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Question about Tru Oil

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by duckbutter, Oct 14, 2005.


  1. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    I have scanned through the threads about Tru Oil and Tung Oil, and will go with the Tru Oil for my hideous project.

    Here goes…I have an Ash J Bass body that I tried to refinish about 10 years ago (before I found talkbass.com). I stripped the wood down to bare, and sprayed it with a flat graphite gray that I got form a local auto part store. No wood filler, nothing. The wood just soaked up the paint. I was wondering if I re-sand the body (I’m sure I won’t get to bare wood again) and just apply the Tru Oil the way I’ve read in these posts, will it work?
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Ash? you will probably get the grey off the smooth, whit surface bands, but it will probably remain in the dark, porous rings. It would give an interesting, but not natural, effect. I'd try it.
     
  3. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Cool, now...I've seen spray on and wipe on, which should I use?
     
  4. The wipe on is a much better value. The spray seems "weak" in volume and viscosity. Go with the bottle and you can really apply it the way that works best.
     
  5. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Okay, now (sorry if I sound stupid) should I use a cloth or a brush to apply the oil, and should I use 0000 steel wool to smooth it out ?
     
  6. If the grain is filled already, then you won't really need the steel wool. That's what I use towards the end of the sanding process and the beginning of the oil to fill the small cavities with a light slurry. I would recommend a good paper towel to rub in the finish. Rub the first few coats in pretty hard then lighter with the next several and you'll begin to build up the finish.

    And answer me this - why aren't you just using duckbutter? :D
     
  7. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    I would, but it'll make the wood cloudy and way too slippery ;)

    I'll post some pics once I get this done.
     
  8. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    last question on this...can I use a wood stain first, then add the Tru Oil?
    I want to "darken-up" the wood a little bit.
     
  9. MeYHymN

    MeYHymN Habitual User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Charleston, WV
    To my knowledge Duck, yes. I was going to use tru oil as a top coat for my red mahogany stain on my maple body. I'm currently reading that tru-oil doesn't give a hardened top finish, so I'm currently considering scratching the tru-oil idea and just going to spray poly to get it over and done w/ quickly.
     
  10. Dugz Ink

    Dugz Ink

    Oct 23, 2005
    Birchwood Casey "Tru-Oil" does have hardening agents in it, and provides a very solid finish... if applied properly. (I've used it to finish a couple custom gunstocks and one guitar.)

    When applying stains, stay away from any oil-based stains; it will either take days for the Tru-Oil to set up, or it will turn into a sticky mess that never hardens and won't wipe off easily.

    When I want to add some color to wood (that is going to be finished with some form of tung-oil a la hardening agents) I use a pore-filler, then a Min-Wax "Wood Finish" that provides the color that I want, followed by the final finish. I have also had some good results by mixing a little bit of the Min-Wax with finishes like Tru-Oil.

    Results may vary. See dealer for details. Void where prohibited.
     
  11. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    I went to a gun shop the other day, the guy there talked me out of tru oil. He was telling me to stain it first then use a sanding grain filler (he said something about it goin on like milk...have to look inot the type), then use a bolling ball wax to finish it. That last part I might skip and just go with the polly.
     
  12. Dugz Ink

    Dugz Ink

    Oct 23, 2005
    If you had a beautiful piece of flame maple, and you had NOT done anything to the wood, then you could get some great effects by starting with the stain.

    However, you're not going to get all of the finish/paint out of the wood, and putting stain on top of what you have could get real ugly... especially if you have sanded one spot deeper (i.e. literally no finish left) than other areas (i.e some finish left).

    That's why I recommended a pore filler.

    Then your stain becomes more of a color-coat.

    The filler-as-a-finish trick is just cheap and lazy, IMO.
     
  13. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Okay, so... sand it, stain it(?), then use the pore filler(?) then the polly(?)
    Can you recommend a good pore filler please.
    What about a wood dye ?

    I appreciate all the advise I can get, this is my first real attempt at a refinish and I would like this project to come out as nice as possible, so, cheap and lazy is not an option. :)
     
  14. MeYHymN

    MeYHymN Habitual User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Charleston, WV
    Duck, I'll have a pic or two of my refinished BTB. It was originally painted black, I sanded it down to bare wood. All except for a few spots where the paint stripper (used to soften the hard top finish) turned the paint into dye. I used a dark oil-based Minwax stain (Red Mahogany). Now if what Dugz Ink says holds true to what I'm doing, I'm going to be in a world of hurt. I am using Birchwood Casey Tru Oil (available at WalMart, and I absolutely despise WalMart but this isn't the time or place). I've done two coats of the stain, and it'll be 24hours since I've applied the first coat of Tru Oil so don't expect finely finished product, but it'll give you an idea of how it's coming along in a start-finish thread I'm starting tonight.
     
  15. Dugz Ink

    Dugz Ink

    Oct 23, 2005
    You guys may be talking apples and oranges.

    Duckbutter has a guitar that he sanded, sprayed it with grey paint (that was "soak up" by the Ash body), and now he wants re-sanded it. The wood didn't just soak up pigment; it also soaked up hardeners.

    That's why I recommend filler/sealer -> color coat -> finish.

    However, the finishes that most manufacturers use will pretty much sit on top of the wood. It soaks in just enough to bond with the surface of the wood, and that's it. So MeYHymN might not have as much trouble.

    In that case, stain -> filler/sealer -> finish could work great.

    As far as "what" pore filler... I don't know. I have always used multiple coats of commercial "tung oil" (which isn't pure tung oil) for my pore filler, but that takes a long time.
     
  16. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Okay, I think I got it now.

    Thank you all so much.

    I'll try and post a pic of what the body looks like (man is it a mess).