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Old January 28th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tru Oil & dust specks...

Working on a Thinline Tele, with a rosewood top on a swamps ash back.

First started finishing it with boiled linseed oil - took forever to dry & darkened the wood too much. So I bit the bullet, and ordered some Tru Oil from the UK (the closest place where I could find it...)

I first gave the top a thin coat, which the rosewood swallowed up like nothing; next coat was slightly thicker (but still rather thin), slathered one with my fingers (liek I read on some forum); that one turned out real shiny, but rather blotchy & uneven; so, after it hardened I sanded the whole thing down again (up to 600 grain) - that was actually a good idea, since now the grain has been filled nicely, and the surface is really smooth and even.

I started with really thin coats of Tru Oil now, wiped on with paper towels. Starts to look like I want it too now, slightly shiny, but not overly glossy. The only problem I have: dust specks... Even though I'm working in the bathroom of our apartment (the least dusty room in our city apartment), with the body hanging from the shower stall, and even though I'm using paper towels instead of cloth to avoid lint, I can still see little, prominent specks of dust sticking to the finish (along with some fine streaking from wiping on the Tru Oil).

So, how do I knock these down (and maybe even out the fine streaking from the wiping of the finish)?
Will steel wool be suffiecient, or should I sand? What grade of sanding paper -280/400/6000 is what I have at hand?
Should I sand after every coat, or only at the end?
Is dry-sanding good enough, or should I wet-sand? Using what fluid (naphta/lighter-fluid, paint thinner, natural terpentine are what I already have here), so as not to re-dissolve the Tru Oil?

Thanks for your help!

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Old January 28th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You have to be careful with TruOil. My guess is that the small fibers from the paper towel are being left behind impregated into the TruOil. ANY dust or small fibers will be left behind...ie if you do any wet sanding or steel wooling in between TruOil coats you have to totally clean it off. I forget what the proper solvent for TruOil is ..(mineral spirits??)... Any you can carefully wipe the surface with that (or naptha?) and it will re-wet the surface and allow you to wipe off the lint or dust. I would not use paper towels to wipe it on. Just use your bare (clean) finger to wipe on and spread out the TruOil....
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Old January 28th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nope, they are not fibers from the paper (I experimented with various kinds of paper and cloth, and this one was the best in not leaving any stuff) - they are definitely airborne specks of dust - almost unavoidable in an apartment from the 1890s with wooden floors (that's why I'm working in the tiled bathroom). Sometimes I can actually see the dust flying by, and zaaaap, get stuck to the wet Tru oil...

As I said, I tried wiping on the Tru Oil with my fingers, but even though I applied it really thin, the results were VERY uneven and streaky, that's why I moved to paper towels (which I ball up, kinda like in French polishing).

BTW, here's a pic of the body in its current state:

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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nope, they are not fibers from the paper (I experimented with various kinds of paper and cloth, and this one was the best in not leaving any stuff) - they are definitely airborne specks of dust - almost unavoidable in an apartment from the 1890s with wooden floors (that's why I'm working in the tiled bathroom). Sometimes I can actually see the dust flying by, and zaaaap, get stuck to the wet Tru oil...

As I said, I tried wiping on the Tru Oil with my fingers, but even though I applied it really thin, the results were VERY uneven and streaky, that's why I moved to paper towels (which I ball up, kinda like in French polishing).

BTW, here's a pic of the body in its current state:

I have hade good luck using a sponge to apply oil base staines and clear.
I polish on to apply and wipe with the grain let dry.

Ok your thineline looks stunning! How meney coats of tru-oil total
after sanding and everthing till the photo???

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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I know what you mean about streaking with the finger application. It is tricky but you can smooth it out with more wet coats of TruOil since they melt together. However...my experience was with doing necks...DOing a body is a completely different story. I would use the spray-on Tru Oil for that...
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok your thineline looks stunning! How meney coats of tru-oil total
after sanding and everthing till the photo???
Thanks, I'll try the sponge!
At the present stage, the ody has on it: 2 coats of boiled linseed oil; 2 coats of Tru Oil that have been sanded down for grain filling; and one coat applied thinly with paper towels.

BrianF,
yeah, I guess spray-on Tru Oil would be perfect, but it is not available in Europe, and can't be shipped (had a hard enough time to find the regular Tru Oil over here...)

I guess I'll try knocking down the dust and streaks with some fine (400/600) sandpaper, and then apply some more Tru Oil with a sponge. I've also thought about mixing it with some boiled linseed oil, so it wouldn't be so stick and take a bit longer to dry - that would allow the surface to even out a bit more.

Here's a close-up picture of the problems:


Last edited by RomanS; January 29th, 2008 at 07:43 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've done rifle stocks using Tru-oil.

I rarely found it necessary to sand at that stage, but that depends on your filling and sanding method; wood preparation.

Any surface blemish (other than a dent) was 'polished' off using a combination of damp (with Tru-oil) and dry clothes. The damp to loosen or level the blemish, the dry to 'polish' the area level and dry.

The 'old timers' recommended using a tac cloth for removing dust but I found my method worked better for me.
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