Another Pine tele newcomer...

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jaz761, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    I have built (screwed together, wired up) about a dozen partscasters...but always from scavenged used parts. For a ballpark idea of what I'm aiming at, I love Ron Kirn's pine teles (all of them, any of them) but am not currently in a position to buy such a fine instrument. I thought I might take a run at doing an oil finish on a pine tele body (from Tonebomb on Ebay). I have never tried to do a guitar finish though I have read enough forum posts that I probably shouldn't have any questions!

    Somehow, there must be a killer thread I've missed because I don't feel that I am clear on the answers to the below questions:

    - how do I know when I have sanded enough and also when to switch grits?
    - when does wet sanding need to happen? I am thinking only between Tru-Oil coats but not sure.
    - is the consensus these days that sealing isn't necessary prior to a finish like Tru-Oil?
    - i made a sanding block by stapling sand paper around a bit of 2X4.
    - sanding edges of the body....use a dowel or is a sanding sponge a good option for the contours?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance...
     

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    eallen likes this.
  2. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You should practice on a piece of scrap pine, going through the entire process from preparation to polishing, before touching the body. Don't "learn" on the real thing - start on the Tele body once you have worked out the answers to your questions, made mistakes, fixed things, found out how products interact etc.

    No matter what system you are going to use, read basic finishing on the Reranch site and look up "oil finishes" using Google. Make sure you also understand temperature, humidity and moisture content, and don't start anything until you have ALL the tools you'll need. Your first question is very basic and is answered on almost every website - except for the "how do you know" part - which is why you need to practice. You'll know by feel and look, but raw wood is sanded differently depending on the product(s) you will use. Each product is also sanded differently - or not at all (example - you never sand between coats of lacquer because they melt into each other).

    Wet sanding is product specific. With Tru Oil I would not do it at all - it's a penetrating oil that has very little film build, and you'd likely sand right through it. IF you use a wiping material with more film build (like a urethane) you wet sand only if the final coat is not smooth and the sheen is uneven - but if that's the case you really should have fine-tuned your technique. Wet sanding with lacquers should either not be needed or start with 1500 at worst. Extensive wet sanding is a clear indicator that the application technique needed practice. And more practice.

    Also check and see if you can even buy Tru Oil. It does not meet air quality regulations in many states or air quality districts; as I recall NJ follows California guidelines and it would not be legal to buy or use.

    Use your sanding block on a fence or garage door - not a guitar. For guitar finishing you should use blocks made of rubber (flat ones are sold at every paint store), and in multiple shapes - that's what will handle edges and curves.. Hard blocks will cause sand-throughs unless you have years of fine-finishing experience. You should also have blocks that have inside and outside curves - Rockler and shops that deal in wood finishing products (not "paint stores") stock them or you can find them on line.

    Sealing might be necessary - or might not. If used it should probably be sanding sealer, thinned a bi and sanded smooth - but it depends 1) on the tightness of the wood grain, 2) whether or not you want a slight grain feel or smooth finish, and 3) how well you understand Tru Oil based on practice. Again, it is a penetrating oil with very little film build and some hardening resins - more a "Danish Oil" type material than a "coating". Once you apply a few coats you can keep trying to load it up but it simply won't happen - it will only build a minimal film, at which point additional applications just moves the material around.

    On your practice piece(s) try it with and without a sanding sealer, try applying a few coats and a bunch, try wet sanding (not with water - use naphtha or mineral spirits) - using the materials and getting the feel and look is how those questions are answered, because there are NO right, wrong or specific answers - very often the piece of wood will dictate what you can and can't do. With lacquer there are more specific products, techniques and sequences. Something like Tru oil doesn't have the same "rules" because it's not actually a finish system and no rules as to method of application.

    So do some reading, decide what you *think* you want to use, get some scrap and start applying.
     
  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Good info here, Silverface. I have a couple of tone bomb bodies that I need to get to work on this winter.

    To the OP, I think you’ll find true oil pretty easy to work with once you get started and get used to it. Most importantly, have fun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Glad this was posted.

    Why work on them "this winter"?

    During summer months the humidity in Florida and the Gulf states - very often extending northeast through the DC area - is generally too high to complete a coatings project. And wood stored in garages, sheds and so on should really be tested for moisture. An electronic moisture meter runs $15-20 at Harbor Freight or on Amazon. If you do much coating - even paint wood on a house - it's a great tool. Above 15% is the "red line" - absolutely no coating. Professional painters normally use 11% as the maximum limit.
     
  5. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks very much! This is very helpful info for me to review. Exactly what I was hoping for...
     
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    They’ve been stored indoors in air conditioning. Waiting for humidity to get down so I can ventilate...working in an apartment.
     
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