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tung oil finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by B_E_A_D_G, Aug 14, 2012.


  1. B_E_A_D_G

    B_E_A_D_G

    Sep 17, 2011
    I'm assembling my 1st bass, and I'm in the finishing stage. I plan on using tung oil, my question is what do I do after I appply the "oil" to make it pop? meaning wax, if so what kind of wax? fine sand paper, mesh? and also can I apply poly on top of the finish for added hardness. Thanks
     
  2. kzr750r1

    kzr750r1

    Aug 12, 2011
    NorCal
    At the end you can apply some wax but from my experience with Tung oil it's many coats with lots of hand rubbing in between, I used lots of fine steel wool.

    Both were bodies from Warmoth. One was all koa and the other was mine with a figured koa top on the walnut body.

    Took a full month or two each to get the oil finish built up and start retaining some shine by itself. Apply, dry, rub... repeat.

    If it's a heavy grain you’re trying to fill make slurry out of sawdust and oil to fill the voids.

    Just don't rub too hard or you’ll take your work back to bare wood again.
     
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    There are lots of different Tung Oil products on the market, with widely varying chemical compositions. Which will you be using?
     
  4. Joedog

    Joedog

    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    For mine I mixed some poly with the TO. 10 thin hand rubbed coats....nice. Yellowed over the 15 or so years...oh well. Easy to touch up as well (wish I could say the same for me)! It's a finish a high end furniture maker turned me onto.
     
  5. B_E_A_D_G

    B_E_A_D_G

    Sep 17, 2011
    Formby's® Tung Oil
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Alrighty then. That's actually an oil/varnish blend, which means it will dry to a reasonably hard surface, given enough coats. I've used the low gloss version of Formby's on several instruments, and I like it a lot, except for the fact that it's, well, low gloss. Fantastic on necks and fingerboards. One coat every twelve hours, applied with a section of old t-shirt, and lightly buffed with a paper grocery bag, or denim, or something like that. Twelve or more coats and you're done. Buff to taste.

    The oil will make the grain pop at the moment of very first application. You won't be disappointed there. But if you want a high gloss, you might not like the Formby's. I never tried their high gloss version; instead I switched to Birchwood-Casey's Tru-Oil. That's also excellent stuff, with similar characteristics, and lots more gloss without much effort!
     
  7. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    ^^^ +10.....I use the Minwax Tung oil if I want a satin with a touch more shine, and Tru Oil if I am going for gloss oiled finish.
     
  8. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut
    If you do go with TruOil, be sure to give it some time between the last coat and final buffing. Two weeks is usually enough- but if you are patient, the longer wait will allow it to really harden enough to buff to a gloss.
     
  9. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I've used the Formby's high gloss, and prefer it to TruOil. It seems to be less finicky while curing, and dries faster.

    I've used the low gloss as well, not really that much different.

    A quick coat of paste wax when done and you're all set. Super high shine.
     
  10. B_E_A_D_G

    B_E_A_D_G

    Sep 17, 2011
    Thank you all for your replies. One more question, what kind of wax?
     
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Well, Turtle Wax is good for pop-rock, but Mother's is the best for fusion.....







    :bag:
     
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Minwax paste wax works well and is easy to find.
     
  13. B_E_A_D_G

    B_E_A_D_G

    Sep 17, 2011
    Thanks
     
  14. Great Q?? and answers... thanks for this....
     
  15. kzr750r1

    kzr750r1

    Aug 12, 2011
    NorCal
    For wax I used Howard Citrus-Shield. Has a Bees wax base. Worked pretty well, good luck, just be patient if you use a 100% Oil Product.
     
  16. 2behead

    2behead

    Mar 8, 2011
    portland
    Super easy finish to do and you will love it. Like someone mentioned before one nice thing about about it is you can easily fix any mishaps that may happen in the future. its thin and Ya...... I love it.
     
  17. B_E_A_D_G

    B_E_A_D_G

    Sep 17, 2011
    would Howard feed and wax work??
     
  18. __HM__

    __HM__

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Just started refinishing my Warwick in Formby's Low Gloss, so this has been a very helpful thread.. Thanks!
     

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