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Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Ironwolf, Sep 7, 2010.
+1 That is a beautiful Lap steel, I like the wood plates for the controls and the one on the other side very nice bet it sounds awesome.
Tru Oil doesn't get quite as dark as lacquer but it does darken. Here are the results of a study I did aging finishes in sunlight.
After 24 days:
For a little more info see my post at ReRanch:
Wow! Thanks very much for doing these tests. It is great
to get first-hand information about these things!
Fellow TDPRI'ers: I recommend following the link and seeing
the full results.
Tom, beautiful work!! Can you tell us what you do to get that
kind of finish with Tru-Oil.
My perception, or prejudice, or whatever, is that Tru-Oil is not
the most sensible approach when going for a "high gloss mirror
shine" finish. So I wonder how much effort and expertise it
takes for you to achieve your finish.
What method do yall use to apply the tru oil?
I've never finished anything before and I'm considering this for a natural finish on a partscaster.
I follow the directions on the bottle. I rub it on numerous thin coats with my fingers. Let each coat dry, and buff with steel wool to get rid of bumpies and such.
Thanks all, I enjoy building my steels, its a great creative outlet for me. There are some more misc pics of some of the steels I've done at this Photobucket link http://s302.photobucket.com/albums/nn87/tompettingill/
On applying Tru Oil, my method has been a moving target and evolves a little each time. My way is certainly not the only way, its just a way that works for me. Everyone will find a way that works best for them.
To apply Tru Oil I use a combination of wiping it on with a piece of lint free cotton, (large pre-cut gun cleaning patches), and then either spray the last couple final coats with a small gravity feed detail gun or do a thinned wiped on "glaze coat" .
For building body, I'll generally do 3 light coats a day wiped on with the direction of the grain. No need to over work it, I just lay it down with full long strokes and then give it a couple hours before the next light coat. Again, the key here is light coats, avoid the temptation to lay it on thick.
The next morning before any more coats, I take a small flat hard block and lightly wet sand with 1000 grit and a little spritz of mineral spirits for a lube.
For me, 1000 grit seems to be a good balance of grit at this stage as it cuts fast enough to work without being overly aggressive on the new finish. Once I get a good level film built, I move up to 1500 for a day, then 2000 for a day. After the 2000, I do one light / full / quick "glaze coat" or spray the last coat and let cure a week.
A couple misc notes, Birchwood Casey does have True Oil in a spray can. Not a lot of places carry it, but its available direct from BC's web site. For best results with their spray can, warming the can in warm tap water helps.
On big flat surfaces, I prefer wet sanding with a block over steel wool if I'm going for that mirror finish.
Tom, thanks for all the info! But I don't understand what the
following means. A block over steel wool?
Sure, basically I prefer wet sanding with a flat block rather than using steel wool by hand as it will give you a flatter surface. Hand held steel wool will create areas that get more pressure than others resulting in areas that get more finish removal than others. Steel wool is great for rounded / contoured areas though.
Got it, thanks. Can't believe I couldn't parse that sentence properly!
No need to start a new thread. I want to try TruOil for the first time on my next neck but dont quite grasp it. I see many light coats is best. But what do you do to prep the wood and do you lacqure over it? What do you do with the headstock front and decal? I dont think a decal would go over oil.
-How to prep wood before oil?
-What to finish oil with?
-How to install decal over oil?
Before I begin any finish application, I make sure the wood is very smooth. I generally dry sand the bare wood to 400, always sanding in the direction of the grain, never cross grain, and never in a circular manner.
Dampen the wood slightly with water. This will raise the grain and let you see flaws that you might have missed. The water will enhance any sanding scratches just like the Tru Oil will. Let it fully dry overnight. Resand with 400 until smooth.
Begin the Tru Oil application. The first coat will absorb into the wood quite a bit. That is normal and is a good thing. It will help strengthen the surface of the wood slightly and give a good foundation for further coats. I like to let the first coat dry about 24 hours before proceeding.
After the first coat is dry, you can begin the top coats. Many people like to apply 3 coats per day, 3 hours apart, then let dry overnight. Keep the coats as thin as you can. I am assuming you are using the wip on Tru Oil. Lightly sand after every 3 coats with 0000 steel wool or 1200 sandpaper. You aren't trying to remove anything, just knock down the high spots and keep it level.
After the 10th or 12th coat, let it dry 24 to 48 hours. Then wet sand lightly with #2000. Let dry another 24 to 48 hours and buff with a good quality polishing compound like 3M Finess It II or Meguires Mirror Shine Scratch Remover. This should result in a super high gloss. If you want a satin finish, omit the buffing stage. Call it done after the #2000
To bury a decal in Tru Oil: Make sure the headstock already has enough Tru Oil built up to be glossy. Make sure it is very smooth where the decal will lay. Make sure the Tru Oil has dried at least 24 hours. Decals don't lay very well on bumps, nubs or ridges. That area must be flat, level and very smooth. After applying the decal and patting it dry, wait at least a few hours if not overnight before applying more Tru oil. Apply 3 coats Tru Oil at least 3 hours apart to the headstock. Apply it a little on the thick side for this. I use a 3" square of paper towel folded to about 1", and wipe it gently and evenly on the headstock. After you have a minimum of 3 coats on top of the waterslide, begin leveling. I wouldn't use anything courser than 1500 grit. I usually use 2000 between coats. Be very careful to avoid cutting through. I usually end up applying about 10 to 12 coats on top of the waterslide to fully bury it and make the edges disappear.
I would not lacquer over it.
Either do your neck in one or the other. Both have advantages, both have disadvantages. If you do a neck in Tru Oil, you may never go back to anything else.
Lacquer never fully dries. It continues to off gas and shrink forever.
Oil finishes dry in 2 ways. The evaporative stage, which takes about 7 to 10 days, (If you can smell the fumes by holding it to your nose, it hasn't fully evaporated yet) and the polymerization, which usually completes after about 60 days. Only then will the finish be at full hardness.