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Show me your Tru Oil finishes!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm thinking about finishing some wood parts with Tru Oil and want to see what I might be able to achieve. Please show me any basses or bass parts (necks, knobs, etc.) that you've finished with Tru Oil.

  2. JP Morin

    JP Morin

    Mar 15, 2011
    look at the warwick site there some example... also some Ibanez model has oil finish...

    You can have pretty good results with oil and wax but you have to give extra care than other finishes, especially at the start with the wax buildup, if you want it to be really shiny and you don't want the wood color to change...

    I love and prefer oil finish as it's way more natural looking with the wood... less plastic looks... it worth the extra care for me
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Thanks! I was planning on putting on three oil coats, then buffing with #000 steel wool, then three more coats, etc. until I had about 9 coats on. What kind of wax would I put on after that?
  4. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    I think JPM was talking about a rubbed oil finish, not Tru Oil.

    Here is a neck that I recently stripped bare and refinished with Tru Oil. I added coats until it matched the original 30+ year old finish on the back of the headstock. I would guess around 20 coats went on it until it was dark enough to match to old finish.

    Can't be too aggressive with the intermediate sandings. Do it just enough to keep it smooth or you be sanding away all your progress.

    You need to dry it in a clean-room environment. Can't just set it out to dry because dust will settle and rough up the finish. I put my necks inside a section of 4" PVC with the ends sealed off with plastic bag & rubber bands.

  5. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Nice SD Curlee! I have an old one from the first series and it has a bad truss rod design, which I'll be fixing soon.

    We have a local luthier in MKE who went from sweeping the floors at SD Curlee to being the production manager and he told me they originally used tung oil but your choice may actually be better. Any shots of the front?
  6. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
  7. Just go look for pictures of MusicMan basses and guitars. The "hand rubbed gunstock oil and wax blend" is Tru-Oil followed by Birchwood Casey gun stock Wax.
  8. BassinCT

    BassinCT Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    One of the keys to achieving a consistent finish with this stuff is allowing sufficient time for the final coat to harden before doing the final buffing. If you have a glossy finish in mind, TruOil can get you there, but it takes patience, practice and a plan.

    My last step was lightly buffing with high-quality 0000 steel wool, followed by a touch of wax. For more info on TruOil techniques, check out the MIMF website, register and search the library for relevant discussions. Good reading!

    I used the Butchers brand wax blend.
  9. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    img2003x. img1305qb.
  11. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA



    That is 6 coats on maple, every other coat lightly sanded with 0000 steel wool. I let the final coat cure for a week and "buffed" with a cotton cloth and lemon oil.
  12. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I'll see what I can do from my phone


    You can even see the paper towel I used to apply it in the bottom of the second pic ;)
  13. 49sfine


    Apr 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    After struggling with hand application techniques for Tru-Oil I finally switched over to using it in their aerosol form. It's a little tricky to not get it to sag, but with practice I'm mastering it. I apply 6 or so coats of shellac first, sanding those out after each one and then apply 15 - 18 coats of Tru-Oil sanding back every 3 coat or so. After a 14 day cure time, I buff the finish and then wax it. The results can be seen in some of my Wishbasses pictured below. Personally, I would never do under 12 coats as the difference is noticable now that I have tried it so some many different ways. One can also dull the finish with #0000 steel wool for a more subdued look, but the application is the same.
  14. Tru-oil is super easy and it holds up like armor. This bass is gigged at least 3 times a month for almost a year and it still looks great.

  15. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    Here's mine.



  16. gaudenti


    May 29, 2011
    Moorpark, CA
    I've got an Epi TBird with the "natural" finish. Should I do something to protect the wood, with something like Tru Oil? I want to keep the natural look; I don't want a super shiny finish. I don't mind if it gets darker, I just don't want it glossy.

    Any suggestions/comments/criticisms/pictures are welcomed . . .

  17. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm sure it has a satin lacquer finish - it's definitely not raw wood. You don't need to add anything to that wood at all.
  18. Inlays1.
  19. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I'm bumping an old thread to show my work with tru oil.

    I've dabbled with it before. This time I'm using it to add some colour to a MIM Rosewood neck. The bass arrived with a beyond-dry neck.



    This stuff is a bit of a bear to use. You put on none, and take off more. You have to use really sparing coats or else the stuff will stack up against the frets. I've seen images of good results on the Reranch forum. I am limited in what I can achieve as the neck is already fretted, so I cannot sand-in the oil like some gunsmiths and luthiers are able to do.

    It dries really glossy. I'm putting the stuff on with my fingers; no cloths or towels. The gloss is a bit dodgy looking. As you can see in the first picture, it is slightly mottled as the pores are not filled too deeply. I think ultimately I will burnish it with steel wool, rather than go for the Rickenbacker high-gloss look.
  20. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    Here was my first attempt at an open grain Fender Jazz. Ash, Stain, Tung Oil, Johnsons Wax

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