How to finish a body with a laminate rosewood top

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
Hi folks,

I've done about 5 basses and guitars, 4 from warmoth parts, but the last time I did one it was before this place existed (to my knowledge), so as I now start looking at the idea of building a bass again I want to take advantage of a forum community like this.

I'm planning to build a Jazz bass style instrument, 4 string, rear routed.  I want a very dark wood look to it, something I've wanted for a long time, and rosewood is sort of the ultimate for me.  A solid rosewood bass would be a tad excessive, but a laminate top might fit the bill nicely, with either a mahogany or walnut back.  The neck will likely be wenge with a rw board, unfinished.

I've read a lot about how rosewood is oily and resists finishes.  What I used in the past was up to ten light applications of Formby's tung oil finish, an oil/varnish blend, and I used that on mahogany, redwood, swamp ash, and koa, each with nice results I thought.  Is there an oil finish I could hand apply that will work well with both rosewood AND the backing wood, either walnut or mahogany?  I don't have to have a "built up" finish or gloss necessarily, I just want a reasonably lasting layer of moderate protection for the wood.

Any suggestions? 
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
check my 'in progress' topic on my thinline.
I finished the rosewood top in (100% pure) tung oil and it was a major pain in the bollocks.
i am still happy with the end result, but it took me over 2 months to get there.
my rosewood top was quarter sawn, so that may be different too. the problem was that the different 'colors' within the grain would absorb the tung oil differently.
it still turned out great! :)
 

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
Thanks Marko, I've been searching but I can't find the thread in question...I was able to find a thread in which you posted pics of it though, it is gorgeous and completely my sort of guitar, right down to the P-90 pickups and the no inlay dots on the neck!  Awesome.

Could you point me in the right direction for that thread?  Many thanks!
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
Here's one:
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=3748

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=3051.15
 

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
She's a beauty and I bet she sounds fantastic.  I have a similar thinline with a figured redwood top and a mahogany back and neck, and a Fralin P-90 in the neck (normal tele bridge p'up).  Love that guitar, although yours is much more visually stunning.

For the mah/rw bass body, what about Watco Teak Oil?  It claims to be formulated for "teak, rosewood, and mahogany".  Think it could work?
 
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