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Fixing a wood flaw: Oil finish.


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Got this unfinished body on the 'bay for a good price.


Nice funky maple top with bird's eye and flame. I'm going use Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil to finish it.


1. It's got a knot in the lower horn, so I need to find a way to finish this much darker than the top? Is there an easy way to do this under Tru-Oil? Will the Tru Oil make it hardly noticeable or make it stand out? Should I sand the grooves away and have a very slighty different contour on the lower heel?


2. If I do try to make a darker finish around the back and sides, how do I make a nice sharp even line where the natural finish top meets the stain on the side?

Please comment on how to deal with the scar most easily and successfully as well. Thanks in advance for your advice!

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My guitar has a knot; I personally think it adds a touch of class to it!

If the knot is parallel to the sides, you could probably use a table or spindle sander to get rid of it by sanding it out; you'd have to reradius the top and back in that area though (it looks like 1/4" radius to me.) Otherwise, just leave it.

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I can't tell from the pic exactly what you can or cannot sand out, so I won't even attempt to give you any advice on that.

You can add a slight amount of stain to the Tru-Oil, but that usually increases the curing time. I typically put on a coat of oil, let it soak in, then rub in some stain before the oil dries. Because the pores are damp, the stain coats more evenly. When the oil dries, the stain tends to bond with it.

Tru-Oil and Tung Oil tend to enhance any differences in the wood grain, so they may actually make the knot look better. I had one piece of wood that had a knot in it, and I really worried about the looks... until I was half-way through with the finishing. The Tung Oil made the knot the most beautiful part of the wood.

Of course, it could just make it more noticeable... so you'll just have to give it a shot.


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personally i tend to look for wood with "flaws" such a knots and then use them as part of the design. it's hard to tell from the close up pic of the knot but it looks like there's a groove of missing wood there that forms an x. if thats the case you can fill it with any type of epoxy, sand it flush and then tru-old right on top.

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