How can I get an oil finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by peaveybassamp88, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. I'm in the process of re-doing a 65' Teisco and i wanted to keep the body the same color as it is (without the old paint and stuff, of course...)It's a light clolred wood, but I'm not sure what kind it is. However, when I try to put even the thinest coat of polyurethane on it it turns the wood a darker, more amber color which I don't want. A theory of my unluckiness with the color changing came from my uncle, a skilled wood worker(though not a luthier): The wood has "large pores" (i guess it's a technical and upon sanding, many of the pores are opened up on the top and fill with the fine sawdust from sanding, making it feel smooth. However, when it's stained or lacquered, the sawdust quickly absorbs the stain/poly making the (many)pores look darker. He suggested putting a few coats of white picking stain mixed 50/50 with linseed oil to just to fill in the pores to givve it the illusion of being brighter, then stain it again 50/50 with the linseed oil, or leave it and just use linseed oil, or lacquer lightly over the pickling stain job. I'm not sure what to do, or if I even should use his ideas! I'm trying to get it done asap-but-throughly because Jazz band starts up at school soon.... Any help at all will be appreciated! If anyone knows a way to get an oil finish as clear as possible, or even how to do an alternate stain color (eg., blue as my second choice) oil finish, please reply!What kind of oils) do some of the pro luthiers use? How would I do an oil finish? Heck, if anyone has once cell in their brain devoted to finishing basses then please reply, I need all the help I can get! I'm willing to devote time and work (ok, fine, some money too...):meh: to get this done nicely. Thanks fellow bassers!
  2. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    If you want no color change in your wood, you have to avoid oil of any kind. There is oil in polyurethane, and that is what causes the ambering you object to. Water based finishes cause the least amount of darkening. They are tricky to apply and forget about getting a high gloss; it can be done, but trickier still. You might be able to find Varathane Diamond Finish in a spray can. Practice on a scrap piece and be resigned to dust specs and maybe a run or two. If you want to go with an oil finish, it is much more forgiving and a pleasing low gloss can be obtained. Many pros use Tru Oil, which is a finish designed for gunstocks. It is available at most Wal-Marts in the sporting goods dept. Wipe it on, remove the excess and let dry. Repeat until you get the desired gloss. It will darken your wood, however. Make sure you wet down the rags you use with water since Tru Oil is linseed oil and spontaneous combustion can occur in the rags if simply thrown in the trash. Good luck!