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Hard coat with Tru Oil?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by philthygeezer, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    In doing up my SG bass I notice that the ash is prone to scratching, even with 3 or 4 coats of Tru-Oil.

    Will the bass become more scratch - resistant as more coats are added?

    Will a coat of Birchwood Casey pore filler harden things up nicely?

    Are there any other means of producing a nice hard shell that will work with Tru-Oil?

    Thanks again,
  2. I actually was just pondering that same question for the bass that I'm building. I, too, noticed that after 3 or 4 coats of tru oil it was still fairly easy to put a scratch in the wood (I was testing on mahogany). I guess it is possible that the sealer/grain filler would help to harden the finish on the softer woods. Hambone seems to be quite knowledgable about tru oil from looking at his other posts. Maybe he could help...
  3. Gentlemen, you have just hit the limits of the TruOil finish. No matter how deep or how many coats you build up, it will still have a certain amount of softness and that won't change.

    Pore filler is not the way to go. That is a process that is only appropriate early in the finishing process. You've actually already done that with the TO though the ash may still show signs of depressions in the grain because it's so porous. Besides, pore filler is not a "coating". When done correctly the only pore filler that should remain with the wood is what is in the pores not a coating over the wood.

    The answer to the next question is Yes, you can clear coat TO with polyurethane. I've done that successfully. I can't remember if lacquer is OK - I don't remember because I'm not a lacquer guy. But the MIMF has that info. The poly will give you a hardshell finish that will mostly eliminate the dent prone nature the wood has now.
  4. I have been using Minwax Wipe-on poly with good results. It has an oil finish appearance but the duribility of polyurethane. It also ambers the wood like Tru-oil.

    I tried Tru-oil but also found it to be too soft. The Korina I've been using dents easily so I wanted something more durable.

    Try some on a scrap piece and see what you think.
  5. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    Can you use the poly over Tru-Oil?
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Do not put lacquer over oil.

    Poly[urethane] will be okay over the oil.
  7. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    Tried the Minwax wipe-on poly on some scrap and it's working very well at hardening things up.

    Thanks much for sage advice all.

  8. Hambone,

    I was wondering if you could give a few more details/tips on using poly over tru oil.

    I am finishing my alder body Jazz with TO and it looks absolutely wonderful. So far I have applied one thin coat a day for 4 days while buffing with 0000 steel wool in between. Last night i barely bumped the bass on the table and made a nice dent. OUCH! I was hoping to avoid it, but it looks like I need to put a hard finish over the TO.

    I would prefer to stay away from sprayed finishes if I could and was considering either minwax wipe-on or behlen's master gel over the TO.

    Hope your out there listening,

  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I tried the master gel and was not impressed. I am working on several spalted projects now and am using a penatrating epoxy to toughen up the spalt and they I will use Poly as the final finish..t