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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Tru oil help

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Tollehouse Twang, Sep 28, 2017.

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  1. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Hmmm - I've been doing this stuff for 40+ years and don't know of anyone that does that. I understand it will fill, but it also "locks" the grain - so there's no wood for stains or finishes to penetrate; it's also a very poor surface for adhesion of following coats - too slick unless it's sanded aggressively.

    That may well be why you are getting streak - Tru Oil doesn't build much of a film, it's more of a penetrating stain with some hardening resin. There's no place for the Tru Oil to go because it can't penetrate epoxy. It also has absolutely nothing to "grab" - no mechanical adhesion (and it definitely has no chemical adhesion on epoxy).

    You may eventually get an even-looking "finish" but - assuming you tested the epoxy on something before applying it to your guitar - I suggest testing the adhesion on the test piece - put a few cross-hatch razor cuts through it at roughly 1/8" spacing, apply masking tape, and pull across it. If more than 10-20% pulls off it's not sticking well and you may have peeling problems under use.

    Did someone recommend doing it that way? I hope it works for you - I can't see any advantages & it seems like a very strange product combination.
     

  2. Tollehouse Twang

    Tollehouse Twang TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Jul 24, 2017
    Vista, ca
    There's actually a lot of people that do it. I've been doing research for about a month before I even got a bottle of Tru oil. People even use CA glue. "Super glue" to pore fill. I work with epoxy in my career so I felt quite comfortable giving it a try.

    I sanded back to the wood after the epoxy cured so there was no adhesion problems that I ran into. There is even YouTube videos showing epoxy pore filling and CA glue filling. Probably not the most conventional but it works and was very easy to do. I'll post another pic just so you can see what outcome the pore fill did.
     

  3. Tollehouse Twang

    Tollehouse Twang TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Jul 24, 2017
    Vista, ca
    5 minute epoxy grain fill
     

    Attached Files:


  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Honestly it looks far too slick/glossy in the images for proper adhesion of an oil stain type that needs penetration and is light on film-forming resin like Tru Oil. Conventional paste wood fillers looks nothing like that. If the grain was exposed enough that you could see the Tru Oil soak in then you got at least partial adhesion.

    I have seen CA used as a filler - but not on a large area like a body top or back (usually on fretboards), and not with penetrating stains or dyes.
     

  5. Tollehouse Twang

    Tollehouse Twang TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Jul 24, 2017
    Vista, ca
    Sorry I should have specified. That photo is after 5 coats of TO
     

  6. Tollehouse Twang

    Tollehouse Twang TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Jul 24, 2017
    Vista, ca
    It definitely penetrated the wood. I made sure to sand. Until I was getting brown sand dust. And it wasn't hard to tell it was bare wood. There was hardly any epoxy to sand off
     

  7. Tollehouse Twang

    Tollehouse Twang TDPRI Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Jul 24, 2017
    Vista, ca
    Also, a lot o people fancy the product "Z poxy" which is also a 5 minute epoxy. Just Google "epoxy grain filler" there's plenty of people who have done it and documented it
     

  8. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington
    I rub it in with my finger until there is nothing to wipe off - just before it gets to the point where my finger won't move smoothly. I've also use a pad made of paper towel that works surprisingly well. Assuming you use really light coats witness lines are going to be your biggest risk. Sanding should only be *very* light and I usually use 2000 grit. Never more than every few coats. It will not get really glossy until you polish it. Even polishing can introduce witness lines if it's too aggressive.
     
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  9. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    408
    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    I have used the Z Poxy and Tru Oil on several open grain bodies.
    The Z poxy is far from being a 5 min. epoxy. More like a 12 to 24 hour epoxy.
    I always sand between Zpoxy coats and sand the final coat with 320 to give a dead flat surface for the finish to lay on, and to give a little something for the finish to hold on to. Z poxy will make the grain pop, adds a nice amber tint, and definitely seals the wood.

    As far as witness lines, that is an inevitable problem with any oil based varnish, poly or whatever. The coats absolutely do not 'melt' into each other like lacquer or shellac does.

    Almost any sanding will cut through the thin coats creating the visible lines.

    But all is not lost.

    Build several coats with only light nub sanding between coats.
    Then block sand to dead level.
    Then apply a final coat. That should hide all witness lines.

    Allow a full cure, then buff the final coat without sanding it. Almost any sanding, even with 2000 will cut through coats creating lines.

    Remember that Tru Oil and all oil/polyurethane/varnish finishes cure in 2 ways. First is evaporation, which takes a few hours to a couple days, followed by the polymerization stage that could take a couple months.

    I avoid buffing for a month or more.

    This is a Z Poxy, Tru Oil old growth Douglas Fir project I did. Dead flat and slick as glass.

    Douglas Fir slab project 069.jpg
     
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  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    That's the trick - and the difficult part, because epoxies make the job far more difficult than lacquer-type fillers.

    I'm well aware of epoxy fillers - but in wood finishing...including guitar work...they are not normally used when stains or dyes will be used unless applied afterwards. Even after sanding you only get stain/dye penetration into the exposed areas of the grain. And Tru Oil is not much in the way of a surface coating - it has to "bite" into grain in order to adhere well.

    You sanded enough to get some adhesion, but had the sanding only been done to smooth the surface - which i show epoxy fillers are normally used (on fretboards where open grain isn't desired, for example) it's like applying it on glass. It was the extra sanding in this case that allowed it to work, hopefully (it's still hard to tell how it will hold up).
     

  11. Raimonds

    Raimonds Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    326
    Dec 1, 2014
    Latvia
    I always wonder how much time you got guys, months for body finish, I dont have so much time and patience.
    10-15 coats are enough, it took 2-3 days to finish this body, 7-8 coats of tru oil and some 5 coats with thinned tru oil (naptha). Picture is taken before final sanding and buffing.
    IMG_3412.jpg
     
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  12. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    That's a beauty!

    Ha, I wondered the same thing and it was me doing it! I was finishing a blackwood top, it took a lot of trial and error (sanding through finish, finish not adhering etc) before I found a technique that worked - it was a very oily wood! Also, I assume you epoxy filled the body first, to fill the cracks and pores?. I guess a good filled foundation helps the layering up process too... I dunno... maybe I went overboard!
     

  13. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    N.Ireland
    Drop dead gorgeous.
     
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  14. Tomasi

    Tomasi Tele-Meister

    104
    Jan 26, 2016
    Finland
    Sure is! I'm baffled how you got that with just 7-8 coats. It takes me about 100 to get completely flat mirror finish. Haven't used any separate grain filler though, just 800 to 2000 grit with spec of tru oil as lubricant every five layers. It takes time, but I look it this way. More of joyous tinkering time for the same money. :)
     
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  15. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    17
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    All I'm doing now is Tru Oil-ling a white-looking maple Tele neck. How many coats might it take to darken it alittle? I don't care about a dark amber color. Thanks.
     

  16. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    562
    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    Tru-Oil is thin enough that it won't outright color the wood, but give it enough coats to do a nice finish (for a neck, I'd go more than 5, less than 10) and it'll knock back a little of that Maple whiteness. The rest will come with age.
     

  17. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    17
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    After a few coats of Tru-Oil, would it be safe to spray on a coat of StewMac's Aged Clear (Amber) nitro lacquer? Would that lacquer safely bond to the Tru-Oil? Thanks in advance.
     

  18. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Hmmm, probably not.

    The other way around would probably work - nitro then tru-oil on top - with nitro on top the solvents would likely mess with the tru-oil... but I am by no means an expert. Cue Silverface.

    I would say, by default, you should do any colour work (tint/stains/dyes) before you're clear coats - in this case your tru-oil.

    If it's about tinting the finish, I think someone had luck tinting tru-oil with linseed based artists oil paints... never tried it myself
     

  19. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    17
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    Thanks, Mat. The problem is, my neck was originally sprayed with poly. I sanded it down lightly, and the Tru-Oil has bonded on it nicely.
    At first, I wanted to spray this neck with nitro amber lacquer, but that would of been a mistake, even with some sanding.
     

  20. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I imagine a light sanding will only key the surface - poly/tru-oil/nitro is an interesting cocktail but one I fear that will cause you grief.

    Truly, I think sanding it back entirely, then figuring out a proper and tested finishing schedule is the option for a finish you will be happy with.
     

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