diy tele guys: anyone has a telebody with an oil/wax finish?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by blue_lu, Feb 17, 2009.


  1. blue_lu

    blue_lu Member

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    I'm thinking about assembling a parts-o-tele. problem here: I don't have any painting equipment (Compressor, Airbrush, etc,). To keep it simple I thought about a nice oil / wax finish. I recently saw a really nice guitar that, *I think*, was only oiled/waxed. has anyone experiences with that?
    could share some tips and pics?


    thanks, lu
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  2. blueshawk1

    blueshawk1 Member

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    On the tele I built, I just used tru-oil and finished it off with a coat of paste wax.
    Not much to offer in tips, the oil is really kind of goof-proof. I used make-up sponges to apply it, put on a coat, let it dry, steel-wooled it, put on another coat, etc., etc., and then when the oiling was all done, I gave it a good polish with some butcher block wax. Used to be able to get the Tru-oil at Walmarts, but the last time I looked for some, they seemed to have discontinued carrying it, but any gun shop should have it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    [​IMG]

    - alder body, finished with "Osmo Hartwachsöl" (German product intended for sealing hardwood floors; made from natural ingredients: carnauba wax, various oils, etc.).
    The finish was very easy to apply - just brush on a thin coat, let it soak in for about 10 min., wipe off the excess, let dry overnight, repeat 3 or 4 times; that product brought out the figuring in the wood (alder usually doesn't have very spectacular figuring), and also darkened it slightly; it has a semi-matte surface with a gentle sheen, which you can see here (you can also see that there's absolutely no protection against dings and scratches with oil finishes...):
    [​IMG]

    It feels very nice to the touch (on the neck it felt slightly sticky for the first one or two weeks of playing, but that disappeared completely), and the finish is said to be resistent against wine, beer, coke, coffee, tee, fruit juices, milk and water (perfect for all kinds of barroom gigs :AOK) - after all, it is intended for heavily used floors...
    This has been my main guitar for more than 3 years, has been played almost daily, and used on a number of gigs, and has held up very well, I'm really happy with that finish.

    OK, next one:
    [​IMG]

    - northern ash; finished with a few coats of boiled linseed oil; for the last coat I used that Osmo product again.
    The boiled linseed oil darkened the wood much more than the other stuff did - here's a pic of the body before finishing:
    [​IMG]

    Since that boiled linseed oil is rather thick, I thinned it with balsamic pine terpentine (available at arts & crafts supply stores) about 1:1; drying times were a bit longer than with the Osmo stuff, and I had problems on the endgrain - that would really soak up the oil, but some bleeded out again and dried in a gooey mess that had to be scraped off - this might have been due to the coarser pores/grain of ash vs. alder, though. Also, the surface felt slightly oily to the touch even after drying, that's why I applied a last coat of the Osmo wax/oil stuff.
    The finish also gave off that peculiar smell of linseed oil for at least a year after completion (not unpleasant, but noticeable).
    If you want to get a nice aged/antique amber tone on the wood, boiled linseed oil (NOT regular linseed oil, which takes forever to dry!) is an option, but I like the other stuff better.
     
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  4. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    OK, another one:
    [​IMG]

    - a rosewood top on an ash back, finished with TruOil.
    I wanted a glossy finish for this one, that's why I went with TruOil. EVerybody raves about how easy TruOil is to apply - well, that may be true if you want to achieve a semi-matte finish, with 2 or 3 coats, but it is NOT true at all if you want to get a lacquer-like, glossy finish.
    The TruOil gave me nothing but trouble: very hard to apply evenly, without blotches (I tried all the advised methods: bare fingers, well-used cotton rags, kitchen towels, brushes, etc., nothing worked well on a big flat surface like the guitar body... I settled on kitchen/dishwashing sponges, but had to use a new one for every coat, because they would harden from the TruOil); it is really stick and attracts dust, lint hair, etc. like a magnet (unlike other oil finishes); it takes much longer to dry (I had to wait at least 24 to 36 hours between coats); and it takes LOTS of coats to build up a shiny surface (on my guitar there are at least 25 coats, took me over a month to finish...) - and it still doesn't look perfect after that, if you look at it from a close distance. Oh, and it also doesn't feel as nice & woody as an oil finish, it feels more like lacquer.
    So: TruOil for semi-matte surface: yes; TruOil for glossy surface: NO!!!

    Last one:
    [​IMG]

    - a lap steel built from African mahogany (khaya) - the bridge cover is rosewood; finished with Osmo Hartöl (not the same as the stuff from the Tele - that was HartWACHSöl, this stuff I used for the lap steel doesn't contain any wax, only natural oils); very easy to apply; very slight darkening of the wood; surface feels like unfinished wood, has only a little bit of sheen (less than with the Osmos wax/oil stuff), and is not as resistent against dirt.
     
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  5. blue_lu

    blue_lu Member

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    thanks guys for all the replies, great guitars for sure!!! :RoCkIn



    I think I will give this route a try and build my own tele in the near future.

    Any links to other websites to check out?


    thanks again
     
  6. baimun

    baimun Member

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    Total advocate of hand-rubbed finishes.

    Saved a Koa bodied Charvel years ago from Pawn Shop Hell and brought it back to life by sanding out 99% of the scratches and finishing it in tung oil:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now my latest guitar project is using Tru-Oil over Spalted Maple and Mahogany. Enough thickness on top to be smooth as glass and protect the wood, back is thin enough to be resonant.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. HHB

    HHB Member

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    Roman your stuff is awesome! I think I like Oil better than spray based on this thread, every single guitar looks amazing
     
  8. jrm

    jrm Member

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    Check out TDPRI.

    When the weather turns warm enough, I'm thinking of finally making my pine tele. I'm planning on Tru-Oil on the neck, but probably someting like Howards Feed-N Wax on the body.
     
  9. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Yes on a strat. Just sanded and oiled ...love it! And don't forget to post pics when yer done :)

    Edward
     
  10. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    I love that look. I always liked the Fenders you'd see guys playing in the '70s that were 60s guitars with the old beat up finish sanded off and a hand rubbed oil finish. Nothing looks cooler to me than a rw fretboard tele with a black or tortoise pickguard and a hand rubbed finish over a very light walnut stain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  11. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    That is beautiful.. what are your Charlie Christian pickups?
     
  12. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    Those pickups are made by Pete Biltoft www.vintagevibeguitars.com - in the solidbody it's his "CC-Rider", in the Thinline I have his "HCC" (HB-sized CC) at the neck, and "HS90" (HB-sized P90 - he matched the look of the top to the CC for me) at the bridge.
     
  13. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Not "beautiful" by common standards ...but I think she's gorgeous! :)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Edward
     
  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I had an experience similar to the one Roman had on his ash body, only mine was one piece walnut. The pores will hold a lot of oil, and it isn't gonna get any oxygen in there and therefore in most climates it'll never dry. Just a little oozing goo is too much.

    I got all the oozing done now, but if I did another walnut or ash body that way, I would grain fill it first with Bartley's (an oil based product, very compatible).
     
  15. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Tung Oiled Carvin Tele:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Peanut

    Peanut Member

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    out there...
  17. HHB

    HHB Member

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    Pnut you rule brother, your stuff is really cool
     
  18. JAZZ BEATS

    JAZZ BEATS Member

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    [​IMG]

    - a lap steel built from African mahogany (khaya) - the bridge cover is rosewood; finished with Osmo Hartöl (not the same as the stuff from the Tele - that was HartWACHSöl, this stuff I used for the lap steel doesn't contain any wax, only natural oils); very easy to apply; very slight darkening of the wood; surface feels like unfinished wood, has only a little bit of sheen (less than with the Osmos wax/oil stuff), and is not as resistent against dirt.[/QUOTE]

    Hi Romans,

    I can't find the Osmo Hartöl on their website. Can you paste the link to the product? I want the unfinished look exactly like the image you have shown. Thanks!
     
  19. Babow2

    Babow2 Silver Supporting Member

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    Check out Waterlox. It is a wood floor finish. We built two teles and used it. There is the sealer for main coats and then the final finish. We rubbed it on with a rag stuffed inside pantyhose. No dripping, no runs, easy to put on. You build up coats. It created a very nice finish. Waterlox.com.
     
  20. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    I use boiled linseed oil 66/34 with mineral spirits [very pleasant smell compared to turpentine]. I orbital sand 80/150/220 then slurry sand with the oil/spirits mix with 320 let dry then the same with 400. I don't wax as it makes it harder to steam dings out and refinish. One other benefit of slurry sanding is when using mixed woods it blends them together. This tele I drop topped with curly maple and sanded that around the to the ash body -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Russ
     

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