Tru Oil questions

beerbelly

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I've been a nitro guy for years, but would like to try a Tru Oiled maple neck on my next build. I recall trying it years ago, ending up with a sticky mess. Obviously I did something wrong.
I have questions about using fillers, sanding sealers, sanding and/or 0000 steel wool, etc.
Could you guys educate me on the proper steps for a nice, smooth finish?
 

moreles

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Depends on what wood you are using for the neck, and what kind of surface buildup, if any, you want.
 

ehb

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I've done fretboards and am doing a 000 I built in Tru (when I get around to finishing it)...

With what I've done, I found extremely thin coats was da cheeze....

I'd take a coffee filter, cut it into quarters with scissors, fold one until I had a small pad.
Take cap off Tru bottle (NOT THE FOIL SEAL) and with a toothpick, poke a hole in center of foil.
I put the cap back on, shake it up well, take cap off and with pad, wipe up just what's on foil.
Rub that into fret spaces (that have been cleaned/scraped). If pad is really wet, I'll dab across several fret spaces to distribute LESS per space so no glob.... Just a little bit of sheen on space after rubbing it with pad...

Thin thin thin thin thin...

I did the fretboard on my Godin just for the hell of it to see how it looked.... I put a LOT of super thin coats... do a thin coat and by the time I hit the other end of the fretboard, I could do another super thin coat. Let it cure for a bit... I had a stand out in the alley by my shop and would sit it out there in sun for 15-25 minutes to help the TO cure...then do it again....
Rose board literally glowed in good light after.... Beautiful and smooth.... A bud walked in, saw my Godin, played it, and offered me cash right then.... "Nicest fretboard I've ever seen." ;). I did that fretboard just for the hell of it and it turned out gorgeous....

Some of these other guys have far more experience than I so they may be able to add some far better info....
 

beerbelly

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Sorry, I should have said it's a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, and I'm not planning to do the fretboard, just the maple.
 
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NotScott

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I did this headstock in Tru Oil for a Tele I built. Obviously, rosewood is very porous and I am not the most patient guy in the world but I am quite happy with the results. I just cut the Tru Oil with 50% water and it goes on very smooth. Let it dry and keep applying coats to get where you want.

aVsMh5Q.jpg
 

ehb

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Sorry, I should have said it's a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, and I'm not planning to do the fretboard, just the maple.


Same rule of 'thin thin thin' would probably still apply for best results.... REALLY thin coats...and a lot of em depending on what you want the final product to look like....
 

truckermde

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I've done a few with great results. The necks I used were pre-sealed, and ready to finish. I don't think I even did much sanding prep, if any, so as not to remove the sealer. It has been at least 10yrs since I did one, so forgive me if my memory has holes in it. :)

I use cheesecloth to wipe on THIN coats. Super thin. Many, many times.

After several, I start using a scotch pad between coats. Gently.

There are some great videos on youtube. Search TruOil gun stock finishing.
 

1981 LPC

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I've been a nitro guy for years, but would like to try a Tru Oiled maple neck on my next build. I recall trying it years ago, ending up with a sticky mess. Obviously I did something wrong.
I have questions about using fillers, sanding sealers, sanding and/or 0000 steel wool, etc.
Could you guys educate me on the proper steps for a nice, smooth finish?
I used TruOil on the back of the maple neck of my Custom, after removing the sticky nitro. Three thin coats - all it took.
 

ehb

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I've done a few with great results. The necks I used were pre-sealed, and ready to finish. I don't think I even did much sanding prep, if any, so as not to remove the sealer. It has been at least 10yrs since I did one, so forgive me if my memory has holes in it. :)

I use cheesecloth to wipe on THIN coats. Super thin. Many, many times.

After several, I start using a scotch pad between coats. Gently.

There are some great videos on youtube. Search TruOil gun stock finishing.


I liked using the coffee filters because they won't 'shed' fibers.... I had bought a packet of cheesecloth and then read something a custom builder wrote about coffee filters... Made sense to me...
 

YehonatanV

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@ehb, Sounds awesome! Do you have pics of the Godin one or did you go on to sell it then and there?
 

ehb

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Here is a pic of the board.... I did some more thin coats after this point.... Turned out gorgeous.... Bud saw it after I finished and had to have it.... He told me a while back he is still loving how it plays and sounds.... Phone pic but should show ok...

Godin-SDXT-4.jpg
 

ehb

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I have a Goldie w/ minis with a granny wood board..... Planning on doing the board on it when I get it back from a studio... I think it will look and feel very nice.... T.O.'d, the board will be easy to keep clean....
 

truckermde

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I liked using the coffee filters because they won't 'shed' fibers.... I had bought a packet of cheesecloth and then read something a custom builder wrote about coffee filters... Made sense to me...
I can see how that would be an improvement. I'll use them next time. Thanks for the tip!

:cheers2:
 

Aaronoutside

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I just finished my first Tru-Oil guitar and I think it looks great. I particularly liked how the neck came out as I wanted it a little mat and not too shiny. I cut the oil with 50/50 mineral spirits and used an old cotton shirt to put it on. Oddly, I tried one coat with a synthetic shirt and it turned out like shit. Don’t know if it was bad luck, but I will use coffee filters or cotton from now on.

I started with three coats a day and then sanded the following morning, but found that was too much and switched to two a day. I tried 0000 steel wool at first, but it left shit all over and was a real pain in the ass. Switched to sand paper and it got all gunked up, so finally landed on a wet sand with mineral spirits. Would let the guitar dry fully overnight and then splash a little mineral spirits on and sand with 1000 and then 2000 on the final coats, and it turned out great. For the body, I left the last coat unsanded, but I am debating on using some 0000 to take off the shine and make it a little more durable, but for the neck, I just wet sanded with 2000 on the last coat and it worked like a charm. Ended up with 10 layers on the neck and closer to 20 on the body.
8C1E3FAE-1FC1-4BE7-9F0E-C9896768B289.jpeg
D0D60E4D-19D6-42D5-A3DD-4D19BB6A0C22.jpeg
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