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  1. #1
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Default How Do I Do A Tru-Oil Finish

    Ok, this thread is mostly aimed at AT or others who have successfully completed tru-oil finishes. I am about done with a custom guitar for a client -- and I am going to do a stain-then-tru-oil finish on it. So I figured why not gather info for me, and create a "how to" thread for others who want to try it in the process. Please post FULL instructions or details about how to do the finish here if you have the knowledge.

    In the mean time, I have a good idea what the finishing involves, but I want to ask a few questions to make sure...

    The body wood for this guitar is 'select' Alder, which actually isn't super heavy, and has a nice defined grain to it. I am going to use Minwax water-based stain on it (some sort of deep, dark red). I am assuming I stain the wood and lightly sand off the grain that rises -- which means I will need multiple coats of stain to get an even colored finish.

    So.. once that is done, I just use the tru-oil sealer/filler in a few coats/sands until it is super smooth. Then follow that with the application of the tru-oil itself in several coats/steel woolings. Once that is done and dry, what kind of wax or polish did you guys use?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Go to http://www.reranch.com/reranch/ and search through. Houndog does a great tutorial on Tru-Oil. Haven't tried it yet, myself; but it gets universal approval on that forum.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyman View Post
    Go to http://www.reranch.com/reranch/ and search through. Houndog does a great tutorial on Tru-Oil. Haven't tried it yet, myself; but it gets universal approval on that forum.
    I have used on a few necks. It works real well. I haven't used it on a body yet but I would imagine it would be just as nice

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    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
    I have used on a few necks. It works real well. I haven't used it on a body yet but I would imagine it would be just as nice
    I have read about it being done on a body on the said forum. From what I understand, you need to do it on something with a pretty tight grain (alder, basswood, maple). I don't know how compatible it would be with grainfiller (like on an ash or mahogany body). If some open grain doesn't bother you, go for it!
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  5. #5
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    11.25.08 @ 11:25 AM
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    i allways use gunstock oil,thats what ernie ball used as well..

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameron View Post
    i allways use gunstock oil,thats what ernie ball used as well..
    Birchwood Casey tru oil is gun stock oil

  7. #7
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
    Birchwood Casey tru oil is gun stock oil
    Yes it is....

    I actually decided to do a Minwax Wipe On Poly Satin finish on this particular guitar for time's sake. I finished it in 2 days in stead of 2 and a half weeks...

    I know tru-oil is probably better, but since I kinda wanted satin anyway, and needed to do it fast, the wipe on poly was a great choice. Wonderful stuff to work with actually. 3 coats and it was just the thickness I was looking for. No glossy shine at all either -- very natural looking. I'll post some pics when the guitar is finished and I get final approval from the client.

  8. #8
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    05.17.09 @ 08:02 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Yes it is....

    I actually decided to do a Minwax Wipe On Poly Satin finish on this particular guitar for time's sake. I finished it in 2 days in stead of 2 and a half weeks...
    Yeah and your body resonates like a bowling bowl!

    Don't listen to him, there are 2 ways to do it: the cheap 10 dollar way, which gets more dirty over time, or the 20 dollar way which gets dirty over time...

    Both you can get at any hardware or bigbox supply store like Home Depot or Lowe's.

    Cheap: 1 quart boiled linseed oil, $5. and 2" disposeable chip paint brush, $1

    Then take an empty soda bottle and fill it with 20 cents worth of diesel fuel (or turpentine, or paint thinner, or lacquer thinner, or acetone if you have some) but I'd prefer turpentine-diesel fuel to use as thinner. Same thing chemically.

    Pour out a maybe 2 ounces of linseed oil into a pan or tray or something, then mix it with a thinner equal parts. If you use acetone or lacquer thinners they flash fast and can catch fire if you're not careful, or if you are a huffer like me you don't worry about such things. Acetone or lacquer thinners will flash too thin a coating you may have to do it twice.

    Brush in the grain direction, filling the pickups, cavities, everything, then very carefully do the sides all the way around. The grain will drink the oils in like a sponge, keep doing this once or twice an hour until after an hour the heavy grain portions have a shiney sheen built up. Then stop and wait one more day before the last coating of linseed oil and when you do, let it flash for a half hour then rub briskly with a thick buffing rag like a white teeshirt torn into rags.

    Just keep rubbing real hard then leave it for another day to dry. Now no matter what you do youll have some lint stuck in the finish you want off, so take some 0000 steel wool when its a hard surface and just lightly go with the grain to buff off any fuzzy wood grain and buffing rag bullshit. Let dry for an hour then wax with any old furniture wax like Pledge from teh 99 cents store.

    The 20 dollar methods the same, but you use Watco Danish Oil Finish, thinned half n half same way as above.

    This stuff is thicker and dries with more of a rubbery coating but is as natural feeling as the linseed oil method. And it dries fast.

    I would apply this stuff with a stiff rag with no lint in it, let it soak in for 10 mins then buff off quickly with a clean rag.

    When it dries, use carnuba paste wax or trewax, then buff off for a shine.

  9. #9
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Yes it is....

    I actually decided to do a Minwax Wipe On Poly Satin finish on this particular guitar for time's sake. I finished it in 2 days in stead of 2 and a half weeks...

    I know tru-oil is probably better, but since I kinda wanted satin anyway, and needed to do it fast, the wipe on poly was a great choice. Wonderful stuff to work with actually. 3 coats and it was just the thickness I was looking for. No glossy shine at all either -- very natural looking. I'll post some pics when the guitar is finished and I get final approval from the client.
    I'm curious to know about this approach with regard to overall look to the finish, long-term durability, and resonance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I'm curious to know about this approach with regard to overall look to the finish, long-term durability, and resonance.
    Ya, me too. This guitar was supposed to sound 'vintage' so that is why I was not so worried about the slightly less resonant wipe on poly (think super thick coated alder strats...)

    Actually, the wipe on finish is extremely thin, and does dry very hard. It has cured for almost the full 24 hours now, and it keeps feeling less and less thick.

    I'll report back when the guitar is put together as to how resonant it is compared to a factory finish like an EBMM or a natural wood finish like tru-oil.

  11. #11
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    Well, the finish is fully cured now. It looks really great for what I wanted -- almost no shine at all, but not dry looking. It almost looks like bare stained wood (but again, without looking dry). The finish is not sticky at all and it seems to be pretty hard, even compared to some factory finished guitars I have owned. This stuff is definitely harder than the glossy stuff they commonly use on cheap burst-stained guitars -- and it is MUCH thinner than the finish found on (cheaper model) stained Deans, and my OLP MM1. I still have to finish assembling the guitar and then I'll post some pictures and tell how it sounds. I might even have some time for sound samples.

    I forgot to mention the guitar's stats:

    Mighty Mite LP neck (24.75" scale)
    "Select" 2-piece Alder body (1.8125" thick)
    GFS Crunchy Pat Bridge and Neck Humbuckers
    Standard LP type electronics and controls
    Tune-O-Matic Bridge
    Minwax Water-Based Stain
    Minwax Satin Wipe On Poly
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 11.03.08 at 03:18 PM.

 

 

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