgag, Sep 13, 2002.


  1. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002
    I'm making an electric bass with an Ash core and a bookmatched Bocote top. What would be the best finish? I've read that Bocote finishes best with a wax. Would a waterbourne lacquer work or should I use tung-oil, shellac or something else??
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Bocote has open pores, so it has to be filled if you want to spray it. It takes a nice polish though, and tung oil followed by paste wax works well with bocote.
     
  3. DP Custom

    DP Custom DP Custom Basses

    Feb 7, 2001
    NC, USA
    Being a relative of cocobolo, kingwood, and others with a high resin content, you may have problems getting a tung oil or similar finish to dry thoroughly..

    tho lacquer may work, I'm not convinced of it's long term adhesion to such woods...

    You may try just a very fine sanding & then a hard paste-wax finish would work best.

    good luck

    Dave P.
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Actually, bocote is a cordia, the rosewoods are dalbergia.

    Nevertheless, Dave's right. The stuff can be a pain. My neighbor didn't like the way that bocote glued or took a spray finish. This guy is an acoustic builder.

    Personally, I found bocote took tung oil fine and glued fine as long as the surfaces were clean.
     
  5. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002
    Actually, I've since read many good things about Tru-oil gunstock finish. Anybody ever use it????
     
  6. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Did you build this bass? Would love to see it or any others with bocote tops. Beautiful wood. Hard to finish. Glad I let Warmoth clear coat mine.

    full front.jpg
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
  8. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Very beautiful!! I usually check google images when selecting what woods and hardware to put together - to get a feel for what looks good together. Had not seen those before. Very few bocote tops out there it seems. I almost started a new show-and-tell thread but resurrected this one instead.

    Mine has a gloss finish, so I can't tell what the grain is like. Is it as coarse as it looks? Seems like it's almost as rugged/textured as ash. How is the feel with an oil finish?
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Its texture is like rosewood. Ash looks like it does because it is ring porous and the early wood has the huge open grain. These tropical woods have a growing season that is 365 days so the texture is more consistent. Variegation is not from growing season. The pores do give it texture with an oil finish but I don't mind that. Not quite as much texture as wenge. It varies from very dark and oily like #1133 on my site to lighter in color like yours. I think there might be a couple of cordia species that are sold as bocote that are all very similar. It's all very easy on the eyes. Good looking bass!
     
    Doner Designs likes this.
  10. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Thanks. That's interesting and I guess I'll get to experience it since I have a flame maple neck on order with a bocote fingerboard. Briefly considered special ordering an all bocote neck for the bass I posted, but it was going to be crazy expensive (and heavy too probably).
     
  11. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Yep, have used it as a fingerboard, too. It is great in that application. Should look really nice.