Tru-Oil Question - back of maple neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Howdy!

    I've got a maple neck that I sanded down the back to my desired shape, thickness...
    Its an already finished neck, frets and all.

    I did a prior Tru-Oil finish on the back and decided i needed to shape down more....

    Can i literally follow the instructions on the back of the bottle, and buff lightly after 2 hours, then add more tru-oil, or should i wait over night?
    I currently only have on hand some 0000.

    The instructions also market waxing it in the end for "extra beauty" and protection. Should i wax it?

    I have some butchers wax sitting around from when i had an MTD 535 and Mr. Tobias suggested using that on body.
    Any thoughts on this waxing poetic for the back of the neck? Hehe

    In the end I want a good sealed neck for various reasons like stability, and will go for a smooth satin back
    (I usually hit any finished neck with 0000 in the end for that feel.


  2. crashonskis

    crashonskis Guest

    Jan 11, 2012
    Cranbrook, BC, Canada
    Yeah wax it. Otherwise it will get sticky when your palms sweat.
  3. would carnuba work just as well?
  4. Carnauba, can that be found in some specific brand, or car wax?
  5. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA
    I do tru oil on all of the necks of my guitar builds. If you sanded down after you put tru oil then you'll have to another coat, I let the first fresh coat dry for about 4 hours. Then for a satin feel I do more light coats, no buffing in between. Then after those two coats have dried for 24 hours, I hit it with 0000 steel wool, then the birchwood Casey stock polish/wax/conditioner....whatever its called. Only a little though as it can gloss up the neck if your tru oil coats are thick and you buff too much. If you buff too much, go back lightly with 0000 steel wool, then burnish (rub vigoriously as if polishing) the final finish with some worn denim. Works every time.
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If you want a satin look and feel, why don't you get a rattle can of lacquer. Spray about 5 light coats, let it dry for about a week then hit it with steel wool to knock down the gloss.
  7. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA
    tru-oil dries hard, seals wood, and feels GREAT on the back of a neck. much better than satin nitro. also it only takes 2 days to do versus letting the nitro gas off. I use nitro on all my bodies, but tru-oil on the necks. best of both worlds :D
  8. Turns out Butchers clear wax I have has carnauba in it just looked at the can, so it may be an option. Nice that I have this still.
  9. Thanks Justin! I just put the first coat on and since I don't plan on staying up 4 more hours tonight I'll check it in the am, do one coat before work, last one when I get home then next morning hit it with 0000, then wax.
  10. I did think about that but the fumes in my house are what makes the tru-oil appealing. I'm constrained on space/environment. But thanks for the suggestion.
  11. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA
    oh yes the fumes. I forgot about that. if you do ever use nitro USE a respirator. that stuff is DANK. tru-oil on the other hand appeals to my senses after using it for so long. when I smell it, I know good work is to come :)
    good luck with everything and let us know how it turns out. be throrough and light with the steel wool, and the same with the denim. I would finish with denim regardless of if you wax or not.
  12. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    I use Birchwood Casey Truoil on my maple Ray neck - followed by Birchwood Casey Gun Stock Wax. I believe that's what EBMM recommends.
  13. Cool! I think I can get it at Sports Academy (where I got the Tru-oil).
  14. ojakov


    Nov 16, 2011
    Justin, how exactly do you apply conditioner?
  15. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA
    @ojakov, it comes in a little bottle just like the tru-oil. I have a lot of 4in x 4in squares of denim that I got from an old pair of jeans. at least they are getting used now! I take one of the patches and use it as an applicator. the conditioner is milky white and kinda runny, but you can feel the grit in the liquid when you rub it between your fingers. I dab it on the denim patch and lightly coat the tru-oiled area, then wait a few minutes and buff it out with another clean denim patch. you can also rub it in like you are buffing if you want it to shine more, and then buff again with a clean cloth etc. hope this helps
  16. Thanks for that extra detail Justin! I'm starting to really like the Tru-Oil!

    I was looking around town for the Wax, nothing just yet..
    Honestly feels sort of funny doing google searches for Gun shops :)

    What would be a decent alternative? I have Butchers bowling Alley wax which has Carnauba, and "other fine waxes in turpentine and mineral spirits"... If these chemicals don't dance together then I will just apply more oil, and maybe wait till I get some in the mail :).

  17. ojakov


    Nov 16, 2011
    @Justin, thanks a lot!
  18. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

    Dec 19, 2005
    Personally, I don't think you need to put wax or enything else on the Tru-Oil. When the Tru-Oil has hardened, go over it with 0000 steel wool and then buff it shoe-shine style with a strip of denim and you'll have a surface that feels great. That's what i do. In fact, I think waxing it will make it feel 'stickier'.
  19. Thanks for the feedback Dave!

    I'll do just that :)

    I am putting on probably 3-4 coats over a few days... The first coat this time had some bumpy areas that I lightly smoothed out this morning with 0000, then I proceeded with the next coat... Just didn't want that to persist as I added more coats.

    I was sort of finding that when applying the oil with a rag, the amout to lay down got re-absorbed in the rag itself, and I sort of don't like that from a flow of control perspective.... I also don't like the idea of applying with my raw fingers per the bottle (leaves a scent there).

    OK, I admit it, I'm a clean freak, or OCD ADHD, whatever they call it..... :)
  20. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA

    Dave is right, it will feel a little stickier, because you are polishing it with the conditioner (wax) and making it glossier than it was. if you want smooth satin feel skip the wax. I find the best applicator for tru-oil are coffee filters! I fold them up in half three times and use them, they only soak in so much, and then leave a thin layer behind. clean up is pretty easy too.