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Oil Finish

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Shadowrunner, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Apr 25, 2008
    Independence, MO
    So I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a warmoth neck and body, but adding finish, of course, both increases wait time and price.

    So my question is about the ease and price of a simple oil finish. I've never done any finishing on wood before. Am I better off eating the cost, or doing it myself? The only color will be a medium stain. Oh, and the wood is going to be maple/alder.
     

  2. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Apr 3, 2018
    victor,ny
    It's not hard to do yourself, especially the oil. The only issue you might run into is staining alder. It can be tricky as it has a tendency to come out blotchy.i use dye and spray it on to help control that, but that requires equipment. What are they charging for finishing if you don't mind me asking?
     
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  3. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire

    The moderators might move this to the "finely finished" forum. You'll probably get more targeted responses.

    I did an Allparts neck with Tru-Oil. Loved the way it turned out. Very easy process. A lot of people like the wipe on poly. Do some research, lots of You Tube videos out there.

    The body probably has many different ways to go. Depending on your desire.
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    We discussed this in another thread earlier....I finished my Warmoth mahogany neck with Tru-Oil, even though Warmoth states that oil finishes void the warranty. Now, someone says Tru-Oil is not an actual oil finish.....but don't know if Warmoth agrees with that. FWIW....after a year and a half, my warranty is expired anyway, and I NEVER had any issues.
     
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  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Tele-Holic

    942
    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I've done several necks using colortone wood dye then tru oil.
    They turn out great. I use water to dilute the wood dye working up to the darkness I need over 2 or 3 coats. Then when dry start applying the tru oil in very fine layers wiping on with small pieces of t shirt material. Some use only 4 to 6 coats. I do about 20 coats and end up with a flat glass like high gloss finish after sanding through grades of micromesh and polishing on the headstock and base of neck with less coats and satin finish on the back of the neck. You can do fades to simulate aged lacquer etc.
    Do heaps of research and go for it.
    You get the exact finish and color you want and it looks and feels a lot nicer than factory poly finished guitars. The wood grain really pops and the end result enhances the wood giving the grain an almost 3d effect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

  6. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Apr 25, 2008
    Independence, MO
    $80-110 for the neck, $130 for clear on the body
     

  7. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Scan/Danish Oil works as good as any oil finish.... wipe some on, let it dry off a bit, polish it off... do that a half dozen times for a good skin...or as many times as you like... I use it on necks mostly.....

    You can get a nice shine with a bit of work....:D

    pine marks.JPG MM neck 3 coats Danish oil.jpg neck oil2.JPG
     
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  8. bodevelho

    bodevelho Tele-Meister

    132
    May 19, 2018
    EUA

  9. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Apr 25, 2008
    Independence, MO
    I guess I should have mentioned that the look/feel I'm going for is bare wood, i just want the wood protected and about as dark as roasted wood.
     

  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Tele-Holic

    942
    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    If using Tru oil just apply 2 or 3 coats and rub down with 0000 steel wool for a natural feeling/ looking finish. To achieve a tinted color you will need to use a wood dye with any of the oil finishes. The oils darken but not drastically. You can tint tru oil with vintage amber and tobacco brown to achieve a roasted look or just dye timber first.
     
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  11. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Holic

    764
    Jun 7, 2011
    clinton, ia
    I did a Warmoth roasted maple neck with tru oil and I don't care for the way it feels. It feels ok as long as your hands are bone dry but feels tacky in humidity or if you press too hard on it. I just finished a different build using mohawk clear nitro on the neck and it turned out perfect. Looks and feels just like my American Vintage guitars. Couldn't be happier. Might just have to try it and see. You might like it or you might not. I would have always wondered had I not tried it.
     
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  12. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    victor,ny
    Ya, at those crazy prices I'd do it myself
     
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  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    543
    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Though I am no fan of oil or wiped poly, they do work OK and for those with little inclination to get into finishing, they're fine, I think. Everyone's talking about the neck, which is the easy part by far -- no big flat surfaces, receptive wood. Alder, on the other hand, is easy for some treatments and difficult for others. It's easy to prep and paint solid colors, and that's what you see all the time. It is not easy to stain evenly, and without any figure, transparent finishes have to be applied evenly as every blemish is highlighted. In a factory finish setup, this is no sweat, but for an inexperienced finisher odds are you'll produce a sort of clumsy, good but unimpressive result. Oil on alder is yuck IMO, but for those who like it, it offers similar challenges. A plan, clear finished/oiled alder body will be about as boring as it gets, which is why you rarely see them.
     
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  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Try going over it lightly with fine steel wool. When I did my neck with Tru-Oil, I found the final coat had a little "drag" which I didn't like. But after the final treatment with the steel wool, it's about perfect.
     
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  15. strat54

    strat54 Tele-Meister

    117
    Oct 12, 2014
    Georgia
    On the body, if you want to keep the procedure simple, you can first make sure you have your surface sanded smooth and then rub on danish oil. Then, seal the wood and danish oil with alkyd resin rubs. The alkyd resin that I use is made by Winsor and Newton and is an artist's grade alkyd resin paint that is translucent. When you rub it on it gives the wood grain a fabulous satin sheen that is consistent over the entire surface of the body. It dries in approximately 8 hours or less if you rub it out thin. You can keep applying the rubs in thin layers. I usually apply 2 rubs of the resin in the translucent colors that I prefer. Once the rubs are totally dry, 24 hours usually, the body feels awesome to the touch and you don't get that sticky feeling like you get with poly sealers. The entire body ends up with a beautiful satin sheen that has sealed and protected the wood grain. Here are two guitars that I used this procedure on: Timber Rattler Telecaster and the Headless Wonder. The snake guitar was first rubbed like what I said above and then the rattlesnake was also painted with thicker alkyd resin. The Headless wonder body is mahogany that was stain-rubbed with WATCO Danish Oil from Home Depot. I then sealed the danish oil with translucent alizarin crimson alkyd resin. I don't really care for shiny wood surfaces on my guitar bodies and I have found this procedure to feel and look great:). All my layers are rubbed on but you could get into tight spots with a quality sable liner brush. You always want to rub off any excess before it has a chance to dry though. two.jpg
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    If I want a real finish I find the factory finish well worth it. But if not, I would go with Tru Oil or Formby's Tung Oil finish. The Formby's is very easy and instead of wiping it on I brush it on and it levels right out. It's not really a Tung Oil finish, it dries hard like varnish or nitro. This alder parts caster has only two coats on it:
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    61
    457
    Feb 23, 2018
    Nawth Alabama
    I'm in the middle of my Sassafras Tele finish (it will be an Esquire, so I'm calling it either "Sassquire" or "Learning Curve"). I put on 4 or 5 coats of 100% Tung Oil (no stain) and am french-polishing a couple of layers of "platina" (lightest shade) shellac over that. Once I get that the way I want it (looks great at the moment), I'm going with two coats of wipe-on poly. Polish and buff...done.

    The oil finish is really easy...but takes a lot of time. That means a daily wipe-on/wipe-off and I was doing too much damage to the damned thing just handling it every day...so I stopped.

    Here's pix. The front has been flatted with 600, the back hasn't been touched after the second french-polish session.

    front shellac flatted.jpg Back Shellac.jpg
     

  18. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Apr 3, 2018
    victor,ny
    Most of these oils are really just a wiping varnish
     
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  19. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    200
    Apr 25, 2008
    Independence, MO
    All right, great stuff, guys. I wound up ordering a roasted maple neck, which Warmoth clearly states does not need a finish (i know opinions vary on that) and covers unfinished roasted maple under their warranty. It only cost like $40 more than regular maple, and already looks great.

    The body, I'm just going to have to settle for finishing it myself, but Carvins instructions on tung oil finish are simple enough, and I love the way their oil finish feels.

    In case anyone's curious, I'm doing a Strat (rear) routed for tele hardware and electronics.

    Thanks a lot!
     
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