Grain filler & tru oil

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassAv8r, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. So I am ready to put a Tru-Oil finish on a mahogany/maple bass and need to find a grain filler for the mahogany. I can't find anyone in the area who carries Birchwood Casey's sealer & filler, which was my first choice. I tryed using some minwax wood filler on scrap and soon discovered that it wasn't clear and was made for being stained. I was thinking about sanding sealer, but didn't know if it would work with Tru-Oil. I would like to be able to use something from Home Depot or Woodcraft instead waiting for something to be shipped. Any suggestions?
  2. If you do it right, most pore fillers will work well because they go into the holes and you sand off everything else. But you don't have to use them if it's not possible. Why not just us the Tru Oil? It'll take a little longer but you do it the same way - apply a fairly thick coating and then use a plastic scraper of some sort to push it down into the pores. A couple of rounds of this with sanding in between and it should be very smooth.
  3. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Hammy, you seem to be quite an advocate of Tru oil. Do you have any pictures to post showing a body oiled with Tru? I will soon be finishing by Goncalo/Padouk body and am podering finishes.
    Sam qx on using filler, do Goncalo and padouk need a filler or just the oil.
  4. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    I was looking for an answer to this question however not as a grain filler but more to fill two very small holes in the laminate top of a P bass body I have (it was only $90 so I won't complain!). Hopefully I can start with the tru oil soon but I need to fill these gaps first - what kind of filler should I be looking for?
  5. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    I first heard of Birchwood Casey's in reference to finishing gun stocks. Have you tried any local gun shops or gunsmiths? Might be worth a call ...

    BTW, I love their stuff! Great product with nice results. :D
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    The Tru-Oil is all that I use on the wood. No filler, no sealer, nothing but Tru-Oil. They have some good tips on it's usse at the Birchwood Casey site, too.
  7. Using just tru oil appears to work on the mahogany, with the exception of the end grain. The end grain seems like it soaks up the tru oil, even after multiple applications, and doesn't build to a gloss. Do I just need to keep pushing the tru oil in until the surface begins to build?
  8. Luke, I'm not just a stuffed shirt with my opinion towards TO. I have a real reason for being so enamoured with it. I'M AN IDIOT and this is the perfect finish method for me because I can't screw it up!

    I have another pic of a walnut bass that has a few more curves and shows the finish better but since it's not done, I'm not letting that cat out of the bag yet. But here's my maple Jazz with a TO finish, only a TO finish and nothing but a TO finish, so help me God. It's a little blurry but it gets the idea across:

  9. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Nice! :D

    How many coats of TO are on there? It really does look like you have some kind of clear coat on there ...
  10. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I'm guessing at least 15 coats.
  11. Any ideas for filling the grain in a fretless wenge fingerboard Hambone? ;)
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass

    Slow setting CA glues I do it all the time. Spread it on with a thin card. Mask off the sides. Do only outside the fumes are nasty! :bawl: then sand off the excess.......t
  13. I don't think it took that many - I probably didn't have the patience for it. :rolleyes: The maple is very smooth and that helps with setting a gloss in the early stages. And a coat with my technique isn't a "coat" in the usual sense of the word. I wet my paper towel and simply wipe over the previously dried oil until it's shiny all over, then let it dry. I think the real reason it looks like it's got more depth is first, the rubdown with the polishing compound and then second, the waxing. Then the look of the oil changes from a slightly plasticy look to a nice natural organic shine that is really appealing.

  14. Nope, not a clue. :D
  15. I've never used it on Mahogany but my walnut is quite porous and it closed up quickly. You might want to not "push" too much but rather slather the stuff on in a thick coat and let it go. What I think will happen is that it will get to the drying stage before it all soaks in. Then you can wet sand off the high spots and do it again for any of the areas that did soak up the oil.
  16. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    Nice wood!
  17. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    That's nice. I guess I'm going to actually have to feel what TO feels like on a bass. I'd like it to actually feel like wood rather than a hard coat. Rudy's in NYC has a great selection, but the help there is less than optimal, at least on my last visit.
  18. Here's the bass that I am finishing after one coat of tru oil on the top. I'll probably build it up to about 4 or 5 coats before I use wipe-on poly. I'm still trying to get the mahogany part of the body to soak up the tru oil, but I think it should do it after a few more coats.

    Attached Files:

  19. Yowza - too bad you couldn't get that flame to pop! :D

    Looks Great
  20. Beautiful looking top! Have you considered wet sanding the oil finish? I did that with a maple neck and it feels amazingly smooth. I'm going to do that with a black korina body I have.
  21. Primary

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    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.

    Aug 1, 2021

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