Tru-Oil + Decals + Clear Coating Schedule?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Princetopher, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. Princetopher

    Princetopher TDPRI Member

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    Q: If one is applying a Nitrocellulose clear coat, on top of a headstock finished with Tru-Oil, in order to "bury the decal", how long should one wait between:
    a) Tru-Oil curing and applying the Nitro?
    b) final sanding/polishing the nitro?
    & c) reassembling the headstock hardware?

    Hey y'all,

    This is my first post but I've been a long time lurker again and I have gained a lot of great guidance from the collective wisdom of TDPRI. I recently assembled a Warmoth Partscaster. Key features include:
    -Tele body - Swamp Ash, Sonic Blue finish, heel/belly/forearm contours
    -Roasted Maple neck - Strat headstock, 10-16" radius, 22 frets, 6150 frets, Tusq nut
    -Fender tuners, double notched bridge w/ compensated brass saddles.
    -Fralin Vintage Hot Strat neck pup + Fralin Blues Special Tele bridge.
    -etc..

    This past summer I finished a Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas body in Tru-Oil. My research indicated that I should wait 1-2 weeks to let the Tru-Oil cure before applying final polishing compounds. Is this true of the wait time between applying the Tru-Oil & a clear coat? I am going to use Miniwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer "Clear Semi-Gloss". I intend to first apply 3 coats of Tru-Oil to the neck & headstock face, before applying the decal. Then Ill clear coat just the headstock face until the decal is buried. I have done a TON of research on this already, in fact I have a 31 page word doc. of key quotes taken from various forums on Tru-Oil finishing! But, I can't seem to find a clear answer to these specific questions listed above.

    Side Question:
    Thoughts on Tru-Oil finishing Roasted Maple fretboard? There doesn't seem to be a clear consensus on whether it is between to keep it unfinished or to finish it. Thoughts?

    Thanks y'all!
     
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why not just bury the decal under tru-oil? I'd be concerned of a reaction by a mixing of 2 different types of finish.

    You could always & should try on scrap before you get to that point if you're set on that combo.
     
    Chunkocaster, Dismalhead and Slim60 like this.
  3. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Regarding your "side question" about the necks fretboard -

    I'd go ahead and finish the fretboard right along with the rest of the neck.

    It will not only be simpler and easier, but it will look "right", as well :).

    Roasted maple takes on a beautiful glow when Tru-oiled. It also feels good under your fingers and will be a lot easier to maintain than an un-finished board.


    g
     
  4. Slim60

    Slim60 TDPRI Member

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    I'm wondering id anyone's tried this technique...

     
  5. Princetopher

    Princetopher TDPRI Member

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    I plan to use some standard vinyl decals, aka stickers aka non waterslide decals, because I found some cool symbols on Etsy that Id rather use than more traditional guitar lettering. Vinyl decals are a lot thicker/taller than waterslide decals.

    I am currently testing on a scrap piece of maple. On it I have placed a waterslide decal & a vinyl decal (each cut in half and separated). On one half, I've been burying the decals under just Tru-Oil. On the other half, I've buried them under Polyurethane gloss. For the decals covered with about 10 coats of Tru-Oil, the Waterslide is getting close to "disappearing", whereas the Vinyl, which is a lot thicker/taller, isn't even close yet. For the decals covered with Polyurethane, it's taken about 3 coats to bury the waterslide decal, and I'm on 5 coats for burying the vinyl decal, which is almost about buried. As for burying with just Tru-Oil, I'm afraid it might take too long/too much effort vs burying via a clear coat. But then again if the Nitro takes a month to cure...I would like to play this guitar eventually! Maybe I just won't bury the decal...
     
  6. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tape, like a sticker, is too thick imo. I'd rather buy/pay for a water slide decal. They look better too.
     
    Slim60 likes this.
  7. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    I've buried some deeeep decals before... even a mother of pearl inlay that i just lazily laid on the headstock and buried it in clear coats. but i wouldn't trust anything beside poly for that kinda depth. even nitro, which is probably the next hardest finish, would be a real nightmare of curing times and gassing. it'll open you up to all sorts of weird distortions as the finish settles in.
     
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I apply a couple coats of tru oil first, then apply decal next day and continue to bury in tru oil applying a coat every 3 hours in warm climate. I wet sand and polish the day after. Never had an issue after doing many necks this way. Be prepared to apply 20 odd coats to bury a decal and bring to high gloss.

    I have applied tru oil over decal on a nitro finished neck but have never applied nitro over tru oil so i'm not sure how that would work out.

    I constantly see misinformation regarding tru oil, waiting 24 hrs between coats etc.
    Most negatives come from people that have no experience with it.
    Unless the bottle is years old the drying time is around 2 to 3 hrs with a fresh bottle in my experience. Tru oil stick like chit on a blanket. I have even applied it to glossy glass and it sticks fine and is hard to scrape off.

    Once I have buried a decal I wet sand to level and then apply 2 last coats of Tru oil mixed with white spirits, The white spirits thins it out and makes it easier to apply with no streaks and creates a higher level of gloss than undiluted tru oil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  9. Princetopher

    Princetopher TDPRI Member

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    Bump. Just applied the first 3 coats of Tru-Oil to the neck yesterday. I did apply it to the fretboard. I think I'm going to:

    Rub down with white synthetic steel wool -> apply vinyl decal -> apply 2-3 coats of Tru-Oil to entire neck -> cure 48 hours -> Rub down with white synthetic steel wool -> start spraying clear coat over headstock face

    Sounds good?
     
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