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warmoth necks and tru oil

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mofo-Kang, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Mofo-Kang


    Aug 26, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I have a maple neck w/rosewood fingerboard and pearloid block inlays. Tru oil is considered an acceptable finish, unless I'm much mistaken. If any of you have used tru oil on a neck before, how have you done it? I mean, how thick a coat do you look for? Do you put it on the fingerboard, too? I was thinking I'd use the tru oil finish on the whole neck except for the front of the headstock, and use dye and nitro lacquer for that. Sound reasonable?
  2. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    I've been using Tru-Oil for most of my neck finishing vs lacquer. I usually do the complete back of the neck with around 7-8 coats, rubbed on with my fingers. If rubbed right, you will not have to sand at all, and get a gloss sheen. I usually put 2-3 coats on the front of the headstock, then apply decals, then apply enough lacquer to bury the decal and still have enough film to wetsand to a gloss sheen. I don't put any on the fingerboards. Using dye to color the headstock, coated with lacquer sounds good to me. If you don't want to use lacquer, you can also use the same technique using the Tru-Oil. Here is a good FAQ on using Tru-Oil for neck finishing.

  3. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Here's a picture of a neck I finished in Tru-Oil...

    I follow the "wipe on/wipe off" method. Mr. Miyagi would be proud ;)

    You sand it up through, say, 600 grit, then you wipe on the oil, then wipe it off. Let it dry for at least an hour, wipe on another coat, then wipe it off. It will start looking good immediately, but will look even better with 15 - 20 coats of the Tru-Oil on it. I've even used it for the front of the headstock with great success.

    I wouldn't recommend Tru-Oil for a rosewood fingerboard, especially with the block inlays. I'd leave that unfinished (rosewood doesn't require a finish), and just treat it occasionally with "lemon oil" to clean and preserve it.

    Attached Files:

  4. wyliee


    Jul 6, 2003
    South Hill, WA
    I've done several necks in a manner similar to SDB. One minor twist for me. At about 45 minutes - hour mark, I've been taking the still slightly damp Tru-oil rag and buffing like mad. The small amount of solvent left on the rag seems to help it gloss up when buffing. I'll let it dry a few more hours and repeat the process to about 10 coats.
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Warmoth considers tru-oil an acceptable/warrantable finish but not Watco Danish oil?
  6. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    NICE. if i want maple to keep its really white color, instead of turning yellowish, would this do? if so i think i will finish my entire bass and my 1st customers entire bass in full tru, because both share a wood combo that relies heavily on the mix of bloodwood, anmd white maple.
  7. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    I like this thread as I was wondering the exact thing myself. I did some research on the subject and it seems easy enough to apply. It looks exceptional, too. I happened to have an unfinished alder body with lacewood top and a fretless ebony/padauk neck. I guess I am gonna go with tru-oil since I want to do the finish myself and I want those beautiful woods show through.

    I know padauk doesn't requiere finish, but does anybody have an experience with this as well?
  8. Mofo-Kang


    Aug 26, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Thanks for the feedback, you guys. I've never used tru-oil for anything before, and I wasn't sure how to plan this. So there's no problem putting nitro lacquer on top of tru-oil? Or the water-slide decals? That's why I was planning on the dye and lacquer for the headstock face, I thought you wouldn't want to mix the two, and I wasn't sure if tru-oil would go over a decal without wrecking it. I still might do it that way, because I'm not sure how the tru-oil will look with the dyed wood--I assume it'd darken it, right?
  9. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    You can spray nitro over Tru-Oil, but not the other way. Before you apply the decal, mist 2 coats of nitro over the decal and let cure overnight. This will lock in the ink and not let the water smear the ink(if you are using ink jet printer).

    Tru-Oil is a clear finish, but since it does linseed oil base, it will tint to amber, and not darken the coloring.

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