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Decals and Tung Oil

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by GrooveWarrior, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. My question is, with the decals you can print on your printer, can you put tung oil over them, or do you need to spray them? I would like to do tung oil on the front of the headstock, but didn't know if it would go over the decal or not.
  2. There are two types you print at home - waterslide decals and pressure sensitive type. Waterslide needs a smooth surface to get the best adhesion and not show any bubbles underneath. It's best to get some finish down first before putting a waterslide on. A pressure sensitive can go on raw wood without much problem at all. The adhesive is much thicker and it sort of fills the small voids that would appear as bubbles under a waterslide. Both types need to be sealed in for longevity and best appearance. I use oil all the time (TruOil - never plain tung oil) and I build up the oil finish to the point that it could be a complete finish on it's own but then I do a catalyzed acrylic poly clearcoat over that. That seals in the decals so you can't see their edges and they appear like the professional versions.
  3. Hambone, I know that I have read that you are a big fan of the Tru-oil, but I can't seem to find a thread that talks about the difference and pros and cons between Tru-oil and tung oil. Can you re-cap for me a little?
  4. TruOil is a polymerized linseed oil that is specially formulated with additional driers and hardeners to be used as a protective (from moisture, not impact) coating for gunstocks. It builds up to a full, thick film and can be polished like lacquer. Tung oil is simply that, an oil that is used as a topical wipe on finish. It repels some water but it doesn't seal the wood. It also doesn't harden like TruOil. There are tung oil "finishes" like Formby's that are modified with driers and hardeners and these aren't too terrible as finishes but they don't do as well as the TO. BTW, "polymerization" is the process whereby the short molecule chains of the raw oils are linked into longer and stronger chains of polymers by the use of heat. Polymerization is converting the oil to more of a plastic like substance.