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Padouk body with Tru-Oil finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bob_Ross, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I'm planning a Warmoth build, and have my heart set on a Padouk top laminate on an Alder body. Or perhaps a Padouk top laminate on a Swamp Ash body, although some folks have told me Swamp Ash is a real bitch to finish because it's so porous

    ...which leads to my actual question: I'd like to do a Tru-Oil finish, both because I like the way oil finishes look, but also because I'll be doing the finishing myself and I'm an idiot, so I don't want to take on a project that's too involved or time-consuming. Hence I'm happy to go with Alder since I've heard it takes Tru-Oil very easily and doesn't require any grainfill prior to the oil.

    But I've heard mixed messages on how the Padouk will work with Tru-Oil.

    Can I do a Tru-Oil finish on Padouk without requiring grainfill?

    Are there advantages to using grainfill prior to the Tru-Oil on a Padouk body top? ...or disadvantages to not using grainfill?

    Anything special or additional I need to know about Tru-Oil and Padouk before I start wiping on coats?

  2. jamesCD


    Dec 7, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luthier: Carrigan Designs
    If your going to do any kind of finish sanding make sure the body is dust free before you add the oil. Getting that dust wet turns it into a stain that will be visible on your alder or ash.
    I've never had to grain-fill to get a good finish on it, but others may have different opinions.

    P.S. - Don't get any padouk dust on your clothes and throw it in with the regular laundry. Turned some of my wife's clothing pink. Still hearing about it years later:D
  3. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    P.P.S. - Wear a particulate mask when sanding. If you inhale padouk dust, you risk a nasty lung irritation.
  4. Grain fill or many coats and sanding..
  5. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    If you like the natural feel of wood, go for it.
    I don't like filler, never used it for oil finishes. I only (partially) fill the grain if I'm gonna use some kind of varnish.

    Attached Files:

  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Tru Oil can be sanded in to function like a grain filler.
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001

    My experience is that using a varnish/oil finish (Waterlox in my case) for sanded-in pore filling resulted in noticeable shrink back in the pores weeks later. Pad auk pores are pretty big, and the finish looked dead flat for about two weeks. For me this was a problem, but it might be just fine for the OP, since he wants a more natural finish.

    Also note that the filled pores will be dark brown.