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Thread: Tru-oil for finish

  1. #1

    Default Tru-oil for finish

    Just thought I would try and give something back to the forum for all the help everyone has given me..........


    This happens to be something I have experience with, gunstocks, guitar, fiddle and tru-oil. If your using dye or stain, it must be completely dry and all residue removed before applying tru-oil. After the dye or stain is dry and clean. I lightly go over with 0000 steel wool. Then I thin the tru-oil with naptha to just water like consistency. The naptha dries very quickly and helps the process. Put very thin coats on with a soft saturated cloth, but not dripping. Smooth even strokes. If your wood is clean with no residue, it will start drying immediately. If itís still tacky after 30 min. Wash your wood down with naptha, let dry and start Tru-oil again. After you learn this, you can do it without sanding between coats. I will probably put around 10 coats on an average gunstock depending on how thick you want it. Then when bone dry, lightly go over with 0000 steel wool and buff with a soft clean cloth. It will get like glass. After a few days you can rub out with swirl mark remover or wax with detail spray. Note: when your wood is right, using this method you can put a coat on about every 20 -30 min. Hope this helps

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


  3. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    Thanks for the info. Those are good things to know if I ever give it a try.

    Have you considered exploring French polished shellac?

  4. #3

    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Thanks for the info. Those are good things to know if I ever give it a try.

    Have you considered exploring French polished shellac?
    Iíve watched some videos. But no, I have never tried it. Looks hard to do?
    The key to a tru-oil finish is getting it to cure. If you put the first thin coat on and it isnít dry in 10 min. You have something on the wood you are coating. Dye or stain residue, or if itís a repair, previous finish on wood. When it turns out good, its a wonderful finish.

  5. #4
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    My octave has a Tru-Oil finish. Eddie Blevins in Tennessee birthed the octave almost 2 years ago for me and I had requested the Tru-Oil finish. I love it. The wood is protected but you can still see the grain. As far as any possible difference in sound versus other finishes? Who knows? It's the only finish it's ever had but it sounds fantastic.
    David Hopkins

    2001 Gibson F-5L
    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric; Slingerland Songster Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

  6. #5
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    Quote Originally Posted by justrythym View Post
    I’ve watched some videos. But no, I have never tried it. Looks hard to do?
    The key to a tru-oil finish is getting it to cure. If you put the first thin coat on and it isn’t dry in 10 min. You have something on the wood you are coating. Dye or stain residue, or if it’s a repair, previous finish on wood. When it turns out good, its a wonderful finish.
    It's actually quite easy, once you get the hang of it. The hardest part for me was learning when to stop for the day.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    I experimented with true-oil on a resonator guitar that I built a couple years ago and really liked it. I am partial to low gloss finishes and especially oils but they are hard to layer and build up so they look nice but donít offer a lot of protection. True-oil is polymer-ized (I donít know if thatís a real word or not...lol) and can be built up into many layers then you have different options on how much sheen you can give it in the end...But it will buff like glass if you want it. I have done two mandolins with it so far....

  8. #7

    Default Re: Tru-oil for finish

    Just guessing here, but shellac isn’t water or alcohol resistant, and possibly gunstocks should be.
    About FP - yes, it can get kind of neurotic after a few dozen coats, each one looking a little different. I’ve only done it on furniture, and before I learned about not using denatured alcohol, but I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone who’s not totally happy with their OCD.

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