Koa body: finish advice?

buckallred

Senior member
Messages
173
I brought 2 koa boards back from Hawaii, now they are being routed into a tele body.

What about a finish? I could have them sprayed with clear gloss. Really I am leaning toward doing a Tru-oil (or similar) finish.

Any advice would be appreciated, since I know absolutely nothing about woodworking or finishing.

thanks.
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
Nitro will age well, and be purist-approved. It's easier to fix.
Poly will be a bit tougher, but harder to fix.
I don't know much about tru-oil though.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
Pictures would help? Is it flamed, figured or plain Koa? If you are wanting a "mirror-like" finish, you'll need to fill the grain in the Koa, which from my limited experience with Flamed Koa can be as big of a pain in the ass as mahogany. This is regardless if using Tru-oil or other gloss top coat.

If you have some really pretty pieces of Koa and would like to leave them/the body looking as natural as possible, the easiest finish in the world to do if you have little/no experience would be to just leave the grain unfilled and use several coats of Deft Satin Lacquer. It comes in spray cans or in a "brushing lacquer" can. Here's a thread on such a finish; note that I shot the front of the bass with one light coat of Fender Neck Amber to make the flaming "pop out" more: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=4659.0

jbassknobs.jpg
 

mcjt

New member
Messages
14
i have  akoa strat that i did in tung and teak oil. it's super resonant!
and tru-oil is great too....
but a a lacquer finish looks best on koa, i think. especially if you have a really nice piece of wood!

456775425_c1be794c53.jpg

 

buckallred

Senior member
Messages
173
jackthehack said:
Pictures would help? Is it flamed, figured or plain Koa? If you are wanting a "mirror-like" finish, you'll need to fill the grain in the Koa, which from my limited experience with Flamed Koa can be as big of a pain in the ass as mahogany. This is regardless if using Tru-oil or other gloss top coat.

If you have some really pretty pieces of Koa and would like to leave them/the body looking as natural as possible, the easiest finish in the world to do if you have little/no experience would be to just leave the grain unfilled and use several coats of Deft Satin Lacquer. It comes in spray cans or in a "brushing lacquer" can. Here's a thread on such a finish; note that I shot the front of the bass with one light coat of Fender Neck Amber to make the flaming "pop out" more: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=4659.0

jbassknobs.jpg

hey, good point. Photos are attached. As you can see, it's fairly ordinary stuff, well as ordinary as koa can ever be.  I was in Hawaii and bought this board for $85. If it turns out nice, great. If it doesn't, I am out $85.

As for what finish I want, well I am open to suggestions. I want to end up with a nice looking guitar. But the reality is that I know zero about finishing wood, and would hate to ruin this project through sheer stupidity.

So, most likely I will try to find someone in my area (Sacramento) who knows what he is doing to help. But the advice offered here is definitely appreciated. Please let me know your thoughts.
 
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