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Tru-Oil Neck, Wipe-On Poly Fretboard?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by willdubiel, May 20, 2016.

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  1. willdubiel

    willdubiel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    58
    May 19, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Working on my first build.
    After reading what seems like a million opinions, I decided to finish my maple neck with Tru-oil, but opted for Wipe On Poly for the fretboard. after building up 6 coats of tru-oil on the neck, and two thin coats of poly on the fretboard, I'm feeling some tackyness and I'm concerned that where the two finishes overlap a little I'm going to have issues... Anyone with experience using both tru-oil and poly in close proximity?

    This is on a cheapo tele project. The neck is not special in any way, but does have some cool cathedral figuring on the fretboard.
    Against advice, I stained the maple neck to match my body, and wanted to leave the fretboard clear. It's weird, I know, but I wanted to give it a try. IMG_9120.JPG IMG_9121.JPG IMG_9122.JPG
     

  2. willdubiel

    willdubiel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    58
    May 19, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Crickets.... Ok. In spots where my poly fretboard finish overlapped a little on the tru oil, It seems to be fine. Maybe it was the humidity but after a few days the poly is Rock hard and clear over the tru oil. So here's my next question:
    Can I get a more durable finish on my tru-oiled mahogany body if I build with the tru oil (already have 7 coats on.... Going for 20) and then finish with wipe on poly? I notice I can easily mar the tru oil surface with a fingernail, which is an undesirable feature of tru oil. Or will the tru oil harden more over time or with more coats?
     

  3. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    You may not be getting responses because there's no one with that specific experience.

    I'm one of the ones with no experience in wipe-on poly over tru oil, but I would think that a wipe-on finish might not lay out as flat as spraying. Some would tell you to just skip the poly and polish out the tru oil (if you're going for a shiny finish). By the time you build 20 coats it should be hard enough...

    But if you want to put something over it, nitro and a preval sprayer is very easy and more conventional. Or just rattle-can nitro, but the paint is so diluted in rattle cans that you've spent almost as much as a preval + lacquer + thinner by the time you're done.
     

  4. willdubiel

    willdubiel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    58
    May 19, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Well thanks for the explanation and for the advice. I don't really have experience spraying or a place to spray (outdoors? Sounds bad). Either way, I'm going for a high gloss hard finish so I'll try to wetsand,wax, buff or polish the tru oil once it's built up and see how that works. If it needs something over it maybe I'll go with nitro
     

  5. johnnyha

    johnnyha Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 18, 2013
    Austin, TX
    It takes a few weeks for Tru Oil to cure completely, you'll want to wait that long for the final polish or you risk burning through it. The Poly will make the body more durable but it's not necessary especially if you are doing 20 coats.
     

  6. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    There's plenty of good advice on here relating to polishing tru oil finishes. Cure time is critical, as johnnyha advises. If you've never polished anything, read up and proceed carefully when you do the work. Little things like avoiding the edges and following the proper sequence of papers and polishes will get you a good finish. I've seen some amazingly good work posted here by first-timers. Join that club; not the ''oh no'' club;)
     

  7. willdubiel

    willdubiel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    58
    May 19, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    That's great to hear. So I'll stick with my plan of 20 coats (currently at 8) and research polishing tru oil in the meantime. Thanks!
     

  8. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I believe they are of the same family of finishes. Tru-Oil does seem to have a longer gas off period though. Once it's cured it's rock hard.
    I use the synthetic steel wool in between coats of TO and Polyurethane. Not much different from other finishes in the polishing department. I find TO that has been hit with ultra fine steel wool smooths out to an almost Semi gloss. You can to TO with Polyurethane best to give the TO a few days to gas off before putting the poly on.
     

  9. willdubiel

    willdubiel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    58
    May 19, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Great thanks! Yeah I've been hitting the TO with Oooo steel wool btween coats and like the semi gloss finish look it gives. Think I'm still going for high gloss in the end.
     

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