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Tru-Oil on maple neck question

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by micpoc, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2007
    I applied a few coats to an all maple neck a couple of days ago and it's still a bit, um, gummy. It's definitely the Birchwood-Casey product. I did this on a body a few years ago and it went great; this is turning into a bit of a nightmare. Did I go too thick?
  2. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    My guess would be too thick. Did you wipe off as much as you could when you applied it? I only used it on a neck one time - a couple (maybe three) thin coats, and it turned out nice. I don't know how humid it is there or how humidity impacts the cure time of the product. You might want to let it sit for a couple more days and see what happens. Good luck.
  3. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

    Jun 25, 2006
    Morro Bay, Ca
    I use that stuff all the time. On the rare occasions that I've waited too long to wipe off the excess and it's become gummy, I've used a Scotchbrite pad to clean it up.
    I'm talking about situations where I planned to let it soak for a few minutes, I get distracted, and a couple hours later I remember I needed to wipe the excess off.
    As far as a few days goes, I can't really say.
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  5. 6x47

    6x47 Tele-Holic

    Mar 28, 2007
    Northern ON

    I've used Tru Oil on maple gunstocks, it really draws out the figure of the wood.

    Advertised as a final finish, I learned for gunstocks to apply a poly finish on top of the dried Tru Oil.

    Oh Yeah! Gummy.

    Just give it another light coat and then wipe dry.

    There is a lot of linseed oil in the product so it could be tacky for awhile.
  6. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2007
    I definitely didn't wipe excess off; I don't recall that I'd done that when I did the body, but perhaps I lucked out then. Scotchbrite pad sounds like a good idea - certainly better than steel wool. I'll bring it back down and start over, thanks.
  7. Ed P

    Ed P Friend of Leo's

    Nov 9, 2006
    I've used Tru oil, applying a couple of coats and then rubbing with 000 steel wool. It's worked out great for me.
  8. psychotelepathic

    psychotelepathic Tele-Holic

    Dec 6, 2005
    Yeah you definitely want to wipe it off pretty soon after application, and repeat application 2-3 times for the best results. I would also do a final wax with non-silicon waxing compound. You should be able to find good stuff at your local wood working store. DO NOT use the Birchwood-Casey gunstock wax, as that contains silicon. And we all know, silicon is forever and can impact any future finishes you might want to apply.
  9. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2007
    Well, I've managed to scrape off all of the goop from the neck; I'll start reapplying the Tru-oil tomorrow. Good thing it's cheap and one bottle lasts a long time.
  10. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Tele-Meister

    Jul 20, 2006
    I recently used Tru-Oil to finish a neck.

    I did one coat, let it dry outside for a few hours, then went over it with 0000 steel wool. I repeated that process 5 times and it came out great. I finished with some buffing and BC polish (not the wax) and now it's nice and smooth.
  11. Curly

    Curly Tele-Meister

    I've done several necks with Tru-Oil, and I prefer the look and feel of it to nitro.

    first, sand the surface down to about 600 grit - that will produce a smoother finish

    I usually wait a day between coats. Apply with cloth, such as t shirt material, and wipe off any excess after 5 minutes to reduce runs.
    Sand between coats with fine sandpaper - 1200 to 2000 grit - and/ or scotchbrite.

    despite the name, Tru Oil is a varnish, as opposed to tung oil, and it will dry to a hard finish. If you have access to a buffing wheel, that's a great way to finish it, but use a light touch.

    yes, the gun stock wax contains silicone, but you might try beeswax or "Briwax" for a final protection coat
  12. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    I haven't used Tru Oil, but I was under the impression it was tung oil, not linseed... Tung oil is much harder than linseed oil..

    I've been thinking of getting some Tru Oil to experiment with, but it hasn't happened yet. Are you sure it's linseed oil?
  13. photoweborama

    photoweborama Friend of Leo's

    Dec 16, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    I've used very fine steel wool, but really if you can afford the time, it will dry out in a week or two. Then it will feel like nothing is there at all.
  14. claudel

    claudel Tele-Afflicted

    The Material Safety Data Sheet on lists the ingredients of Tru-Oil as:

    >56% Mineral Spirits
    <33% "Modified Oil" (whatever that may be )
    <11% Linseed Oil - OELs as vegetable oil mist (whatever that means)
  15. 6x47

    6x47 Tele-Holic

    Mar 28, 2007
    Northern ON
    The short answer is I don’t have the proof at hand that linseed oil is the main ingredient in Tru-oil so I’m relying on my aged and failing memory, which is not something one should bet the farm on.

    Tru Oil is great stuff but I'm not locked into it as I've used the various linseed oils, tung oil and other linseed oil based products such as Danish Oil.

    I'm presently using Danish oil because I have some and I'm out of Tru Oil so I can't look at the bottle for a list of ingredients and I don't really know if they list them.

    I'm basing my assessment that the main ingredient is linseed oil on the smell and other characteristics. It seems to me I also read it in one of the gunsmithing rags. I apply both oils with my fingers and in this respect there are also similarities in feel and washing.

    The book Restocking a Rifle by Alvin Linden, published 1941, lists all manner of home brewed finishes, many of which I tried. Linden experimented with every conceivable finish and combinations of finishes that were available during his lifetime.

    While I have no idea what they actually put in Tru Oil, it very much reminds me of linseed oil with japan drier and a third ingredient (could be varnish, shellac, poly - I've tried them all) but that third ingredient eludes me right now.

    In using Tru-oil for wood finishing, when the object is to reveal the hidden ‘figure’, I find it advantageous to first use lots and lots of linseed oil to really soak in. Once the ‘figure’ is revealed, wipe off the excess and let dry before applying the Tru-oil.

    Both straight linseed oil and Tru-oil are compatible with final finishes of varnish or poly over them as a protective layer.

    Linseed oil takes quite a while to dry but by itself is a reasonably durable finish (but not for tools) so the products that are based on linseed oil have additives to speed up the ‘curing’.
  16. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Wow.. Thanks for the info, as well as the insight. I'm interested in trying it out, as spraying nitro becomes problematic in the winter... If the performance stands up to the claims, I wouldn't be opposed to using Tru Oil. I really appreciate your input.
  17. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2004

    you can put tru-oil on a guitar body and sand it, and the "dust" will fill in the pores of the wood and make a great filler---do it 2 or 3 times and then wipe on your finish coats and you can get a lacquer type shine. Tru-oil will cure, where linseed oil will stay oily-----I buy a new white t-shirt, cut it into squares, and use it to apply the finish coats--sort of like a french polish tampon---I luv this stuff!!---cheers!-----JIMO
  18. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2007
    The bottle says that Tru-oil is a "unique blend of linseed and natural oils."
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    My mom's been applying a mixture of linseed oil and spirits for years to the solid walnut natural finish furniture with good success, just don't sit on it wearing your best clothes if the application is recent. She's applying yearly in the arid California conditions, otherwise I'd try to convince her to switch to a harder finish.

    The darker the natural color of the wood, the more I'd be attracted to the tung oils and linseed oils products. Don't think it looks like much on clear or straight grain maple. Nitro, to capture that snapshot when the amber hue is applied but before the schmutz gets ground in.

    Got a walnut body coming from Tommy, you betchas it will be oil finish.



    Apparently the linseed oil will darken the wood more than the tung oil. I'm using pure tung oil, very sparingly. The emphasis is on getting drying action to happen and happen fully; never apply a second coat if the first is just hard on the surface, but not all the way through. The modified tung oils are partially hatched, partially set up and can be taken to project completion far faster, but one big problem ( for me ) is the contents of the can will gum up or go bad in very little time, + way easier to have an 'event' leaving a big mess that's all gotta come off. So I'm going way slow and natural.

    Gotta talk my Mom outta that linseed oil, that's just a layer of goo hiding the fine walnut furniture, needs to come off.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  20. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    I've been using a polymerized linseed oil finish with beeswax, which is excellent for a soft, natural glow- I think the Tru Oil is more of a varnish, from what I've read- gets hard and buffs up nicely. I had to strip a body that had been poorly done with Tru Oil, and it was miserable. I think I sanded for three days before I got through completely.
  21. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

    Jun 25, 2006
    Morro Bay, Ca
    I've always used a product called Briwax as a final coat over Tru-oil on my personal projects. Not sure if that's the dreaded silicone base or not, I've never tried to do another finish on top of it.
    I've only used tru-oil on necks, but I've used it on many of my own and thousands at the manufacturer I used to work for. My method is to get some on a paper towel and wipe the neck down, set it aside for a few minutes. Wipe it down with a dry paper towel to take off all the excess. I then fold that paper towel down to get a point, and spot clean next to the nut (if it's there yet) and the frets. Let it sit for a while...30 minutes is usually good on the first coat, longer after that. Buff the hell out of it with a paper towel and then repeat the process.
    Once I've gone through this and the Briwax, I usually go over the back of the neck with 0000 steel wool.
    I usually end up doing a few coats, but the manufacturer I worked for did one coat, a coat of tru-oil gunstock wax and out the door. Wipe on, wipe off...wax on, wax off...less than 5 minutes for a neck and that includes pulling tape and cleaning up after the fretjob guys.
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