Finishing question: Palm prints on bare wood?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by montyveda, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. montyveda

    montyveda TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm still slowly plodding through my first body build and the cedar top for my walnut tel-bass is super smooth and looking gorgeous... but

    palm prints.jpg

    Do i need to worry about the greasy palm prints?

    They're only visible in certain light and what I don't want to do is seal them in when the tru-oil goes on.

    I've tried removing them with sanding but am yet to try a chemical for fear of it staining the wood; I've got white spirit, methylated spirit, distilled vinegar, some random chemical free turps substitute... what would you experienced builders recommend?

    Sorry if I'm being naïve but I've never done this before and really want to get it right the first time and really don't want to tarnish the finish with a 'schoolboy' error.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Wipe with a cloth dampened with acetone, with the grain.

    If you have no acetone, use the white spirit. Neither will harm the wood.
     
  3. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    +1, acetone, naptha & move forward
     
  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Also, make sure to allow the wood to fully dry after cleaning it--before applying any finish.

    Acetone is the preferred way to prep particularly waxy/oily woods, e.g., rosewood, prior to glueing up, but white spirit/naphtha and mineral spirits work too. Acetone is a favorite because it evaporates extremely fast and doesn't slow you down waiting for the wood to completely dry.
     
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  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Use gloves before you get to that point.;)
     
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  6. tomasz

    tomasz Tele-Meister

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    Besides wiping them off, you will probably remove a good chunk of material smoothing out the surface. What type of instrument are you going to build, what is the application of the cedar?
     
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ronsonol or naptha.
     
  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    "Damn you, Kentucky Fried Chicken!"

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is the flip-side unusable?

    Try the solvents, they should help. But sometimes they can drive the contaminant deeper into the wood. I would use naptha first. If it doesn't do the job, use acetone.

    If you can get rid of the ghost, instead of sanding, you may want to try a good woodworking scraper. Experiment on scrap if you are not familiar how to use one. A scraper can often provide superior results.
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Naphtha or denature alcohol. It will also show you what the color and grain of the wood will look like under a wetting finish.
     
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  11. montyveda

    montyveda TDPRI Member

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    it's the lid for a chambered bass (the build is in another thread).
    The flip side isn't the book matched side so would rather use this side.

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll see if i can grab some acetone from the chemist tomorrow. :)
     
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  12. montyveda

    montyveda TDPRI Member

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    No acetone at the local chemist so ended up with 'super strength' nail polish remover that's 99% acetone. Not sure what the other 1% is though.
     
  13. montyveda

    montyveda TDPRI Member

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    Tried the acetone but it more smudged it then removed it completely, so I ended up planing it down again. Fortunately i really enjoy planing.

    The lesson learned today is not so much 'wear gloves' but use clamps. Up until the other day I'd been doing all the planing and sanding with the board firmly clamped at the two corners nearest to me... one final sanding session I held the board with one hand and sanded with the other; prolonged contact and my natural oils seeped in.
     
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