Help on finishing a Korina bass with Tru-Oil vs. tung oil.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jacob M, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    I have a warmoth bass that I just recently constructed, it's a J-bass shape made of Black Korina. The neck is maple w/ an ebony fingerboard, and already finished in a clear satin finish by Warmoth. I want to finish the body in something that will provide some protection but show the grain of the wood, so I was originally thinking Tung Oil would be the best bet, but on this forum and others I've heard lots of praise for Tru-Oil, so that's the direction I'm heading.

    So, if anyone wants to compare/contrast Tung Oil and Tru-Oil, that would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone can help and give some advice on how to best apply a finish to my bass by hand, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks alot,
  2. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    Bringing this back from the dead
  3. conebeckham


    Jun 27, 2008
    Bay Area CA
    How about Watco's Danish Oil?
  4. JasonLamb


    Aug 17, 2007
    i have tried danish oil on some scrap pieces recently, and it really seeps deep into the wood....i think that a bass with an oil varnish soaked deep into the wood would alter the tone....whether good or bad, i don't know.
  5. You do mean tone as in color right?
  6. Oil finishes are awesome. Very easy to apply. Just takes a while for them to dry out. Any of the above mentioned oils will work well.
    Just to make it clear, most Tung oils are a mix of oil and varnish. Straight Tung oil can be had and works well. I used Behr Tung Oil which has varnish in it on a couple axes and a table with great results. Haven't tried True oil, but have heard great results from that as well.
    IMHO, I finished the neck with oil/ varnish and it is super slick. No hand sticking to the neck at all.
  7. The oil will harden in the wood, protecting it. It doesn't affect the tone in any way. On my last bass I put it together, tried it out before I finished it. No change in tone at all. I wouldn't worry about it.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I love Watco. I finished this fretless with it, and use a wipe coat under nitro lacquer on maple to bring out the grain, as on this figured maple top. I even use it phenolic fingerboards, such as on the fretless.


    It doesn't sink into the wood much, because it has vanish in it, and it doesn't alter the tone.
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I re-finished an old neck in Tru-Oil and found it to be excellent after the final rubbing with steel wool and a coat of the wax. A really good finish. Doing an entire body would be fine.