Luthiers: Is it ok to tung oil my bass parts before assembly?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Saint, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Although I understand that the general rule is not to finish the neck and body before assembling, I was wondering if that holds true with a tung oil finish. I don't know when I will have access to the drill press I need to drill holes and afix the neck to the bass. However, I worry that by letting my unfinished walnut body and (sealed) neck hang out there, they might get damaged. I also hate sitting idle while I could be doing things to get my bass on the road to completion.

    So the bottom line is, can I at least begin applying my first few coats of pure tung oil before assembling and then apply the Formsby's mixture and polish later?

  2. Jon Maghini

    Jon Maghini Commercial User

    Aug 15, 2002
    USA Terryville CT.
    Owner / Builder M Basses
    You can oil your neck and body before you put it all together and it will make the finishing process alot easier, typically with a bolt on style bass I prefere to oil both the neck and body seoeratlt before final assembly....
  3. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks Jon.
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    In general, you will finish before assembly, but after you are done machining and sanding the wood.

    The main reason I think it's done this way is because once you start finishing the wood, you don't want any opportunity for the finish to get scratched or dented (like putting the bass up on the drill press). The last thing you want to do is spend the time finishing it, put it up on the drill press, and notice that the table scratched your finish and you have to sand it out and start over.