Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Olive oil staining on top?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Olive oil staining on top?

    Never thought Iíd have to ask this one. We had a large bottle of olive oil break and leak all over the kitchen tonight. All the while mopping it up, it never occurred to me that my shop is right below and I had left a 1930s Regal parlor guitar I was working on lying out, uncovered (like an idiot), in my bench. An hour later I went down and saw the guitar i had just reassembled drenched in olive oil. Mostly it was on the fingerboard, which cleaned up easily. But there were dozens of little splatters on the top, and even some on the unfinished wood inside. Wiping up with dry or damp cloths hasnít touched the spots left from the little splotches. Iím worried the oil somehow stained the finish. I also know there isnít much I can do about the oil that went in the sound hole.

    Any ideas of how to clean up these splotches? I assume the finish is nitro. Itís a late Ď30s bare bones parlor, no binding, tailpiece, etc. The finish was worn thin in places.

    I canít see how to post an image from my phone, so Iíll add one as soon as Iím at my computer.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5CC524FF-2950-43C9-AEAB-4A1315C7191E.jpg 
Views:	116 
Size:	336.3 KB 
ID:	180862
    Here is the spotting on the top. It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but it’s darker spots scattered randomly over the lighter area of the sunburst. (In person there are splotches in the dark areas too.)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1BF0124D-8350-4AEB-B3C1-47DAF9C052FF.jpg 
Views:	82 
Size:	344.8 KB 
ID:	180863
    Here’s inside the sound hole. Ugh. Huge instrument label to cover it?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Don't feel bad, who could have possibly predicted that. You have a couple options. First is not to worry about it, it's probably not the worst thing that's ever happened to that guitar. The second is to keep going, and just soak the whole thing in olive oil. That's a joke... but for real, olive oil is often used as a lubricant for French polishing... so if you want to French polish it, I bet a lot of the splotches will go away when you French polish it. It's not a super valuable instrument, and as long as you don't get olive oil into any open seams which need to get glued shut, I don't think it can do any structural harm. Make sure all the seams are nice and tight, wipe it down with olive oil, and then French polish. Should work just fine to blend everything in together.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Marty Jacobson For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,231

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    You might try wiping it down with naphtha, using a fresh section of cloth for each stroke.
    Then, give it some time to sit.
    Olive oil does evaporate, but it takes a long time.

  6. The following members say thank you to rcc56 for this post:


  7. #5

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Add some anchovies and call it good....
    Spruce dork

  8. The following members say thank you to grandcanyonminstrel for this post:


  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Marty, thanks for the advice. I wasn’t planning on French polishing because I didn’t want the guitar to lose its wear. I assume a thing coat won’t do too much. Are you suggesting that I French polish with shellac using olive oil as a lubricant, or just French polish with the olive oil?

    Do you think naphtha or mineral spirits would help lift the oil from the unfinished inside? Or would it just push the oil further down into the wood?

  10. #7

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Another olive oil use. On an instrument with a nasty to the wood scratch or gauge, you can soften it by mixing a little olive oil and dust gathered from a hidden corner. Make a little mud and work it in. Makes a new bad scratch look like an old bad scratch. To me that’s a much better look.

    I did this to my old Epiphone Texan. Asked mt luthier if he could make the new gash match the six other old gashes in the top. That and a year of swet has pretty much done the job.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  11. #8
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    1,944

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    I would think naphtha would pull a lot of the oil from the inside. It's worth a try. If there's a little splotchiness left you could give the inside a light coat of mineral oil to blend it together.

  12. #9
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    There used to be [maybe still is] a product for removing a greasy spot from, say, a tie. It was in an aerosol can and basically consisted of a solvent and baby powder. After spraying it on, the solvent evaporated from the surface and the oil was sucked into the powder, to be brushed off. You might try a test on another piece of wood- make a slurry of baby powder, talc, or cornstarch and naphtha and pat a dab onto a spot of oil. Wait for the magic to happen...
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
    Now located in Nevada City, California
    http://www.shadetreeguitars.com

  13. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Naphtha did the trick! Thanks everyone. The staining is gone from the top. It also looks better on the inside. I could see oil on the cloth when I cleaned the inside, so I may try it again in later.

  14. #11
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,339
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Remember that wood acts like a sponge and if you have a better wicking material like a rag, the oil goes there. Conversely if your rag or sponge is 'full', the oil will go 'the other way' (back into the wood).

    Also french polish, using olive oil or other oils, will dissolve what oily spots are there. Most all oils will mix...
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  15. #12
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,835

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    My question is, what kind of floor do you have that olive oil could pass through to below? Just curious.

  16. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    It wasn’t the floor per se. The house is 115 years old, and the last owners remodeled the kitchen and chose to relocate where the gas pipe came up for the stove. They didn’t plug the old hole. The old hole happens to be right at the edge of the counter where the olive oil spilled.

    That hole is now filled, covered from the top, and for good measure, covered from the bottom. More I importantly, works in progress always live in shop cases.

  17. The following members say thank you to mreidsma for this post:


  18. #14
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,202
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Good about the shop cases. Remember, it could have been a plumbing flood from the kitchen or the bathroom. This was a relatively easy lesson, glad everything worked out.

    I think we've all heard about people whose basements were flooded by storms and all the good stuff they have lost...
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  19. The following members say thank you to dhergert for this post:


  20. #15
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    7,030

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Yeah, what Don said!!!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  21. #16
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,626
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Quote Originally Posted by mreidsma View Post
    Naphtha did the trick! Thanks everyone. The staining is gone from the top. It also looks better on the inside. I could see oil on the cloth when I cleaned the inside, so I may try it again in later.
    If you notice there's any residue you might want to try some brown paper with a towel (for weight & contact) on top to draw it out. just swap it out to give a fresh surface until there's no more
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  22. #17
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,835

    Default Re: Olive oil staining on top?

    Quote Originally Posted by mreidsma View Post
    It wasnít the floor per se. The house is 115 years old, and the last owners remodeled the kitchen and chose to relocate where the gas pipe came up for the stove. They didnít plug the old hole. The old hole happens to be right at the edge of the counter where the olive oil spilled.

    That hole is now filled, covered from the top, and for good measure, covered from the bottom. More I importantly, works in progress always live in shop cases.
    Thatís something that I didnít think of! Makes sense now!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •