Tru-oil finishing

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Skip Templeton
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Tru-oil finishing

Post by Skip Templeton »

How can I get a nice smooth glossy finish with Tru-oil ? I have applied about 50 coats and it is pretty smooth, but I can't seem to give it a professional shine. I am buffing by hand.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Barry Daniels »

Buffing by hand is difficult to get a high gloss. What type of buff and compound are you using?
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Skip Templeton
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Skip Templeton »

I have tried several methods...I have used micro mesh ...FFFF pumice w/a few drops of mineral oil...0000 steel wool...thin coats of half tru-oil and half mineral spirits...

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Waddy Thomson »

How glossy do you want it? I was always able to get it to a pretty good gloss right out of the bottle. I wipe on, very thin with no wiping off, then let dry a few hours, lightly sand back, then re-coat. No more than 3 to 4 coats a day. Build for a few days then wet sand back with Micro Mesh. Finish up with Meguire's Swirl Remover and then Show Car Glaze.
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Bryan Bear
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Bryan Bear »

That's nice looking Waddy! That is as good as I have seen a Tru-oil finish.
Is that the sycamore that bent itself into a guitar?
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Eric Knapp
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Eric Knapp »

Waddy Thomson wrote:How glossy do you want it? I was always able to get it to a pretty good gloss right out of the bottle. I wipe on, very thin with no wiping off, then let dry a few hours, lightly sand back, then re-coat. No more than 3 to 4 coats a day. Build for a few days then wet sand back with Micro Mesh. Finish up with Meguire's Swirl Remover and then Show Car Glaze.
That looks great, thanks for the tip. I'm planning on using Tru-Oil on my first finishing attempts. Do you mean these for the swirl remover and the show car glaze?

http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/product/swirl-remover

http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/product/s ... glaze-16oz

Thanks,

-Eric

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Waddy Thomson »

Those are the ones. I might mention, that I did not use the Tru-Oil to fill the pores on the Walnut guitar. No pores on the Sycamore. Using the Tru-Oil to fill the pores takes more coats and more aggressive sanding back on the early coats.

Rodger Knox
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Rodger Knox »

I agree with everything Waddy says, and I've done quite a few TruOil finishes.
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Skip Templeton
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Skip Templeton »

Looks great! Swirl remover, then Show Car Glaze. I'll try it. Thanks

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Barry Daniels »

Keep in mind that swirl remover is a very fine, finishing type of polish, to be used after a coarser type of compound. And the show car glaze is basically a wax without any type of polishing grit. So you need to have the finish already buffed to a good gloss before you go to either of these products.

If you need a good general purpose buffing compound to bridge the wide gap between fine sanding and the two finishing products mentioned, I would recommend Meguiar's Ultra-Cut Compound #105. It is an extra heavy cut compound that can take a surface sanded to 1200 grit up to a high gloss.
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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Waddy Thomson »

I generally wet sand from MicroMesh 2400 to 12000 before using the Swirl Remover.

Skip Templeton
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Skip Templeton »

Thanks very much for the tips.

Dennis Duross
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Dennis Duross »

Waddy:
Are you using Tru Oil on the soundboard as well, or are you French polishing it?

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Waddy Thomson »

When I use it, I use it on everything. It's not my first choice finish though. First choice is French polish using Royal Lac.

Dennis Duross
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Dennis Duross »

Is that because it's not as protective/durable as FP? Because it sure sounds faster, and it obviously looks great. Am assuming it would be easy to touch up and rejuvenate too.

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Waddy Thomson »

No, I'd say it's, most likely, more protective than French polish, but it's, in my opinion, more fiddly to get right. I find French polish to be pretty easy to get done, and usually faster than Tru-Oil to complete. The Royal Lac seems to solve the durability problem, somewhat, but has it's own drawbacks with regard to touching up old finishes, as once cured, it is no longer alcohol soluble.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I've used Formby's Tung Oil Low Gloss on four electric guitars, and I've been very happy with the results. I sand to 320, do a coat of Zinsser's Seal Coat shellac (no pore/grain fill), knock it back with 0000 steel wool, then just wipe on the oil with folded pads of t-shirt. For the front and back, I'll do swirly patterns, then long swipes. Each coat goes on very thin, and I've done as many as seven but as few as four coats, no sanding flat between, with as little as an hour between coats. Every surface gets the oil, including the fingerboard. After drying for several days, I'll buff by hand with a dry piece of t-shirt. Considering that it's called "low gloss," I was surprised by how clear and glossy it does look. For the back of necks, I'll knock off the gloss with the 0000 steel wool, and I did that on the body of one guitar, too, for a matte finish.

These guitars haven't been played much or very hard, so I can't speak for the sweat/alcohol/blood/etc resistance, but an oil finish like this doesn't really create a "shell" (at least at the thin-ness of the application I'm using). In other words, there really isn't much scratch/dent resistance, and the finish is only as strong as the wood beneath it. For the ease of application and touchups, and for allowing the grain and character of the wood to show (if that's your thing), then it's great.

I'm definitely going to use it more, though I've been following the General Finishes thread that Chuck started, and I'll give the High Performance or EnduroVar a try on my next. I'm doing my homework on compatibility of different paints and dyes first and will test on scrap.
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Ben Fowle
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Ben Fowle »

Barry Daniels wrote:Buffing by hand is difficult to get a high gloss. What type of buff and compound are you using?
What sort of buffer do you use?

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Barry Daniels »

I am now using two pneumatic mini buffers. I have both a random orbital and a rotary. Different compounds like one or the other. The microfiber pad works great for Meguiar's 105 compound and the soft blue foam pad is used with 3M finishing compound.
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Eric Knapp
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Re: Tru-oil finishing

Post by Eric Knapp »

Barry Daniels wrote:I am now using two pneumatic mini buffers. I have both a random orbital and a rotary. Different compounds like one or the other. The microfiber pad works great for Meguiar's 105 compound and the soft blue foam pad is used with 3M finishing compound.
Where does one find those mini buffers? What is the brand and are their other brands to look for too? What size air compressor is required?

Thanks,

-Eric

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