Am I doing something wrong

cableman

New member
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8
I'm finishing a black korina tele. Black grain filler, 3 coats. Clear grain filler, 3 coats completed to specs of my previous question. I don't believe I had any problems so far. I am now on coat 4 of tung oil. My question is that I have dull patches. For the most part its nice and glossy, but on the front and back are several dull spots. I am appling thin coats of tung oil, letting it dry about a week, scuffing with 0000 steel wool, wiping body with mineral spirits to remove steel wool remnits. Letting it dry 10 to 20 minutes and appling a thin coat of tung oil. Is there something I am missing. Also when finished with tung oil, about 10 coats, am I supposed to polish in some way.

Thanks
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
Dull spots can be - either you didn't fill the areas as well as you needed to, or you got a bit to heavy handed with the sand paper (sanding off the upper filled grain), or you just used a coarse paper and didn't fine sand that spot well enough.  Or it could be you didn't seal the wood as well as it needed to be and its drinking in that tung oil really well in those areas.

Options for fix - sand back refill, reoil.  Or keep on going and hope for the best.  If they're just "dull" and not textured, I'd let the tung oil cure for a longer time for this and later coats... letting the oil really seal things well.

What kind of tung oil are you using?
 

cableman

New member
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8
I think the brand name is Benhlen.  It's called pure tung oil and it came from Woodcraft. I don't think its a grain fill problem because the dull patches don't seem to be in the same places after each coat.
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
Not in the same places after each coat.... hmmm.....

<while I'm thinking>

Behlen is 100 percent pure tung.  Thats good.  Its good stuff.  It should smell like nuts (sort of) not like varnish - that means its the real thing (not the Home Depot fake stuff).

<still thinking>

You dont really need to scuff things between coats on tung oil.  The oil is polymerizing - that is - it changes chemically when it dries, and will not remelt like lacquer.  But it also sticks to itself just fine.  The only thing you really need to be aware of is dust and fuzz and hairs and that sort of thing.  If you have a hair or fuzzball in the finish, you can lightly sand it out with 400 or even 600 paper, and just keep on going.

Given what you've said, and given that tung oil (pure) is a rather low gloss finish anyway, I'd say just keep on going, don't scuff between coats, and remember - THIN - and let it dry perhaps longer.  What you're doing there is "err-ing" on the side of caution, hard to do cuz you want to play it!~  Its worth doing right though, no?

 

cableman

New member
Messages
8
My thoughts were that I needed a little more dry time between coats, seeing this is my first time with tung oil I wasn't for sure. What thoughts do you have about polising when completed.

 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
If you build up about oh... 8 , 10, 12 coats of pure tung oil... and really let it dry, like... couple of weeks on that final coat, then you can just buff it - not polish it, but buff it.  You can try using just a coarse cotton cloth and have at it by hand.  Eventually though, it will burnish on its own where you hold it, and play it.  Tung does a sort of "glow" very well.  Not really shiny, not matte or just a nice smooth "glow".  Its a nice finish, time consuming, but worth it
 
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