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Problem with Tru Oil Finish
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Post
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
Hello. New to the Forum - apologize if re-covering old ground. I just finished a Tele build using the Tru Oil instructions on LMI. I did everything according to Hoyle, pore filling, sanding (and sand, and sanding). Everything looked great, until I started applying the Tru Oil. The first cost seemed OK, then I sanded to 400-800 lightly. applied the second. Once dried I noticed a dull streaking. I sanded 400-600-800 again, and applied the third coat. Once dried (two weeks plus) II finish d=sanded with 6,000 - 8,000 - 12,000 Micro mesh. The streaks are still there. What did I do wrong? Thanks in advance!!

Aug 24, 09 | 4:58 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Frankie -- Welcome to the Forum! Hope this gets worked out and answered ...

Not sure what might have caused the streaks except the grain structure underlying the finish might have contributed to it. I've seen just a little bit of dull streaking in TruOil when the grain was more pronounced and more "endgrain" in the wood in strips. Other than that, it could have been some sort of contamination in the pre-topcoat layer ...

Bill

Aug 24, 09 | 6:56 am
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
When I say straeking, what I see is a "strip" approximate as wide as my thumb, in various sections of the flat surfaces on the front and back. The sides are perfect. The finish is hard the shine, in the non-"streaked" areas is great and flat and even pretty glossy. It's very smooth so when you say contamination, it's not a foreign substance like lint or dirt. Could it be humidity related? Most importtantly can I fix it? Would that be sanding down to 400 again, or could I sand to maybe 800 and apply another thin coat?
Thanks

Aug 24, 09 | 7:50 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I would consider sanding past the streak. When I did the neck of the guitar I used Tru-oil on, I would do three coats a day, 40 minutes or so apart, and only sand before the first one. My coats would be dry in 10 minutes. Do not use the spray, one coat of it takes a day or day and a half to dry unless you put it under heat lamps to flash off the solvent. Goes on nice and smooth, but takes forever!

What did you use to clean off your sanding dust? You may have left a residue somewhere there that caused the tru-oil to bead away from that spot in a streak. My concern is that once its there, its there, whether you can cover it with more or not. I would sand past it then recoat.

Aug 24, 09 | 8:48 am
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
I sanded between all three (four?) coats with 400-600. After the first coat I used Naptha, but after the second and third, I used a tack cloth. Do you think the tack cloth may have left a residue? When you say sand past the streak, you're saying sand down to where there's no streaks and re-apply three coats again, right? At this point should I go right back to the 320 or 400 and start again, or should I be using a finer grit? Sorry if these are stupid questions but this is my first build.
Thanks, Frank

Aug 24, 09 | 9:31 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I have not had good luck with tack cloths, I always get a residue, both on my fingers and on the guitar. I just use blow off with air, then use a very clean, slighly damp cloth, then I don't finish where I did the sanding. I suspect you mide have had a swipe that was a little more forceful with the tack cloth than in most other areas. I had it happen with waterborne lacquer, so I stopped using them. The lacquer just beaded around swipe marks I couldn't see until it had been sprayed.

Aug 24, 09 | 10:12 am
Jim_H

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 212
I can't really offer any help, but I did have this same thing happen to me playing around with tru-oil on a Uke I built for fun. I ended up sanding it back and starting over. Happened again on the second run through, so I sanded it back again.

I reluctantly started on a 3rd attempt, and it seems to have been more successful this time. Thing is, I didn't do anything any differently (that I know of).

I'm seriously challenged when it comes to finishing skills, and this experience just confirmed for me that I'm going to have to accept that I'll be outsourcing my finishes.

I may try a french polish on a future build to see how that works out.

Aug 25, 09 | 6:57 pm
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
Thanls to all. What I wound up doing is I resanded, using the Micro-mesh pads from 1200 - 12,000, then reapplied another very light coat of Tru Oil. The overall finish is not as glossy as before, but the streaks are gone. Any suggestions on buffing for more shine? I'd prefer a hand rubbed method vs a buffing pad if possible. Thanks again.

Aug 26, 09 | 7:18 am
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Frank, my experience with Tru-oil has been limited to maple necks on Tele's so far and I have finished 12 at this point..the first and second produced the streaks you mention and I found the "Tack Cloth" to definiately be the culprut...I do not sand between coats..but usually apply 9-12 thin coats with a clean all cotton "T" shirt wrapped around two large cotton balls...fully drying between coats and wiping down with naptha before applying the next coat and then polishing with micro-mesh after allowing to cure for a minimun of a week depending on humidity (Less than 45%).. the results have been very satisfactory to me. Here are a couple of pics prior to polishing...hopr yhis helps..good luck!






Aug 27, 09 | 9:28 am
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
Thanks RayRay, that's great, Naptha it is then. 9-12 coats? The instructions I used only called for 3-5, not 9-12. Maybe I should do a few (several more)? What do you polish with? Thanks again, Frank.

Aug 27, 09 | 10:55 am
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Frank..I started out just burnishing with soft denim, then went to Stew-Mac's
polishing compounds and finished up with 3M Perfect it! The last 3 were done with Micro Mesh up to 12,000. I like the micro mesh.
The extra coats.. VERY THIN...seem to guard against "Sand thru's" I have a heavy hand and am hard on edges.
I really like the feel of Tru-oiled necks..I have been using Renaissance Microcrystalline Wax..(Wax is not a good term because it is NOT wax!) on my instruments for sometime now and it really finishes and protects better than anything I've ever used before..here's a link that explains it better than I can..my Son has a high acid content in his system and this combo of Trui-oil and Renaissance is the only thing that protects the wood against damage on his instruments during long hot playing sessions.

http://www.woodfinishsupply.com/RenWax.html
Ray

Aug 27, 09 | 12:51 pm
frankie5fingers

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 8
Thanks Ray - I'll try it. What about bodies? I'm finishing a body with Tru Oil and I'm wondering what to polish with - just denim or should I use a polish too? BTW, great looking necks, I can't see the heel, are you makin' 'em? Thanks for the info, Frank.

Aug 27, 09 | 2:52 pm
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Frank, they are Warmoth necks, I'm just an "Assembler" at best...I was able to find out from another builder that the Tele bodies were done using the LMI instructions...sorry no pics..
A couple of things...be sure you carefully clean the surface after using the steel wool...once any particles are sealed in they are there forever...I use a micro fiber cloth with the naptha, it seems to pick up anything left on the surface..
Also, I spend a LOT of time in wood prep...raising the grain and sanding repeatedly IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY and I use a much finer grit than LMI recommends 800-1000 wet and dry.. I even use a magnifying glass to carefully inspect the wood surface for tiny scratches that may exist prior to using any finish.. I may be wrong and far too particular but I really think prep is 90% of the finishing process...good luck...let us see your results.

Ray

Aug 28, 09 | 5:29 am



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