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Tung oil to finish off my P bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by gregmon79, Oct 3, 2013.


  1. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I have begin stripping my '99 Squier P and I'm in the middle of it now. I have some questions if any of you would be so kind as to help if you can:
    1. I'm using citris-strip right now to strip the poly and paint off. But it doesn't seem to be working to well. Do think id be better off just sanding down to the natural wood to accomplish stripping the poly and paint??
    2. I have settled on laying down about 5 to 8 coats of tung oil to finish it and then laying down a few coats of wipe on poly. Is this a good way to do this. I don't want a rock hard super protective finish, I want it to weather over.time. Is this a good way to go about doing this?
     
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Any other helpful tips would be appreciated as well, thanks!
     
  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
    1. I'd just sand it and be done with it.

    2. Depends on what kind of "tung oil" you use. There is tung oil which is just simply tung oil, but there are also products marketed as "tung oil" that contain tung oil along with other oils and hardeners. These products form a hard(ish) skin over the oil, and would do what you want without the wipe-on poly. An example is Formby's Tung Oil.
     
  4. rumblinbass

    rumblinbass

    Aug 22, 2003
    Wimberley, TX
    From what I have heard a heat gun works well to remove poly finishes. Basically melts the finish so you can scrape it off.
    Hope it works out. I would not expect the wood underneath the paint of a Squier to look very good.
     
  5. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Patience ... patience ... Like I said before, it took me about two weeks--maybe 1.75 weeks. And that was on a finish with a metallic undercoat.
     
  6. Nomad98

    Nomad98

    Dec 13, 2005
    Minneapolis
    HEAT GUN! I have been there, do yourself a favor and use a heat gun. Don't set it too high or you will scorch the wood. Heat up an area (keep the gun moving) and scrape it with a spackle knife. You will have most of it off in about a half hour. Then sand it. There is no other way (IMHO).
     
  7. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    To chopper Dave- thanks. I'm learning as I go and I will be patient. I guess it's just after leaving the stripper on there for about 12 hours and absolutely nothing came off, I figured I'd try something different.

    What watt heat gun is good??
     
  8. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Make sure that you are aware of the difference between tung oil and tru oil, the latter being a more specific product that is popular with basses.
     
  9. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    For a black bass like Greg's, I agree. I used one (don't know the watts) to strip my black J. But when I tried it--a different one, it should be noted--on my Midnight Blue P, it really messed things up--the paint turned almost into a syrup.
     
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Well my girl was out and about and I think she grabbed me a heat gun. I hope anyway hehe. I'll be trying to strip the rest of what is left on it later tonight so hopefully it goes well. I'll post pics when it's getting there. The pic below is where it's at now. I'll keep y'all posted as the stages go by. And since you're here dave, you can see my progress, thanks again for all the help and inspiration.
    null_zps4ac531ce.
    You can see where I've already sanded through in a few spots.
     
  11. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    *sniff* *sniff* So proud! :D
     
  12. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Alabama
    Looking good, so far! Keep your patience in check...a heat gun can burn black spots on that bass!
    Light, thin coats as you do the Tung Oil are definitely worth considering. A pure Tung Oil without additives or other so-called goodies sounds like a better option.

    Can you give us photos (front and back) once the wood is free of the old finish?
     
  13. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    +1

    It always pays to complete a test piece on the same species before applying finish to your instrument; if something goes wrong, or you simply don't like the result, at least you haven't messed with your bass during the process.

    Raw tung oil and oil-based wiping varnishes usually perform best when they are readily absorbed into the wood. When refinishing, the pores of the wood are partially filled with the old finish after stripping. Sanding will help with absorption, but, new wood is usually more absorbent. You may be happier with a topical finish, most of which are more durable than wiping varnishes.

    There's a tutorial on applying a sanded-in oil finish below.
     
  14. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    These are the poly and tung I'm using
    null_zps544f5538.
    null_zps63a557e6.
     
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I probably won't use the heat gun that much if I don't have to. I'm thinking particularly using it in the folds of the body, forgot what they call that. But I'm going to go at it with a sander and try to get the poly and paint off in the larger more accessible areas where I'll have more control over the sander. Gotta be patient. I'm used to completing things like this the same day I start or a day after. Ain't happenin with this one. Gotta go slow n sure. Thanks for all the input so far all! It's really helped. Given me more confidence with what I'm going. What would you guys use to lay the tung down with? Just a paint brush or can I use the tshirt kind of rags to that like I would the poly?
     
  16. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Here it's is after I wiped/scraped the backside. It's like it almost didn't do anything. I'm going to sand it a little and see how that goes.
    null_zps8792ae9b.
     
  17. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Next up: Fender MIM paint used for bulletproofing the presidential limousine.
     
  18. tinman 1967

    tinman 1967

    Mar 6, 2010
    I would be careful with the use of a heat gun. Could cause the glue between the body pcs. to soften up and cause separation.

    Ask me how I know..:(
     
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    null_zps274328c0.
    null_zps274328c0.

    That's where I am so far. I probably won't use the heat much. Maybe for the contours. I wish the front looked like the back. Nice looking grain on the back. I still have to do the sides and concaves. I'll probably either straight hand sand those or take a little heat to them and scrape and then sand.
     
  20. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Oops, just realized I posted two of the same pic. Here's the back
    null_zps614d8ba3.
     

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