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Neck Finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by r379, Aug 26, 2004.


  1. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I;ve got an unfinished (maple, rosewood board) neck that I need to finish in some way. Since I live in an apartment I don't have much of a place to work and spraying isn't an option. Anybody got any ideas?
     
  2. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Non-toxic, easy to apply, slippery when dry, easy to renew, deepens the color on maple. It is a gun stock finish that I saw available at Walmart. The only caution is to not let your application cloths spontaneously combust. Use an old sheet or t-shirt and get a fresh cloth for each application. When you are done, wet with water and put it outside in the trash. Great stuff for necks!!
     
  3. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Woodboy;

    Thanks for the reply. I gather from your reply you've used this stuff yourself so a couple of questions:

    Do you remember the name of this stuff? Will it keep moisture out of the wood? What (if any) surface prep is required? What sort of drying/cure time is involved? Anything else I need to know?
     
  4. I've used Tru-Oil on 4 of my constructions and several refurbs on necks and the like. Prep is as much smooth sanding as is needed - up to and including 0000 steel wool. Application is done with the steel wool also. This really gets it deep in the wood and gives it a very nice satin finish. Brushed Tru-Oil will harden into a glossy finish. You can also spray but my necks are perfect players just on about 3 applications with the wool.

    Cure time varies with climate. The only way to be perfectly sure that the oil is totally "cured" is if it has no smell at all. Then it's as dry and cured as it will get. This could take several days to a week under the right humid conditions.

    Cleanup is with mineral spirits and then some soapy water.
     
  5. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Would I gather that Tru-Oil is what Woodboy was talking about? How long between coats and what grade of wool were you using for application?
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Another to check out is Qualasole. great stuff fast drying and works great for the back of necks............T
     
  7. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    It says tru-oil in solid black under his name in his first post.

    use 0000 steel wool. Satin finish is nice, as Hambone said, esp. for necks.
    I recommend it as well.
     
  8. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Oh...yeah. It does say Tru-Oil. And in bold letters, too. Can I just use regular masking tape to keep that stuff off the rosewood board?
     
  9. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Masking tape will work well, but you may get a bit that crawls under the tape. If you are careful with the application, you don't even need to mask the fingerboard. I just use a wad of old t-shirt and wipe it on and let it dry. The steel wool application is making a slurry of wood dust and Tru-oil that acts as a filler. I would probably opt for a green Scoth-Brite pad instead of the steel wool to keep from getting metal fibers ground into the wood. There is no right way, just the way that works for you. Qualasole is basically a thin lacquer. It stinks! (smell-wise, that is). I would use a respirator, wear gloves, and have the windows open if I was doing it in my apartment. Tru-Oil is totally an exterior grade finish since it is made for gunstocks. I can't say enough good stuff about it.
     
  10. I'm restoring HCB #0001 with an all Tru-Oil body finish that requires a bit of masking for an effect. That new blue masking tape that you see on all the DIY shows is doing a great job. Just the right amount of tack on already oiled areas and it keeps a really clean edge. But like Woodrow said, it really isn't critical. As a matter of fact, and not to open a can of worms, you could easily continue oiling right over the rosewood and get a good effect also. To each his own. This stuff takes about 2 hours to set up to tacky but it can still be removed with a little mineral spirits. As it gets older and more cured it gets harder. This is a "hardening film" oil that dries naturally to a hard, glossy finish if untouched. The abrasive is to get the satin effect and really integrate it into the wood. The idea of using a 3M pad is good but you won't get the polish that steel wool provides. I've had great results on hard dense woods with this technique because the wood simply isn't porous enough to pick up steel fibers. But while I'm pushing this oil into the wood and making a little slurry (that will be wiped off anyway) I'm polishing it to a near mirror finish. 0000 wool is finer than 1500 grade aluminum oxide paper. You will be able to read the morning paper in the finish with a little patience.

    I also recommend the use of a good paste wax after the finish has finally cured and your ready for play. I use Minwax pastewax and it both enhances the satin sheen, it also slickens the neck even further. Now, if you get sweat under your thumb, it won't stick - it gets faster!! Try it, you'll be amazed.
     
  11. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I haven't been watching the DIY shows do I don't know about blue tape but I'm sure someone at Home Depot will.

    If Tru-Oil dries to a hard finish, do I want it on my fretboard?
     
  12. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    And oh, yeah. What do you mean about the right amount of tack on already oiled areas?

    If I understand you correctly, do you mean if I get it on the rosewood it'll come off with minreal spirits?

    Sorry if I appear simple-minded about this stuff, I just don't know anything about it.

    Thanks to everyone for the help.
     
  13. What I mean is that the adhesive on the blue masking tape works well on all types of surfaces. It has an aggressive enough stick to be used on oiled wood and it will stay put.

    Yes about the mineral spirits. That's what makes Oil finishes so forgiving. You literally CAN'T screw up! Well, you can, but it's like making a mistake on a chalkboard. Just wipe it off and do it again. Even when it's dry and cured, you can remove it easily with a little sanding.

    As far as Tru-Oil on a rosewood fretboard - sure! I'm not talking a dozen coats, built up to thickness of the clear coat on the bartop down at the Tradewinds. Just enough to seal the neck and bring up the sheen. And trust me, a hardening finish is better than an oily soft finish when it starts seeping out of the wood when it's warm to get all gooey and sticky.

    And the truly "simple-minded" would be asking these questions after they've already done something to screw up their bass. Happens ALL the time here. :scowl:
     
  14. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Does putting Tru-Oil on the rosewood make it harder like, say, ebony? I ask because I'm definitely going for a vintage tone which is why I'm using rosewood in the first place.

    Wow. Seems like the more I learn the more questions I have, but now that I think about it that's the way life is.
     
  15. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Putting Tru-oil on rosewood will not make it harder. Tru-oil wouldn't be my first choice for oiling the fingerboard. I use Stew-mac's fingerboard oil which I believe is just repackaged minwax antique oil finish. It is much thinner than Tru-oil and doesn't build up a film thickness.
     
  16. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks to everyone for the help.