Good seal and finish options from local hardware store or big box?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BusyFingers, Feb 27, 2018.


  1. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    I am looking to make some modifications to a headstock, cutting a bit off here or sanding a bit down there.

    I want to properly seal and finish it, but want something that is cheap, easy to get, easy to use, and will still leave a nice finish.

    I don't have a ventilated area to work in, so it will have to be fume free, too. The wood is a mahogany.

    thanks in advance.
     
  2. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    if you want fume free then lacquer is certainly not your buddy.

    glair for pore fill (egg whites) and de-waxed shellac. minor alcohol fumes with the shellac but it dries very fast -keep a window open if you're sensitive. glair is sanded in as a slurry for pore filling in multiple sessions before the finish is applied.

    or you can skip the glair and just body and cut multiple times with shellac until you're satisfied.

    assuming that you even want to pore fill that is -then if not, de-waxed shellac or wipe-on poly will work. your typical Minwax water based wipe on poly smells a bit like fresh Elmer's glue.

    btw, is this a natural mahogany or is it stained?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  3. That's a pretty tough combination in the world of finishing.

    I think the closest you're going to find is Tru-oil. May not be available at a home improvement/hardware store, but you should be able to find it local at a gun shop or a sporting goods store that sells guns. I bought some at Scheels once.
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  4. WalMart, at least around here, has TruOil in the sporting goods section. Easy to apply and relatively goof proof. Maybe a slight odor but not a bad one and certainly better than lacquer or Krylon fumes.
     
  5. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    It's stained, but I may be cutting off enough to get to bare, untreated wood.
     
  6. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    So I won't need to seal it if I use trueoil?
     
  7. Once the TruOil quits soaking in, the wood is sealed.
     
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Another simple finish I can recommend is Minwax Oil-Enhanced Water-Base Finish. You can get a small can at Home Depot and other fine box stores. It's water base, not flammable, no significant fumes. It can be brushed, wiped, or sprayed on. Dries to the touch in an hour, fully cured overnight. And it has a natural light ambering tint, so it will darken the bare spots a bit probably matching pretty close to the finish that's on there.

    No sealer needed. Just put it right on the bare wood, as many coats as you need to build up the finish thickness. It will lay down pretty glossy by itself, but you can level sand it and buff it up to a full gloss if you like.
     
    chinjazz and BusyFingers like this.
  9. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    Thanks for the tip. I may try this.

    I've used trueoil before with a so-so result, but I think I should have rubbed it in more than just brush it on with paper towel like this guy suggests.

     
  10. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    tru-oil's cool but it isn't fume free. also not at the the local HD either.
     
  11. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    Do you mean this stuff? It's like $30 bucks for 8 ounces!
    minwax-water-based-oilmodified-polyurethane.jpg
     
  12. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    "i'm modifying my instrument's headstock. i need to spot finish exposed wood. "

    let's review:

    -must be fume free. -check.
    -must properly seal and finish. -define proper?.
    -must leave nice finish. -define nice?.
    -must be easy to use. -define easy?.
    -must be cheap. -define cheap?.
    -must be easy to get. -check.
    -exposed pores on end grain. -care/don't care?.
    -color match necessary? care/don't care?.

    since nothing in modern life is that easy, i think we need more info. maybe a picture of the headstock. the suggestions posted in this thread pretty much seem to fit your loosely defined parameters but they still seem to be lacking something. what might that be? :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  13. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Huh? Home Depot lists it as $7.98 for 8 oz; $18 for a quart; $50 per gallon
     
  14. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
  15. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
  16. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    I see. That's bizarre, they're listed as a 4 pack.
     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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