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Rustin's Finishes

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I am in the final steps of building neckthru fretless bass and need to choose between 3 rustin's finishes - French Polish, Danish Oil and Plastic Coating.

I can't spray - just brush or wipe.

Body woods are cherry and mahogany. neck is maple, imboya and mahogany.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these products?

The fingerboard is cocobolo. I noticed it gets little marks from the string (although it is flatwound). Should i put any kind of finish on it or is it normal? If so - what finish should i use?




Thank you,


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I like the Plastic coating, but only have experience with spraying it. It's tough. clear, and rubs out to a beautiful high gloss. I imagine it brushes OK, since it builds thickness quite quickly. I think WesV has used it brushed with good results, so I'll let him comment more on brushing.

If you get the PC and can't get good results, you can also use it to a get a satin finish, much like an oil - thin it 50% with the propriatory thinners, then wipe on with a cloth. I've used this as a finish on tools and small projects, and on one neck - the one I built for Simo.

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Yes, it preserves the feel of the wood. It soaks in, and seals the wood wihtout building any film thickness.

French polish and Danish oil are totally different. Danish oil is a drying oil which soaks into the wood. It dries to a satin/matt appearance.

French polish is not actually a finish, it is a process for applying finish, though it is often misused to mean a shellac finish. French polishing involves applying alcohol and shellac to a small pad, 'fad' or 'tampon' comprised of wool or cotton wrapped in fabric, then rubbing this over the surface of your wood. This lays down a tiny layer of shellac. By repeating this process many time you build up a thin film of shellac, which is burnished to a fine gloss by the application process.

This is an *extremely* simplified explaination, and there are literally hours of reading online. A google search for 'milburn french polish' would be a good place to start.

Neither danish oil or french polish are hard, but french polish is the harder of the two.

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Thanks for the quick reply.

Is it advisable using the PC on the fingerboard? I don't want it as a finish, just as a hardener - so the strings won't sctatch the wood...

Well, Brian May did it, but he used Oak as his fingerboard wood...

However, if you're using a rosewood or ebony, don't. It'll feel nasty, and rosewoods and ebonies are plenty hard enough to stand up to the wear and tear.

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