Tung oil on Swamp ash body? Does it always need grain filling?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by boristhespider7, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Let me admit it...i'm a total nube when it comes to finishing a body with oil. However i'm considering getting a lightweight swamp ash warmoth body and giving it a tung oil finish. I've heard swamp ash can be quite open poor.

    Am i likely to need to do some work filling grain before oiling or can i just apply the oil straight on? Or does it really depend on the wood?

    Alternatively if i want the easiest body to finish am i better just going with an alder body which has more of a closed grain?
  2. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    If you want a glass finish you’ll likely want to fill the grain. I like a grainy finish so I do without.
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Whether or not it needs filling depends a great deal on the finished appearance you want. If your goal is a glossy finish then yes it will need filling of some sort; you'll never achieve a glossy finish unless you have a very smooth surface. If you are okay with a steam punk look of sorts, then filling isn't absolutely necessary. But remember the smoother the finished product is, the less dirt, oil, and odor it can trap.
  4. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    yes, after a glassy finish...maybe i'm better off with alder?
  5. If you want a glass smooth finish, ash will need to be filled. Alder is more “closed grain” and you can get by without a filler but a finish like tung oil, which takes a while to build up, is still going to be a bit of work. Definitely recommend wet sanding the oil in after a few coats to help the process along.

    I think Ken shows it in this video. If not, it’s in one of his. He’s using TruOil but the process is the same.