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Danish Oil To Grain Fill?

el pucho

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I’m looking for a cheap and easy way to achieve a natural finish on a swamp ash telecaster body. I’ve decided to use Danish oil as the final finish on the guitar, as it seems relatively easy to apply, and is pretty cheap, so the only real help I need is with the grain filling (I think…hehe).

As far as I can see the options for grain filling are using epoxy resin, grain filler or wet sanding Danish oil into the wood. What’s confusing me is which one of these options would be “best” for what I’m intending to do. To be honest I liked the sound of wet sanding the oil into the wood, but I have no idea if this is more, or less difficult than the other methods.

As you may have guessed I’m new to all this.

Thanks everyone.

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I'm not sure Danish Oil would even work over an epoxy fill; sanding oil slurry should work to fill the grain, although it may take a very, very, very long time with something like Swamp Ash.

Honestly, if you want a raw, natural feel...don't fill it. Oil it and play it. I've never pore filled a guitar I've finished in oil.

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Thanks for the help Mattia, I did wonder wether using oil as a finish would work with grain filler or epoxy, that's why I thought the oil slurry would be the best option.

Most of the advice I've read has mentioned filling the grain on Swamp Ash, I hadn't even considered not filling the grain. I haven't seen how it would look not filled, but just oiled, if anyone has any pics I'd like to see the end result.


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I haven't seen how it would look not filled, but just oiled, if anyone has any pics I'd like to see the end result.

I have one in raw, oiled swamp ash. It looks very nice and the good part is that the more you hold it/play it, the better it'll feel and look.

Will try to fire up the camera.

Good luck

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Hey guys,

I've also been building natural looking, oil finished guitars without pore filling. My question is this:

on the Mahogany and maple it looks great BUT On my spalted maple top it looks punky and blotchy because the surface is not level. What can I use to fill this under a tung oil finish?

Any suggestions would be great.

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I've decided to go for an oiled, "raw" finish (Grain not filled).

Does anyone have any views on the best way to do this, I have read a lot of differing opinions, wet sanding between coats, buffing with steel wool between coats, using undiluted or diluted oil etc.

Oh, I'll be using Danish Oil on Swamp Ash if that makes any difference.

Thanks for all the input and help.

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Wipe on, wait fifteen minutes, wipe off, wait. Repeat :D.

I did this five or six times and came up with this:


That's walnut and maple finished with General Finishes' Nordic Oil, which is basically the same thing as Danish Oil. The grain doesn't have white stuff in it, that's just the flash reflecting off of the curved surfaces within the grain - it's not grainfilled.

EDIT: I should've said repeat once initial finish is no longer wet, just "tacky." This basically means once a day for three or four days and then every other day for a couple of applications.

Edited by jnewman
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Thanks for the input, and the pic...That looks a nice finish, I'd be happy if mine turned out as good.

I'll give one of those methods a go, and let you know how I get on with it, if it looks good enough I may even post some pics.

One last thing...Would a 500ml tin of oil be enough to finish a Tele type body?

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Here is the procedure I've used for Danish Oil.  It was passed on to me by a guy who builds excellent basses.


I had great success with this finish, but the Watco brand turned out just a bit darker than I expected on maple.  On mahogany, it was fantastic.

Hope this helps.  :D

Have you ever used any tint in this procedure, and couldit be feasable to stain the piece with a water- or oil-based stain before starting the procedure or is it for a "natural" finish only?

Thanks in advance.

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