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Oil finishing neck - naptha substitute, raising grain

smora

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11
I have an unfinished neck that I'd like to do a Tru-Oil finish on. When I got the neck there was still sanding dust all over it, so first instinct was to wipe it down with a damp cloth. That ended up raising the grain, which I then found is a thing that is often done anyway. So I need to sand this down again before applying the finish, but I have some questions before I do.

I live in California. I can't just go out and buy Tru-Oil here, but online sellers will ship it no problem, so that's taken care of. I still need something to clean the sanding dust off but both naptha and denatured alcohol are no-no products in this state as well. Will isopropyl alcohol or mineral spirits or something else work ok for this purpose? I guess can try ordering the naptha too, but it'd be great if there's something off the shelf I can use as well.

I plan to sand the raised grain with 400 grit sandpaper. Should I repeat the process of raising the grain and sanding it down or is once enough? If I repeat the process do I continue until it doesn't raise anymore?
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,242
Mineral spirits work fine. As far as I know, once is enough for raising the grain with a damp cloth and then sanding.

How high grit you go and the TruOil treatment is personal preference. Some like it more like raw wood and some like it to feel finished. I have wet sanded with TruOil enough to make it feel as smooth as glass but not for a guitar neck. You want it to still feel like wood there.
 
Messages
199
You can also use denatured alcohol.
I have also discovered the alcohol wipes that are used for cleaning/covid work great for wiping down a body/ neck while finishing. I get them at the grocery store for $2 a package.
Just have to be careful because they will leave little fibers every once now and then. Not enough to keep me from using them though.
 

Terry McInturff

45th Anniversary of guitar building!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,290
Raising the grain on wood during the fine sanding (if needed)??? A slightly damp rag moistened with water, for goodness sakes. And you can raise the grain all that you want to...provided that you can expertly deal with the altered surface presented by repeated and unessesary raising of the grain. Sand scratch free to 320, raise the grain, knock off the raised grain via scratch free 400 sanding (correctly) and you are ready for Freddie
 
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smora

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11
Thanks for the tips everyone. Was able to start the process of applying thin coats. Let's say I just wanted to start with 5 coats. After the fifth coat I would need to let it cure for at least a couple days (it's warm and only 30% humidity here), correct? If I were to start playing the neck before it was done curing how bad would that mess things up?

Second question is after the finish has cured and I've played it awhile can I go back and add another 5 coats? I don't really know how many coats I prefer yet so I was hoping I could build it up over time and play it a bit at different levels of thickness.
 




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