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What does Tung-Oiled Finish actually do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Airsick Pilot, Jan 26, 2003.


  1. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    What does Tung-Oiled Finish actually do? I'm not quite sure. Whats the advantages and disadvantages of it and is it possible to have a solid white bodied bass with that finish or is it only for wood finishings?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    Tung Oil is applied only to unfinished wood. It is applied in many coats, and usually leaves a satin finish, but it can actually be quite glossy you want it to be.

    It leaves the wood fairly unprotected and suceptable to dings and dents, unlike poly or nitrocellulose. But, It really brings out the color and grain of the wood, and some say it sounds better as the wood is free to breath.

    Hope this helps a little, there is more info archived in the Luthier's Corner forum, which this will probably me moved to.
     
  3. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Thanks for clearing that up.
     
  4. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I just put a tung-oil finish on the fingerboard of a bass that I just converted from fretted to fretless. All the things that btb said are true of course. The way it works is that it penetrates into the pores of the wood and then hardens...making for a very hard top layer. When it starts to wear away you can always sand down the board and reapply. I've been enjoying the tung oil finish on the fretboard. I think it wouldn't be bad for a body too as it would basically allow you to retain the natural appearance with maybe a little gloss to it.

    brad cook
     
  5. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    my carvin LB75PF is completely tung oiled. True, it makes the bass a little more suceptible to dents and scratches... however i think this is highly outweighed by the sound, feel, and the ease of repair to the finish. If i ever wanted the bass to look as it did when it was brand new, it only would need to be sanded, and reoiled. the sound is more "open" and warmer IMO than my basses that have a poly finish on them. I also prefer the feel of the tung oil under my hands than a heavy finish. I also think a flat natural finish looks much better over the maple and walnut than a glossy one would.

    its all a matter of preferance.
     
  6. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    What about a tung oiled neck?Whats the advantages or disadvantages as opposed to one that is not oiled?
     
  7. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    I'm mostly with Scott on this one. I *also* have a 5-string Carvin, (although not fretless), in addition to other basses as well. If there were only one thing I could claim to regret about mine is that I didn't order mine with a tung oiled neck. My Carvin is all Walnut (gloss), I couldn't be happier with the tone. I also have an MTD with extremely similar neck dimensions, .... asymetrical as well, and the main difference (to me anyway) is the "feel" of the neck" Both are incredibly comfortable and fast, but I like the MTD neck a tad better because it's not gloss. Now in fairness, this might not matter in less humid climates, but, I'm in TX, USA and my left hand SWEATS! So, as you might imagine, I'm in favor of just about any neck finish that's easier to slide across. As for the Carvin profiles though.... I can't beat em'. They've *clearly* done their homework. I'm someone who's paid triple the price of my Carvin for high-end basses, (which I love!), but honestly and ethicly can't slam them for anything.

    Ok, sorry about gettin' off track here. Bottom line is that when you order yours, PLEASE get a tung-oiled neck, if nothing else (IMHO) :)

    Hope this helps....

    Reards,

    Mike
     
  8. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Boy I remember that from my TX. days. There would be a small puddle where the sweat would roll down my left arm and drip on the floor in the same area. Coarse now I'm in New Orleans where sweat is a cologne. Tung oil is good. I find the thinner the finish, the more I like it. You can get a really nice white finish without it choking the bass of tone. There may be something about finishes in the FAQ.
     
  9. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Awesome......! So then you can relate to the worn sections on your left pant leg where you're forever wiping the sweat off your left hand... (assuming you're not left handed) :)
     
  10. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    As well as the stain on my right sleeve from wiping my forehead. Driving with the window down was like holding a blow dryer in you face on high.
     
  11. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    I lived in Dallas the summer of '81 I believe. It was over 100 degrees 53 days in a row folks. 53 frekin hot days, as high as 114 degrees. But, back to the thread, tung oil is good.
     
  12. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA

    ..............Welcome to the Gulf Coast! :)