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

Tru Oil Question

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Geniustoogs, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

    Jul 2, 2016
    Hey! So I’ve been using tru oil for quite some time now and I love how easy it is to apply and how good the quality of finish is.
    I have noticed however that after applying costs there are small raised specs where fibers from the paper towel have come off. This is easy enough to rectify with some 800 grit paper but then I loose the sheen of the finish.

    My questions are: how might I avoid having the fibers come off while applying the oil, and if I were to buff the finish what would you suggest I use to do so?

  2. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    I put tru oil on a guitar with a sponge on a stick. you can find them in hobby stores. the ones I used probably came from Walmart.
    nojazzhere and Geniustoogs like this.
  3. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I used to apply truoil the same way - I've tried papertowels/old cotton strips/lint-free cloths and I would still get lint in the finish.

    Now I wear a latex glove and use my index finger to rub it in - you can feel when you've rubbed in the oil, your finger starts to drag.

    To buff the neck would be no different to buffing out a body - work your way up the grits to maybe 2,000+ then use liquid compounds to buff it to a shine. I prefer a satin finish so I sand up to about 1,200 then use fine steel wool to stroke it up to a satin sheen.
  4. joealso

    joealso Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Dec 25, 2012
    East Haddam, CT
    You can also use an old, old, well-worn and well-washed tee shirt. One that the loose fibers were lost years ago. Cut out or grab a small section and ball it up real tight.
  5. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

    A couple things in the fibers is to us a lint free cloth instead of a paper towel. Also, if you aren't using a tack rag before applying a coat to make sure it is dust free I would.

    As for buffing, it depends on how much of a gloss you are wanting. If hand buffing I would start at your 800 grit and go to 1000, 1500, & possibly 2000 depending on what I am after. Follow by a quality buffing product such as Meguire's. You might start with a medium. If you want more gloss do another with a fine compound. Harbor Frieght has foam pads you can mount on a drill that will speed up the process a bit. You need a separate one for each compound used. A high goss finish can be acheived with their swirl remover. A really wet gloss comes with their show car glaze. I use bar compounds and a stationary buffer so they may use differemt names for their stages these days. They aren't cheap though.

    Look forward to pics!

    bender66 and Geniustoogs like this.
  6. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I use my finger or an old lint free t shirt cut into tiny squares then folded. Use a new piece of cloth for every coat. Problem solved.

    I sand the final layer with micromesh. Treat it like a auto finish. Then apply a couple of final coats of tru oil and buff to a high gloss. I stop at a reasonable gloss because I'm not fussy and don't want super high gloss but it can be done by continuing to polish.This neck below was the first one I did this way, the pic is not great but gives an idea of the finish. It's lighter and glossier in real life and the grain pops in the light. I've since done many more and all have turned out good following the steps above.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    El Tele Lobo, Geniustoogs and joealso like this.
  7. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

    Jul 2, 2016
    I have a buffing wheel with compound that I purchased st Home Depot a couple years ago that goes on a typical hand drill. I used it once and left the wheel uncovered out in the open for a while... I’m assuming that wheel will be junk since it’s been out in the open?

    Thank you for all your advice!
    eallen likes this.
  8. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 15, 2013
    East Texas
    I use my finger. I like to feel it going on. It mostly washes off, doesn't leave a smell and I've never had any sort of reaction to it. YMMV.

    But I've never buffed it to a shine, I've always liked the 0000 steel wool finish.
    El Tele Lobo, pdmartin and nojazzhere like this.
  9. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

    Feb 26, 2017
    Near Boring, OR
    I've gotten my best results using my finger to apply Tru-Oil, either bare finger or with a latex or vinyl glove.

    Is your drill buffing pad a sponge type? If so, you can possibly rejuvenate it with water. Not certain about the cloth/fiber type.......

    Actually, you really need about 3 different sponge pads to buff with a drill. You dedicate one sponge to a certain "grade" of compound, and don't mix it with another grade. Example: One sponge is used ONLY for "medium cut" buffing compound. After that, apply "fine cut" compound with another sponge dedicated to only that compound. And finally, a third one would go for your final polish compound. I keep mine all separate in those big zip-loc freezer bags.

    Using and mixing all these compounds on one sponge buffing pad could inadvertently get "swirl scratches" with leftover medium cut compound when you're trying to buff out your final finish.

    Hope this helps some!
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Another vote for an old T-shirt. Also, when I Tru-Oiled my neck, I GENTLY used OOOO steel wool every few coats (not costs ;)) so that I'm applying subsequent coats to a smooth surface. I DIDN'T steel wool after final coat, but didn't like the "drag" the glossy finish had. I ended up gently steel wool-ing that, and it has a wonderful, comfortable feel.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  11. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Feb 20, 2018
    not a to expert here... but am currently working on a gloss finish using to and my god it's hard. I will counter some advice: if you burn through the final layer of to you are not going to be able to get a gloss finish w/o imperfections. It is not like other finishes - the layers don't blend. I've been told by the to gods that the final layer should only be buffed with mirror glow or other very fine buffer... as to is very easy to burn thru. afa application, again the to gods have bestowed on me(hehe) that I should wrap shop towel in old tshirt - works for me. the only way I have found to prevent "lines" in the finish is to put very thin layers of to on and wipe off right after. builds up very slowly. again, have yet to get a to gloss that I'm fully satisfied with so take this with a grain of salt.
  12. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Aug 27, 2016
    Use an old but clean white cotton
    T-shirt for applying truoil. Use a cardbox to cover the neck after applying truoil so it can dry dustfree.

    • Apply real THIN coats. Let each coat dry for 24 hours.
    • Sand down each coat with 0000 steelwool (better use 3M pads).
    • Apply a handful o coats. Everything between 4-7 coats is enough. You want one thin coat at the end, built from 4-7 applied coats. Sanding between each coat is important to get the desired 3-D look.
    • After the last coat hardened out for a couple of days you correct all irregularities with Micro Mesh from 2000-12000 and all the steps inbetween. You‘ll get a clean, homogenous coat of unbelievable beauty. Glossy (but not as glossy as the dipped in plastic PRS-high gloss. Who wants that) and hard as lacquer but much more beautiful and deeper.
    El Tele Lobo and jrblue like this.
  13. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    Paper towel? They dont belong near any finishing project. That's your problem. An old linen tea towel is the best. All the debris has come off them decades ago when grama was washing them. Cheap on ebay. But gauze can work as it's meant to not get debris in wounds.
    John Nicholas likes this.
  14. NICQ

    NICQ Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2017
    I tried everything and had the best results with a latex glove and my index finger.. couple of drops and then lightly wipe it until its reallx thin and evenly covering the surface - works great once you get the hang of it
    El Tele Lobo and Mr. Neutron like this.
  15. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I'll take a pore-filled surface finished in thin nitro or French Polish any day over most Tru-Oiled finish jobs, particularly on open-pored wood. But I'll take Tru-Oil over a drippy or thick, crap finish regardless of the material, and I'll take it over most of those incredibly shiny, glinty plastic wrap finishes. Obviously, Tru-Oil is not a really protective finish, and also obviously, it's not really an ideal finish from a musical standpoint; I don't use it because I don't have to. But to be honest, I don't view the differences as critical, especially with an electric guitar, and in many instances they end up being insignificant by any measure. Ad I've seen some wonder Tru-Oil work, so I guess I'd say to go with whatever works best for you, and get good at it. Without using paper towels!
    Geniustoogs and El Tele Lobo like this.
  16. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Feb 4, 2015
    UK and EU
    Elsewhere I've seen applying with paper coffee filters recommended. But I found using fingers best.
    Geniustoogs and El Tele Lobo like this.
  17. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Finger cots to apply.
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  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Getting ready to do my next build. I did my first one in Tru-Oil. Very pleased for my first finish job with no experience. Here's some pics:

    Jazzbo new pup 3.jpg Jazzbo new pup 1.jpg

    Here's a few more with the original pickup:

    Jazzbo new pup 3.jpg Jazzbo new pup 1.jpg 20170716_184203.jpg 20170716_183347.jpg 20170716_183716.jpg
  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    Nice job. It's hard to get wrong but for some reason I've seen many that do.
    That looks nice and level and the color, gloss level is good.
    Geniustoogs and El Tele Lobo like this.
  20. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Here's another recommendation to apply with fingers using a latex glove. I knock down burrs between coats with 0000 steel wool if necessary.
    Geniustoogs, Mat UK and Mr. Neutron like this.
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