Tru-Oil over (dewaxed) shellac?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Yonatan, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    191
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Israel
    Search is turning up mixed results for this.

    I have an ash body (shh..strat shaped) which i sealed with a few wipings of shellac that I mixed from dewaxed flakes. Not sure when I'll get to it and I didn't want to let it sit around without being sealed. I was also thinking of a FP finish.

    But now I discovered an eBay seller who ships TO to Israel, so I have a bottle in the way to me!

    Seems like some people say no problem applying a TO finish over dewaxed shellac, and other people say to that TO should go over bare wood.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,985
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    I think you could, but TO is intended to be a penetrant finish itself. The shellac would impede it somewhat. You could always sand back the shellac but i'm not sure that'd be necessary. Test it on scrap wood.

    Are you wanting to apply shellac as a coloring? FP finish?
     
    Yonatan likes this.
  3. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    191
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Israel
    The point of the shellac was mainly to seal the end grain, but in the end I wiped it on the whole body, about three times, I guess I was thinking as a wash coat before FP.

    But now I have this TO on the way, and I've seen people get impressive results with it.

    I think that at this early stage the wood is still going to absorb a lot more of whatever I put on it.
     
  4. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,103
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    From my experience Tru Oil will only be absorbed into the wood for the first 2-3 coats. After that it sits on top. I don't know if it will react with the shellac that you used, but my hunch is that it will not. It should be worth a try in an inconspicuous area to see what kind of results you will get.
     
    nojazzhere, bender66 and Yonatan like this.
  5. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,985
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    Shellac sands easily. You could sand it back/level & it will just act as grain filler (I use this). You can then apply your TO.

    I've been meaning to do the same (sealing) on some bodies I have floating around here as a precaution. I want to stain the ash ones first is my holdup. By the time I get to it I'll prob change my mind. :)
     
    Yonatan likes this.
  6. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,307
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nevada
    I agree... TO needs to soak into the grain to enhance it, that’s its claim to fame. I’d sand back the shellac first, then use TO.
     
    Yonatan and bender66 like this.
  7. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    191
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Israel
    Just for reference this is the body (got it from AliExpress).

    It has a slight shine already from the shellac, but I only wiped it on a few times, shouldn't be a problem to sand off I think, if I decide to go TO route.

    strat body.jpeg
     
  8. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    899
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    State College PA
    i seal all my necks with tinted shellac first and then TruOil over it.
    you'll have no problem.
     
    Bob.M, bender66 and Yonatan like this.
  9. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    155
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Can I ask why you seal with shellac? What does a 'seal' coat do that the first coat of finish doesn't do? Or is it for the tint? In which case, can you not tint TO?

    (I hope this doesn't come across as being rude, I'm still searching for a finishing schedule that doesn't cause me to invent profanities, so soaking up all the advice I can!)
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,243
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Look up Gilroys youtube channel for french polish, they show how to give a complete finish with shellac.

    Many a fine piece of furniture and instruments have been coated with french polish. you probably don't need the Tru oil.

    .
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,426
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    Yonatan, I have never built an ash bodied guitar but it is my understanding that ash has open porous grain that needs filling. I always fill my grain before I apply anything else (if you've followed any of my finishing threads you know I like finishing resin for a filler). And while shellac is supposed to stick to everything and everything sticks to shellac, I would sure test any combination on a piece of scrap (ash) to make sure.

    And last comment, I've tried TruOil on two guitars and am not a fan. Once again, before committing to your beautiful ash body I would suggest making sure you like it. (I applied 30 + very thin coats, waited more than 30 days and got what I felt was a mediocre finish.

    YMMV
     
    bender66 likes this.
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,103
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It's a preference for some, but not all. In this day and age with all the goo-gooing over relics I would think that some people would prefer not to fill. Even without relic'ing open grained ash can result in a great looking and feeling finish.
     
    bender66 likes this.
  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,985
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    I purchased a left handed SX ash Furrian tele copy for a member on another forum that had that dry raw wood textured feeling to it. This is that guitar.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After handling this thing I vowed I would make one similar some day. I have 2 aforementioned raw ash bodies (Snakehead & Telebird) that i'm wanting to do 1 or both on.

    Your body looks good from that image yonotan. It's up to you how you want it to look/feel but it's a good move doing the shellac sealer in the meantime. If you sanded back to wood you'd still have the shellac acting as filler in the grain/pores. As you have it now it has some added benefit of the color of the shellac.

    Looking forward to some more.

    btw, I'm still trying to decipher "FP finish"?

    I use it as an inexpensive clear sealer instead of using more expensive lacquer to fill. Search through the Finely Finished area for tips with shellac or TO. Plenty available.

    Yes, you can tint TO with oil based artists paints. Others have mentioned just adding dyes but I've never gotten a mixture I'd feel comfortable with as the dyes (I tried Transtint) are water based & don't play well with the TO. Others like the outcome & that's what matters to them.
     
  14. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    960
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    Yup, just about everything plays nicely with shellac.
    I like it as a sealer coat.

    I’ve had luck using the colour tone liquid dye stew Mac sells.
    Just adding it to the tru oil.

    I got the amber tint, and find it too yellow unless yu use a lot going for a dark tint.
    Looks good layed down heavy, the deep colour you sometimes see on old weathered fender necks.
    But I prefer it a lighter tint.
    I’d add brown as well as the amber.
     
    bender66 likes this.
  15. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    191
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Israel
    bender66: I was as using FP to mean french polishing

    Freeman Keller: Yes, I will pore fill this one somehow. I used ZPoxy for my first build/finishing job (before the french polishing), it was probably at your suggestion. The results were great, but it was a huge pain to sand back (and I applied/sanded back twice!) - it was well worth it, but my least favorite part of the finishing job.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  16. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    899
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    State College PA
    I've had little luck tinting TruOil. Tried once. it's probably doable in some way, but I'm not hellbent on tinting my topcoats.
    Shellac carries tint well (I use TransTInt - or Mixol when spraying) and works as a sealer should - a harder layer (in one or two coats) than a fully absorbed drying oil will give you. That's why many candies have a shellac-derivative coating - it seals in the good stuff and seals out the bad.
    Like the fellers said above, on necks, i like the look of TransTint amber with just a whiff of brown added.
     
  17. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,307
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nevada
    I use the color tone tints from stewmac too. But I don’t add it to the finish... seems too difficult to control what you end up with. I tint the wood itself until I like the shade, then apply the finish, TO or shellac.
     
  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,476
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    Neither.

    Tru Oil goes INTO bare wood. It is a penetrating oil stain with a TINY amount of varnish solids content.

    To give you an idea, it would take a hundred or so coats of Tru Oil to equal the film thickness of only 2-3 coats of most properly applied nitrocellulose or acrylic lacquers. Over NINETY percent of Tru Oil applied to wood - sealed or unsealed - evaporates away.

    It is simply a penetrating varnish stain - aka a Danish oil type product. NOT a surface coating, although it's somehow been adapted into one despite lower solvent and abrasion resistance than almost all other materials. It makes a nice moisture-resistant penetrating material for the backs of necks. But it's not equal to or better than any common coating for guitar bodies. Shellac is also very weak but provides higher film build, as it's actually a coating.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.