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Tung Oil body, color over, or refin?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Eilif, Feb 2, 2006.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Here is what I have.

    A Jazz base homebuilt with a fender 62 reissue neck and a wd tung oiled body.

    Here are two pictures of the instrument
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y167/dane5140/bass pictures/P1010092.jpg
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y167/dane5140/bass pictures/4e7a107c.jpg
    Here's the first problem...

    I am less and less fond of the way the two colors (tung oiled ash and vintage butterscotch nitro) look together.

    My desired outcome...

    I do not have the cash for a full poly refin, and I don't need a glossy finish, I would like to try a hand rubbed finish in either dark cherry or a walnut brown color.

    My questions.

    Are thier colored finishes I can rub in over the tung oil?

    Do I have to strip the tung oil? In which case how would I do that?

    Thanks in advance for help in this.
     
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    Having done the same thing myself (20 years ago) this shouldn't be very difficult for you. I would recommend you sand the body to get to bare wood. It will not be necessary to remove all traces of Tung oil below the wood surface; just get what you can. I would start with 150 grit and work up to maybe 300. Then apply a gel stain. I think a gel stain will give the most even color and be forgiving of any residual Tung oil. You may want to use a grain filler, optional.
    Once the desired color is achieved, let the stain dry for at least 24 hrs. I would finish with several coats of Minwax Wipe On Poly. It is very easy and gives a nice finish. Let it cure for several days and rub it out with 0000 steel wool and paste wax for a smooth finish and satin sheen.
    FYI, I did this to my '76 P bass, but topped with Formby's Tung Oil. It looked great for a couple of years, but began to wear in the usual spots. The Minwax is a harder finish.:)
     
  3. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Thanks for the info clink

    I'm fairly familiar with all the products you mentioned, except grain filler.

    What is Grain filler, and would it go on before or after the gel stain?

    Also, can you recomend any brands of gel stain?