Tru Oiled guitar bodies

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rainmaker, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    I know this has been covered before but I can't seem to find the thread. I've got a Warmoth strat body inbound and I'm thinking about Tru Oiling the body. Can you tell me about your experiences doing this and also, does anyone remember a limited run of gun oiled strats last year? Thanks! EDIT: It's swamp ash by the way!
     
  2. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Swamp ash will normally get grain filler, but if you don't mind the "peaks and valleys" of the grain, then TruOil works fine and is easy to use. It will have a "homemade" look to it due to the lack of filler, but you can always tell people you did it that way to maximize resonance....(and you could be right!);)
     
  3. uvacom

    uvacom Member

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    LMI has a really good-looking tutorial on how to finish an open-grained wood with tru-oil, using a grain filler. I've never tried it, but it sounds reasonably easy.

    http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/TruOil.htm
     
  4. pedalfreek

    pedalfreek Member

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    Even if you tru oil the body you'll want to grain fill it....
    I think grain filling is a step you dont want to skip if you have a swamp ash body no matter what you put on the guitar....imo.

    Here are some links to the reranch forum with some tru oiling and grain filling tutorials:
    http://www.reranch.com/reranch/viewtopic.php?t=15094
    http://www.reranch.com/reranch/viewtopic.php?t=15197

    The reranch and warmoth forums are great places for info for anything having to do with assembling/finishing a guitar!!

    Good luck!
     
  5. Doug Tulloch

    Doug Tulloch Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] This body is alder...VERY easy, great results. This is about a half dozen coats, buffed between coats with #0000 steel wool. ​
     
  6. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    That looks great, man.
    Beautiful!
    :AOK
     
  7. Doug Tulloch

    Doug Tulloch Member

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    It looked like this when I got it...[​IMG]
     
  8. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    While I don't disagree with you, often the reason a person asks about TruOil is because they want a quick and easy finish for a beginner. Grain filling adds a whole set of procedures and issues to deal with, not the least of which is getting a good looking guitar with what is essentially a thin transparent finish. That means your grain filling has to be the right color and be sanded so that all the filler blends nicely along the edges of the valleys, etc. IOW, it's a bit more critical than a solid or even translucent cover coat requires. Nothing wrong with that, but it may be more work than the OP anticipated.

    Alder is a piece of cake in comparison, as no filler is needed.
     
  9. pedalfreek

    pedalfreek Member

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    Yea, makes total sense....but grain filling is super easy.
    I'm a beginner as well...i'm working on my first assemble project and I've been grain filling on scrap wood. While it is time consuming when it comes to sanding, etc...it's a very easy process and one that I wouldn't recommend skipping...even for a beginner!!
    As far as matching the color.....clear grain filler is just that...clear. You can also use darker colors to enhance the grain.

    Assembling one's own guitar gives you the opportunity to learn a lot....so...why skip a step that when done with patience will make the outcome that much better?? :)
     
  10. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    That looks great. I see the "RELIC" stamp under the pickguard and I can't believe if the original finish (the relic'd one) came from Fender. It looks like someone tried to strip it or something. I just dig the natural look and at this stage, I'm thinking that swamp ash would look pretty cool without doing a burst. I've grainfilled, but I don't really want to. I've heard some folks talk about using tru oil to do a quasi grain fill.
     
  11. Quarter

    Quarter Member

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    You can fill with Tru Oil, it takes some time, but can come out great.
    What I do is apply several coats then use a little mineral spirits and some 600 wet / dry and level it out, rinse and repeat as necessary.

    Here is one of my lapsteels I filled and finished with Tru Oil.
    Final coats were sprayed, cured for a week, then rubbed out with Birchwood Casey's Stock and Sheen Conditioner, kind of a fine pumice / rottenstone in a liquid vehicle.

    .
    [​IMG]
     
  12. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    I Tru-Oiled my LP Mahogany Studio. If I did it again, I would definitely grain fill it first. I tried to do grain filling using the Tru-Oil itself. I gave up after 10 coats. It's about 50% filled on the back and 40% filled on the front. Better prep before the Tru-Oil would yeild a killer finish, IMO.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. phantasm

    phantasm Member

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    How smelly and toxic is true oil?
    I'm in need of finishing up a few things and it's just too cold to do any spraying since i can't do it outside and i'd be a fool to do it inside.
    The true oil looks great. What exactly is it- is it like boiled linseed oil in any way?
     
  14. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    that lapsteel is absolutely killer. i would love to end up with a finish like that.
     
  15. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Shellac makes a real nice grain filler too. Just shellac and sand, repeat until grain is level, then Tru-oil. Use clear Shellac, unless you want to augment the grain and make it really stand out.It will still have a natural feel to the wood, although, it will be smooth.
    Best Regards!
     
  16. Quarter

    Quarter Member

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    Not smelly or toxic like a laquer. Tru Oil is a modified / polimerised linseed oil.
    It realy is more like a vintage wipe on varnish than an oil.

    JUSTJOB makes a good point about using shellac for fill and even coloring.
    I used a amber shellac flake wash coat on this one to pop the quilt grain a bit then Tru Oil.
    In this case, dye was not an option as I didn't want to stain the Woolly Mammoth ivory inlay.

    .
    [​IMG]
     
  17. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Shellac works well; sand and sealer is even faster and easier to sand.

    Some really nice examples showing up on this thread!:AOK
     
  18. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a swamp ash body I Tru-oiled with approximately 20 coats. Very light sanding with 1200 and a final coat.
    This was many years ago, I would love to see how it's holding up...Redpill, you around? :)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Quarter

    Quarter Member

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    Thats a sharp one Ron, you just don't see much of that killer birdseye these days. Its out there but getting harder and harder to find.
     
  20. redpill

    redpill Member

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    Ron, they're holding up beautifully. No marks, discoloration, cracking, or anything. The guitars resonate beautifully and I can actually feel the texture of the wood. Unbelievable. I got one small scratch on 56 (pictured above is 55 - 56 has a black limba body, and with this finish, it really doesn't show up much.

    And yes, it really is killer birdseye. :)
     

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