Tung oil issues...

Malta

Senior member
Messages
141
I did my first build recently and hand rubbed 6 coats of 100% tung oil on my walnut jbass, buffing with 0000 steel wool every other coat. It originally had a nice satin-y sheen to it but after about a month it has dulled out considerably and seems to have a layer of white-ish residue in some areas, most noticably inside the upper and lower horns and around the brifdge. I can scrape at it with my fingernail and leave marks. Anybody experience something like this?

Also, can I spray Deft semi-gloss over tung (after correcting the residue issue) or is that a bad idea?

thanks!
Joe
 
G

GP

Guest
How long did you let each coat dry before applying another?  Also, how thinly were the coats applied.  Sounds to me, with my fairly limited experience with pure tung, that perhaps the answer to these may be "not long enough" and "perhaps a bit too thick" respectively.  My fairly limited experience did include one of each of these mistakes, which were quite easy to remedy with some sanding and some starting over.
 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
Messages
206
That white stuff is tung oil - which dries to a frosty appearance.  If you still have some left in the bottle pour a thin film out onto a clean piece of glass and let it dry - you'll see the same effect.

Like the other poster mention, you probably had excess oil penetration in the end grain where there are a lot of open pores, then over time the excess bled out and dried - leaving the surface residue. 

Oil stains, and even alcohol based dyes, will also do this if applied to heavily in critical areas - leaving rings of heavy color around the pores.

In general you've lost some of the sheen because true oil finishes are not very durable - almost equivalent to raw wood except for the cosmetic changes - and they get dirty/dingy rapidly.

Buff it out again with 0000 steel wool.  You could also apply a paste wax at the same time (you'll need one that matches the wood otherwise you'll see it in the pores of the walnut.) 
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

Senior member
Messages
2,793
I did the same thing, pure tung+walnut body-looks great doesn't it!?

I never had any problems with my finishing experience, but I was strongly advised to apply the first coat almost thickish, then the rest fairly thin, but making sure to get the oil in the endgrains (which it sounds like you did) and then leave to dry for a week in a well ventilated area. This was a big thing for me since i'm pretty darn impatient  :laughing7:
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
I had the same problem with my first build. I don't know why people persist in saying tung oil is easy. It isn't easy to spend 10 weeks waiting for some oil to dry! I eventually sanded it all off and sprayed a few coats of deft nitro over it. The easiest finish by a mile is wipe-on poly, and it works very well. Spray can nitro isn't as hard as it sounds either.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
tfarny said:
I had the same problem with my first build. I don't know why people persist in saying tung oil is easy. It isn't easy to spend 10 weeks waiting for some oil to dry! I eventually sanded it all off and sprayed a few coats of deft nitro over it. The easiest finish by a mile is wipe-on poly, and it works very well. Spray can nitro isn't as hard as it sounds either.

+1 to all that, tung oil is not that easy and is a definite "noob trap."  I fell into it with my first Warmoth, too.  That guitar later got Tru-oiled, which is another very easy finish.  IMO the best finish for a first timer is a Warmoth factory finish.
 

Malta

Senior member
Messages
141
Ok, I spent a good hour+ late last night disassembling then buffing it out with steel wood. Looks good, but not really sure its what I was going for.  Keyser mentioned using a paste wax, any particular brands worth looking into?

thanks,
Joe
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
I used 'Crystal Clear Paste Wax' from Woodcraft on top of my tung oil finish
the brand is 'staples'
 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
Messages
206
Briwax is a good brand of wax intended for use on wood.  Look for it in light or dark brown (depending on the actual hue of your walnut.)

Apply sparingly and buff out well, turning the cloth frequently.
 
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