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Strippping neck - Tru-oil to Tung oil

troyw

Member
Messages
91
Hey all,

Got a question regarding a neck refinish. I am working on a build and the neck has been completed with Tru-oil but I'm not really loving the feel of it. It's a little too glossy for what I want.

I'm going to take it down and re-do it in Tung but I wanted to know if there is any additional prep I need to do other than sanding it down. It's a Rock hard maple neck from Carvin. I know the TO will come off pretty easy but do I need to be concerned about anything that seeped int o the wood. Since Maple isn't open grained and TO doesn't soak in a lot, I'm thinking A quick sand down and I'll be ready to apply the tung but wanted to make sure.

I also have an old 12 string that I want to do the same thing to. It's probably a 60s era acoustic with a bolt on neck. (Eko - Italian made) It's an old beater but I love the neck and the action is great! I'm just wondering if anyone could take a stab at what it's got on it now. I'm not sure what they used back in the 60s but it's got a pretty slick finish like lacquer.

Thanks!

Troy
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,714
tru-oil doesn't have to be glossy at all. After a few days of cure time, very lightly steel wool it (0000) to take the gloss off. Then go back an hour or so later and buff it briskly with an old broken in piece of denim (that's clean).
It will burnish to a nice smooth satin finish. I would suggest about 5-6 light coats built up over a few days first.
If you really want it to feel great, wait 2 more days and apply 'stock and sheen conditioner'. After a week or two this finish feels wonderful, and won't be glossy.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,476
I'm going to second everything that Matt just said. Why jump straight into doing a refin when you might be able to knock the gloss back to a matte and be happy.

Give it a try, if it doesn't meet your needs, then you can strip it and start over.

Although if you go that route I'd recommend a chemical stripper. MEK is my fave, but is toxic as all hell. There are water based products that are reasonably effective and alot safer (Strypeeze, etc.)
 

troyw

Member
Messages
91
Thanks Guys but I'm not unfamiliar with the process. It's been cured for two weeks now and had been steel wooled, etc...It' still not what i would consider matte.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
I always made the mistake of putting on two or three coats of tru-oil and steel wooling inbetween them and after because that's what everyone says to do. I hated those necks, way too much finish. They did not feel the way I wanted (early charvels, music mans etc...

This last time around I did what Ernie Ball does and put one coat of oil and one quick coat of wax and wipe off immedately. Perfect. Has the natural feel. One quick coat and wipe it off with a paper towel and your done.

Screw the steel wool, you have to sand that all off and start over.
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,714
Forgot to add - If you have a decent thickness built up and 2 weeks cure, you can sand it with 800 or even 400 grit and it will become pretty matte.

The other approach is to only apply 2 coats with the wipe on and wipe off method, which usually doesn't get shiny.

If it is still not matte enough than you can just take it off by sanding with 220 switching to 320 or 400 towards the end (to avoid taking off too much wood). You shouldn't run into any problem with putting on another finish after that.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
Yikes! That's real thick and glossy. Bust out the electric sander and 60 grit sandpaper! Just kidding.
 
Messages
23,951
Hey Matt - I think I did about 8-10 coats
Each guy has a different definition for a "coat". It isn't gonna offgas and loose massive amounts of thickness like a lacquer finish does (where too much today is not enough in 3 years). So, maybe it isn't as much as some of us might imagine.

I'd experiment with sandpapers in the range of 800 grit down through 600, 500, 400 until you find the look you crave.

Tung Oil "finishes" are no more and no less glossy by nature, IMO, than is the Tru Oil. It is all in the technique, as Matt suggested.
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,669
this last time around i did what ernie ball does and put one coat of oil and one quick coat of wax and wipe off immedately. Perfect. Has the natural feel. One quick coat and wipe it off with a paper towel and your done.

Perfect for me too.
 

Quarter

Member
Messages
1,595
so you're saying take it down to wood and then do one or two coats of tru-oil?
If you are going for that rawer wood feel, then that would be the ticket.
I'd say tape off your pickups and knock it down with a medium grade steel wool or synthetic wool. Do a full wet coat of Tru Oil and immediately wipe it dry with some paper towels , cotton rag, etc. Let it dry for the day and see how you like it.
 

kmcmichael

Member
Messages
779
I don't blame you I like the pure tung oil much better. I have never gotten rid of a tru oil finish but I have played both and much prefer the pure tung oil. Just get rid of the tru oil and redo with tung oil.

I just like the feel of real wood much better.
 

troyw

Member
Messages
91
Thanks all... Like I said, i already did the steel wool thing but I'll try it again. Guess it can't hurt if I'm already considering sanding it down.

As far as the oil I'm using it's not pure tung. It's minwax tung oil finish...same thing carvin uses on their necks.
 




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