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First attempt at a refinish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skeptikal, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Thanks!

    I'm kind of confused where to go from here do I sand it down to 400grit, then apply the sand+sealer, then sand again?

    I thought putting an oil finish on the bass would be easier than just painting it but it doesn't seem much easier. Any ideas?
     
  2. punkrocko

    punkrocko

    Jun 18, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Don't use sanding sealer if you plan to finish in oil. The sanding sealer seals the grain and the oil won't penetrate properly.

    I like the Tru-Oil idea. It will give that body a rich amber finish. Sand to 400, then follow the directions on the bottle, easy.
     
  3. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    That's what i'm talking about. Now is there a difference between Tung-oil and Tru-oil?
     
  4. punkrocko

    punkrocko

    Jun 18, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Tru-oil, Formby’s, and Minwax are all similar polymerizing oil finishes. That is to say they will dry hard. Real tung oil is just that, oil that never actually dries.

    The mentioned brands will all get you there, I happen to like Tru-Oil best. The application seems to be a little more forgiving, and I like the tint in the finished product.
     
  5. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Tung oil does dry. it takes longer. It's not as hard as an alkyd resin finish. The treated tung oils which have been polymerised dry hard and a lot faster. Formby's is one brand that is good and there are others. Adding a bit of Japan dryer to tung or other oil finishes speeds up drying time.

    Waterlox Original Sealer Finish is a very good tung oil finish. True oil is not a tung oil but looks very nice too.
     
  6. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    400 grit sanded and my make-shift applyer/dryer contraption.

    [​IMG]

    Now that I look at the picture I'm probably going to give it a once-more-over with the 400 before I put the oil on.

    I bought Formby's Tung Oil finish at the local Ace. This stuff dries correct? I didnt' want to buy actual true tung oil that didn't dry. Says it dries in 12 hours which is good for me. I'll put on a coat a day. #0000 Steel Wool in between coats. Maybe 4-5 depending on how it looks.

    The bass may look stupid to some but I think it's gonna look cool when it's done. Almost has a real worn finish but it's gonna be super shiny. More pictures coming as it goes

    i almost forgot i need rubber gloves too.
     
  7. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    First coat of Formby's Tung Oil

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Will be steel wooling + adding another coat tomorrow
     
  8. Looks good!
     
  9. zagnut

    zagnut

    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Looking good so far!
    I used Formby's on my old, cheap plywood Washburn. IT was my first refinish and just finished it a couple weeks back. I would apply at least 10 coats. I did not add any Japan Dryer to mine. I waited about 24 hours between coats. Patience is the key. Under no circumstances try to rush it.

    I also used the high gloss oil. I wasn't sure if I would like gloss or satin. By going with the gloss, I figured if I didn't like it, I could steel wool it or use very fine sandpaper to make it satin. I'm really glad I went with the gloss, I love it!

    If you want to see some more advice / info on applying tung oil, there's quite a bit in my thread -
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=514210
     
  10. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Looks fantastic so far! The color ought to darken & even itself out after the next several coatings. Can't wait to see the final result! I've been contemplating starting up this very same project on a backup jazz bass I have - subscribed! :cool:

    How much of a pain was it getting into the inside of the horns? What did you use to do them?
     
  11. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I didn't really have a plan going into this project, just went at it. So I'm not in any real big hurry to get it done. I am replacing everything on it (pickups, tuners, bridge, straplocks, etc..) so no rush.

    Thanks for the compliment! I'm just going to keep applying coats until I like the color that shows. I got the high gloss kind to with the same intent.

    Big pain. It actually took about 4 days of 2+ hours each day of sanding for the whole body. Even after 2 hours of paint stripper. Inside the horns took a total of probably 3-4 hours (since I couldn't really use an electric sander or the stripper.
     
  12. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I should probably re-finish the neck as well. I've got to get the headstock finished anyways so screw it.

    The neck i'm not so gun-hoe about redoing for the simple fact it's a little more precious than the body lol. Is there a site out there that has to do with neck refinishing?
     
  13. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

  14. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Unfortunately during school I never really took to the "homework" philosophy and mostly everything was done with a guess and check, or just outright 'do'. Good idea, just not my style :D

    I wouldn't do this to a $1k fender or any other instrument for that matter. This was my $100 eBay purchase and I'm learning a great deal about woodworking/finishing in the process. I can't wait until the body and neck are finished so I can learn to set the instruments up! I might wind up being the next Jens-Ritter.... (lol okay in all seriousness, maybe not)
     
  15. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Second coat done today...Not going to refinish the whole neck, just oil up the headstock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts? Comments?
     
  16. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Coat #3.... this thing is going to be boobies (figuratively speaking).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've decided I'm just going to do a coat every day or every other day until I decide I like it. Does it need to be clear coated afterwards? Or can I do like with my Warwick and use that wax?
     
  17. zagnut

    zagnut

    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    I would do at least 10 coats. I can tell your anxious due to posting new pics every day, but be patient and don't settle for less than 10.
    I would not put a clear coat on it. If you are concerned about protecting it in some way, wax it. Use a good wax. One I have seen here recommended many times is called Butchers Bowling Wax.
     
  18. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Don't clear coat over tung oil. Make sure you give each coat enough time to dry before the next coat. I can't tell by your picture if the light areas showing on the body are from a flash or the lighting when you took the picture. Did you really sand down through all the previous finish to bare wood? If you didn't, those areas would not darken the same.

    Otherwise it looks very good.

    After the last coat has thoroughly dried you can wax it with a good furniture paste wax. Don't use Pledge or any of the spray waxes. Only a furniture paste wax.

    I like to apply the paste wax with 0000 steel wool rather than a cloth. Gives a very nice final sheen after you buff it off.
     
  19. throbgod13

    throbgod13

    Mar 26, 2005
    Texas
    it doesn't look like you've sanded through the existing sanding sealer.. in spots it's to the wood.. (i.e. the darker areas of the wood that are taking on an amber color).. it's quite obvious on the back of the body where it's been sanded through..

    i'd go back, and re-sand it to the wood..
     

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