I wore through 4 coats of Tru Oil on my neck-already

ice man

Active member
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33
My mahogany neck looks great tru oiled, I applied 4 coats, steel wooled in between.  I noticed it feeling a little rough, so I looked at it tonight and I have a grey "vintage use" stripe where my thumb slides on the back of the neck.  Plus, I didn't grain fill the neck and it feels rough, even after sanding with 1200.  So, I am thinking about redoing the whole neck.  Should I sand it all the way down, grain fill, sand smooth, then apply more than 4 coats of tru oil?  I love the color with the natural mahogany/tru oil.  Can I poly over the tru oil?  Suggestions please. :dontknow:
 

ognolman

Senior member
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351
jackthehack said:
DangerousR6 said:
I thought tru-oil was supposed to be like a hard finish.  :icon_scratch:

Properly applied Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil is....

Ok, so was this improperly applied or was it not true Tru-Oil?

If improperly applied, where did he go astray?

JBD
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
I personally dont think its much "tougher" than shellac.  Maybe a little...    It is a film finish though, and provides a barrier against moisture.  And you can just slather some more on if you want..
 

Alfang

Senior member
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2,596
slath·er (slr)
tr.v. slath·ered, slath·er·ing, slath·ers Informal
1. To use or give great amounts of; lavish: slathered gifts and attention on their only child.
2.
a. To spread thickly: slather onions on the steak.
b. To cover with something spread thickly: bagels slathered with cream cheese.
n.
Slang A great amount. Often used in the plural: slathers of jewels.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Damn, It's a real word
 

ice man

Active member
Messages
33
Yes, it was Birchwood Casey Tru Oil, and yes, it was "properly" applied, thank you very much.  It is not durable.  I don't give a s**t what anyone says, it's soft.  I didn't touch the body for a month, the neck for 3 weeks, and with a mahogany body (soft wood) there are pick scratches everywhere.  Does anyone have any answers to my original questions?
 

jackthehack

Senior member
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5,630
You have to fill a mahogany neck/body.

Period.

Amen.

Although those pores look tiny, they will suck in any sort of top finish you attempt you apply on top of them . If you attempt to apply finish without filling, the coats/applications of anything from Tru-Oil to nitro lacquer will both "suck" into the pores and take an inordinately longer time to dry completely all the way way through.

I will not get in a pissing match with you, but I don't have any issues with Tru-oil finishing, but I fill completely - mahogany can easily take 4-5 fills even if you know what you're doing - and put a hell of lot more coats on than you did. Last body I did took around 6 weeks to do and I lost track of how many coats of Tru-oil, more than 35. No pick scratches, greying spots, rough feel, whatever.

At any rate; regardless if you want to re-apply Tru-oil again or switch to poly or some other flavor of top finish, first sand back to bare wood; fill the neck/body properly, seal it and then apply your top finish.
 

ice man

Active member
Messages
33
No pissing match, but I wasn't looking for sarcasm, just good advise.  I already heard that crap from my wife after living in my basement working on this thing for the last 12 weeks.  I don't claim to be a finishing expert, and I did quite a bit of research before I even thought about touching this guitar.  Nowhere did I encounter anyone applying 35 coats.  I'm not disputing your methods, so don't take me wrong.  Everything I read was between 6 and 12 coats, steel wooled in between, so thats what I did.  I took my time with it and let it sit for a long time before messing with it. And grain filling was an option according to my searches, not a necessity.  If I would have been given your advice, I would have done  the 35 coats and grain filled.  So live and learn, I guess.  So do I have to sand all of the stain off as well?  I know you said bare wood, but if thats the case, that sucks.  Oh well, take 2 I guess.  I wish I would have visited this forum before I built/finished this thing.  Live and learn boys.
 

ognolman

Senior member
Messages
351
ice man said:
So do I have to sand all of the stain off as well?  I know you said bare wood, but if thats the case, that sucks.  Oh well, take 2 I guess.  I wish I would have visited this forum before I built/finished this thing.  Live and learn boys.

I'm following this thread because I am about to take the Tru-Oil plunge myself.  I've already used it on some non-guitar-related items and have been happy with the results, but when I start putting it on a body I want to be armed with the best info I can find.  I hadn't seen anything about doing 35 coats either, so you are not alone.  That's a surprise to me.  I thought I had some good info for doing Tru-Oil, but I guess I've not done enough searching.

Now, as far as the stain goes, my guess is that you take it ALL off.  If you sand through any of the stain you are going to end up having to take it all the way down, is my guess.  But I'm no expert...  I would wait until one of the pros chimes in.

JBD
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
You don't HAVE to do 35+ coats; but then again 4 coats of anything aren't going to be sufficient for an area that gets a lot of abrasion like a neck.

If you are applying the coats very thick, they'll will take longer to completely dry/cure than you believe. If you apply another coat(s) on top of one that's not COMPLETELY dry you will have blushing, rub-out(s) and no end of problems. Doesn't matter in this regard what the finish is.

Trust me, I've tried to rush things and had to completely sand back to bare wood any number of times.  If you spray lacquer, for example,  on top of a coat(s) that isn't completely dry you can wait 10-12 weeks and it'll still gum up when you try to wet sand it. Been there, done that.

Bite the bullet, sand it back to bare wood and start over by staining then filling the mahogany.

Note that the best deal(s) on the Warmoth website is what they charge for finishing. If you factor in your time/labor/frustration factors in doing a professional looking finish, it's cheap as hell...
 

ognolman

Senior member
Messages
351
jackthehack said:
If you are applying the coats very thick, they'll will take longer to completely dry/cure than you believe. If you apply another coat(s) on top of one that's not COMPLETELY dry you will have blushing, rub-out(s) and no end of problems. Doesn't matter in this regard what the finish is.

...Which causes me to wonder how one knows that the stuff is dry.  I'm guessing the answer is to not put it on thick in the first place...  Put it on super-thin, right?

jackthehack said:
Note that the best deal(s) on the Warmoth website is what they charge for finishing. If you factor in your time/labor/frustration factors in doing a professional looking finish, it's cheap as hell...

Yes, it is a fantastic deal.  Especially compared to the prices of non-Warmoth finishers.

JBD
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
No argument from me - I already know its a soft finish.  Although, it does ok for a soft finish, and ok on things like non-glossy rifle stocks. 
 

jackthehack

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5,630
"...Which causes me to wonder how one knows that the stuff is dry.  I'm guessing the answer is to not put it on thick in the first place...  Put it on super-thin, right?"

Correctomundo; regardless of what the finish used; as thin as you can apply each coat the better. Judging when it's completely dry takes a bit of experience with each type of finish, but the thinner the coats you apply the less likely you are to run into problems.

 

ice man

Active member
Messages
33
My next one will come finished. My goal was to not have a bazillion coats of anything on it, I really wanted a thinner finish, hence the 8 thin coats on the body and 4 on the neck.  Maybe poly this time around....... So stain and then fill, or fill,sand then stain?  Also, which filler?  The stew mac paste?  What color?  Might as well get it going.  This thing is kicking my ass.  Oh well. 
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
ice man said:
My next one will come finished. My goal was to not have a bazillion coats of anything on it, I really wanted a thinner finish, hence the 8 thin coats on the body and 4 on the neck.  Maybe poly this time around....... So stain and then fill, or fill,sand then stain?  Also, which filler?  The stew mac paste?  What color?  Might as well get it going.  This thing is kicking my ass.  Oh well. 

The choice of woods can have some effect on the decisions. Some wood types like maple or alder don't require any fill. Generally speaking it would be stain - fill (if wood choice requires such) - seal then top finish. All steps require some sanding other than stain. I use the StewMac water based filler myself, but other people have gotten great results using other brands/types. You can use any of the three colors StewMac offers, or get the clear and tint it using water based dyes. If you want to use a colored filler get a can of the clear as well, it's a lot easier to do the first couple of fills with color, then switch to clear as as make sanding the filler coats back a lot easier; see this thread and check out the filler portions:

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=821.0
 
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