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Osmo Polyx - my impressions and experience

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by JUSS10, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. JUSS10

    JUSS10 Tele-Meister

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    Just wanted to share some thoughts on another hardwax-oil finish I have been using lately with my guitar builds.

    Just going to state this bit first. This is my own experience and I really like it. I know everyone has their preferred finishing methods and thats great. I'm not posting this to try and convert anyone or tell anyone how they do things is wrong. Just another tool in chest so to speak.

    When I started to build guitars in 2020 I decided that I wanted to have a few key factors to my guitars to make them unique. 1) I wanted materials to be locally sourced and native to the state of Michigan where I live. 2) I wanted to reclaim/reuse as much as I reasonably can while building. 3) I wanted to use finishing products that were environmentally friendly and natural based.

    In the process of securing some local wood sourcing, I became friends with a local custom wood worker who does large tables and bar tops for local businesses and homes. I was able to use a lot of his cut offs for building my guitars. He introduced me to Osmo Polyx oil finishes. To that point I had been using a product called Odies Oil (I have another thread on that) which I was pretty happy with but he told me to give Osmo polyx a try so I did.

    I have since built two guitars using Osmo Polyx on the necks and raw wood parts and I am very pleased. Its a pretty simple process and quite frankly is really hard to screw up. Its not a "cheap" product but it checks all the boxes for what I was looking for. I use the Osmo Polyx 3043 clear satin. They also make a clear gloss as well as a few versions that add a slight tint of white to lighten the finish up as well. The clear does has a slight amber hue to it like most finishes so I guess keep that in mind. The satin provides the raw wood feel which I really like. I haven't tried the gloss at all as satin was what I was after.

    Application is super easy. sand the surface to 320-400 grit and then wipe it down with a clean cloth of vacuum to get all the sanding dust off. For applying the finish I use the white scotch bright pads. I think they are called 0000 synthetic steel wool. I've found them at most hardware stores with ease. dip the white pad in to the can of osmo and just buff it on to the wood. I use a circular pattern with a little bit of pressure to make sure it works itself in to the grain well. Its ok if you see it "pooled" up a bit in some areas as that will get taken care of later. In the case of a guitar neck, I do the whole thing, fretboard, frets and all (I use hickory on my fretboards, I suppose if you used rosewood you could mask it off). I do make an effort to make it as uniform as possible as far as build up on the surface. Once the whole neck is coated well, I let it sit for 10-15 minutes then buff it off really well with a terry cloth or any sort of lint free rag. Make sure to keep moving to clean spots on the rag occasionally so so to get any extra finish on the surface off. Let it sit for 8 hrs or so and repeat. I usually only do two coats as that's what Osmo recommends but I did 3 on one neck just for kicks as I didn't feel like it quite had the depth and sheen I was after.

    I want to reiterate that this is an oil finish. I believe it will harden the wood to some extent with time but nothing like a poly or varnish. It penetrates and doesn't just sit on the surface so I don't think building up a ton of coats would make it harder. There was a few videos of guitar builders on youtube and one guy did do 4 coats on his necks so it very well may help with more coats, I haven't done enough testing yet to confirm. All that to say, the benefits and ease of the process far out weight any draw backs to me. I really like the raw wood feel of a neck and this nails it. Its also very easy to touch up. With it being lower VOC, you can do it in your house without the need of a respirator and no need for a sprayer or other costly equipment.

    The process is very similar to Tru-oil but leaves a nicer, satin natural finish in my opinion and no sanding between coats. Its also a great product to have around the house if you like to do other wood working in general. Its child safe and is water and sweat resistant.

    Primarily I've used it on raw wood but I've also done some tests on porous paint finishes such as milk paints and it works great as a top coat on those as well. I'd think any paint/stain that can have an oil finish on top would benefit from Osmo. Osmo also makes some great stains and finishes that can give that semi transparent look based on the number of applications. I intend to try that on a guitar body in the near future.

    I'll add some photos of the finish on my necks. Once again, this is a product I have been using and really like, that doesn't mean it will it be perfect for you but I highly recommend taking a look.

    DSC_0675.jpeg IMG_9772.jpeg IMG_9760.jpeg IMG_9737.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  2. RolandG

    RolandG Tele-Meister

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    This is my experience too. Having tried OSMO I stopped using Tru Oil. I use OSMO 3032 Satin for guitar necks, and OSMO Glossy for other woodwork, including children’s toys.
     
  3. JUSS10

    JUSS10 Tele-Meister

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    I'm not seeing Osmo 3032... I wonder if thats what turned in to 3043, which is what I used here. I'd like to give 5125 a try at some point as its a high solids and even lower VOC. I just bought 750ml of the 3032 though so... Going to be a while.

    Really glad to hear others are using it as well. I just love the stuff.
     
  4. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister

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    I emailed Osmo about the difference between 3032 and 3043 and.....there is none. 3032 is for the UK market, and 3043 is the US. But they confirmed the contents of the tin is the same.
     
  5. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    Not to hijack, just trying to compare products:

    Interesting stuff. It won't be available to me here, otherwise, I'd give it a try! But, in terms of application and end result, seems to be in a similar vein as good old boiled linseed oil.

    In terms of environmental friendliness, that's where the products diverge I guess, though I just got some Swedish (Ottossan) boiled linseed oil, and I think it's on the "greener" end of the BLO spectrum. I used it so far on my neck build. The feel is silky smooth.

    neck-blo2_edited.jpeg
     
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