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Finishing a newly built bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by AllYourBass, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. So here the question, What are my options for finishing my newly built guitar?

    What i have is a newly built bass, composed of Maple, Mahogany, and walnut. Neck through body, single cut.
    See the attached picture for more detail.

    I was told the other day that polyurethane could soften from the oil on your hands over some time. So i was wondering what other option i could do. I don't want to paint it, and i want to keep the wood grain. Im basically looking for some type of a clear coat or mostly clear coat but I'm open to all options.

    Also i was wondering what i need to put on the ebony fretboard. I was told that there was a some type of oil to use.

    Any input is appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    It would take quite a lot of playing to impart enough oil into a urethane finish to soften it, but you also have many other CLEAR choices. LACQUER....Nitro or Acryllic.....available in spray cans from Behlens, Rustoleum, Minwax and others. Or you an buy Lacquer for use with spray equipment. Shellac, Varnish, Spar Urethane, Tung Oil, Tru-Oil. All of these are good durable finishes that will last a lifetime, just follow the manufacturers reccommendations for application.

    As for your ebony FB....Lemon Oil, it's the preferred FB conditioner and cleaner by most luthiers I know. You can also use just about any name brand FB cleaner as a substitute if you cannot find Lemon Oil.

    Look at Reranch.com, StewMac.com, LMMI.com for finishes and lemon oil

    Nice looking bass....good luck with it
  3. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    I've been using Tung Oil (not pure) on my current project, and it look awesome on the mahogany. It goes on pretty well, and it's easy, but somewhat time-consuming to build up and wet-sand enough coats for a really rich look.

    All the best,

  4. that bass would look great in a wipe-on polyurethane finish...
    get one that has oils in it (danish)

    first, do a nice sand seal with a thin coat of spray-on nitrocellulose. Then sand it back with 600 grit.

    Then 2-6 coats of wipe-on polyurethane/danish oil finish...

    lemon oil only on the fingerboard.
  5. I don't have any experience with wipe-on finishes other than tung oil (which I like a lot). I do know that nitrocellulose looks great and is pretty forgiving.

    And like everyone else has said, lemon oil for the fingerboard.
  6. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    TUNG OIL ! Easy to apply and with the great woods you have there, will look beautiful.

    Here's a Carvin Koa done with Minwax Tung oil




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