Scuffs: Walnut or Linseed Oil, or Other

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by jdh3000, Dec 7, 2021.


  1. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    I've read some recommendations on here for either boiled linseed or walnut oil to help scratches.

    I have a little scuff on my hybrid from leaning on the wall. I know it's not a big deal and it's gonna get worse than that when I carry it out to play it... I am however a bit of a fuss about little things and would like to treat it.

    Like I said, I read a few recommendations, but would just like to get some more advice.

    Any other recommendations? I'm aware not to use any silicone based anything.
    I saw a couple mentions about Old English scratch repair, but fear that has something that will harm the wood or glue.

    I've some things about just using colored sharpie's but some say treat it with violin varnish with a lacquer in it.

    I don't really know what to do. I'd appreciate some advice.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  2. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    OK. Full stop with the oils, sharpies and silicons. Edge wear is part of our existence, regular maintenance item that you can do yourself. But you want to use a compatible product.

    You could use "violin varnish" in a close color match (yellow, amber, brown, red, red/brown, etc). But a paint-store varnish product ~could~ be appropriate if your instrument is say under $10k. I like the Minwax Wipe-on semi-gloss polyurethane. It's amber in color, thin, super forgiving, apply with a small cotton rag or an artists' brush even. It's thin and it's compatible with any future luthier repairs like edge or corner replacements. Keep it contained to just the bare edge with minimal overlap onto the original finish, although the your process will require a certain amount of "artistic blending" to make it look really good.

    It's amazing how after this edge touch-up, that in a couple of years your edges will be bare again.

    The process:
    1. Flatten down the bare edge grains as best you can. If you have any snaggy "splinters", you can use super-glue with a brush applicator and press the splinters back down. Yes, super-glue *is* luthier approved for this kind of repair.
    2. After the glue dries, if necessary, smooth any remaining snaggy points with 600 grit paper.
    3. Clean your dust with mineral spirits and apply 1st pass varnish. Let it dry hard.
    4. Rub down the new varnish with 800 or 1200 grit paper.
    5. Clean your dust and apply 2nd pass of varnish.
    6. Let it dry hard and evaluate. if you're happy with it, then you're done!
    7. If it needs more build-up repeat steps 4, 5 and 6.
    Good luck! Post some pictures if you can.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  3. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    F77D41CA-5879-4341-AAF8-7DC4716C7AB8.jpeg

    Thanks for the valuable information. I couldn't get a real good pic that didn't shine the light so much that made the scuff look longer... but you can see it pretty well here. It's only about an inch long.

    I don't really know how it scuffed it so because I pull it away and place it gently, except that the drywall probably stuck a bit and rubbed the surface.
    A good stand is next on my "to get" list.

    It's a Thompson RM-200, considered a lower end bass, they go for about $2300 new.

    I will probably go the Minwax route.

    Thanks again!


     
  4. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Yeah, that's typical edge rash from leaning into corners or laying on the floor. Here's a close up of my treble side upper bout edge rash. The pencil is there to give sense of scale. You can see some fuzz in the grain from being on its edge on my carpet. My edges have been touched up 3 times in 20 years -- I guess it's time to do it again! IMG_20211207_190027809.jpg
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  5. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks for sharing... makes me feel better. The guy that had it before me must've kept it in the case all the time when he wasn't playing it. I wanted it to stay out so I could just go over and play it anytime, so I opted for a corner until I can get a stand.

    If I get a nick on a guitar it bothers for a while.
    I know these things happen... probably my fretting over it is just my parents' voice telling me I should take better care of my stuff and not let such things happen.

    Questions; is the Minwax Wipe-on semi-gloss polyurethane the clear? I plan on getting some.

    Thank you again!

     
  6. turf3

    turf3

    Sep 26, 2011
    Well, I probably shouldn't admit this but I just use Zinsser Bullseye Shellac, in the amber color. Goes on easy (I just use a Q tip) and a couple coats match the color of my bass (a medium brown). What I know about shellac is that it's easily dissolved with alcohol, so it's not like a polyurethane finish that's pretty much impervious to everything except nuclear war. Shellac also blends in with the surrounding finish as that seems also to be soluble in alcohol.

    To be clear, I'm just talking about the typical dingleberries like the OP shows, not large expanses of wood.
     
  7. You should also consider preventing more wear after you have done the above sort of treatment. Some people have talked about rectangles of shaped wood and ebony glued to the ribs, or even neoprene stoppers that have an adhesive backing. I "inherited" a bass with leather strips that have been glued onto the ribs and coloured with varnish to match the ribs. There are previous threads talking about these options.

    Cheers, DP
     
    Chris Fitzgerald and jdh3000 like this.
  8. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    I use a string swing guitar hanger mounted on my wall at the right height and lean the neck of my bass into it. I have two of these in my studio.

    16391576795425950164884966306314.jpg
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  9. turf3

    turf3

    Sep 26, 2011
    That's great at home, but nightclubs and concert halls get a little persnickety when you start drilling holes in their walls. I vote for the leather bumpers on the side. Especially since that's what I did. Two thicknesses of 1/4" belting leather, attached with contact cement, and then two coats of Zinsser Bullseye Amber Shellac. That stuff's great. I also use it on cork bicycle bar tape.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  10. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Zinzer angber shellac is amazing stuff. Totally compatible with violin lutherie.

    It's thin. Every subsequent coat melts the previous coat. It's easy to accumulate color but difficult to build thickness.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  11. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    139A0A0E-A72E-4D46-9F55-D5BCA83F624E.jpeg

    Is either of these what you were talking about? I don't see anything that says semi gloss in the wipe in these other versions.

    A5850069-245B-491C-B82D-728B57475291.jpeg

    5FA9F59D-DF05-4484-A104-79E948C495EF.jpeg B53709E8-D9EC-40F3-9775-32AA4DA24BA4.jpeg

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  12. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    It the satin wipe-on. You need such a small amount. Don't forget to shake it.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  13. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas

    Thank you very much!
     
  14. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Gollihur sells some nice bumpers.
     
    gerry grable likes this.
  15. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Going back to the OP's question: "I've read some recommendations on here for either boiled linseed or walnut oil to help scratches."

    Has anyone used either? I bought an 1880s German bass a while back that had been "polished" with walnut oil and I had to rub it for months with a cloth before it felt really dry.
     
  16. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Edges are best maintained with a product that hardens. Walnut and linseed oil stay soft, AND penetrate deeply making repairs requiring glue problematic.
     
    AGCurry and Steven Ayres like this.
  17. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    I use the Gol
    I too use the Golliihu- for years. Cheap, easy, durable and removable if you desire.
     
  18. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Just thinking, if you buy any of those products by the gallon, you could afford to just tie a rope around your bass and drag it behind your car! ;)
     
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 18, 2022

Share This Page