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Tung Oil On A Spruce Top?


ToWeR
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Hi all, I`m currently building a mahogany/spruce electric guitar. My question would be: Would tung oil tint my sitka spruce top? Or should I use tru-oil for a plain white spruce top? I guess there are no needs for a grain filler... I searched a bit but I didn`t find much on spruce... :D

Thanks a lot

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As far as durability is concerned, I couldn't think of a worse combination than Spruce and Tung Oil, especially regular Tung Oil.

And, AFAIK, all oils have -some- color to them. I have never seen a colorless oil.

The 2 most colorless finishes I can think of are lacquer and bleached shellac.

My best recommendation for your project would be to use bleached, dewaxed fresh shellac applied by French Polishing unless you have spray equipment, and if you're looking for an oil finish, I'm guessing you don't have spray equipment.

Oils typically look amberish/brownish, regular shellac is more amberish/orange-brown.

Shellac can be left satin, or can be wetsanded to a high gloss, shellac is a great product.

There are pieces of furniture well past 100 years old that still have their shellac finish -completely- intact. :D

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You can make it that way, yes.

Be SURE to buy bleached dewaxed fresh shellac flakes (unless you want the more standard orange-amber variety, just as easily secured) ...and make your own, that's the best way to guarantee freshness and the fact that it will dry properly, don't buy any shellac in a can, shellac has a shelf life, and most cans don't tell you when it was made or any expiration date.

I'm sure there's a truckload of info on french polishing over at the MIMF if you need any assistance, they have a tremendous library of information over there, and many, many people who use shellac regularly.

I've used shellac lots of times, but I spray it, so I can't help you with french polishing techniques, but I'm certain they can at the MIMF.

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Here is a great site for getting the basics of French Polishing. It takes a bit of practice to get the loading and your speed correct. It is about as simple as a finish could be after you get used to the technique.Click

Note; the biggest mistake you can make with shellac is applying it too thick(I mean as a final finish). If you want a hard long lasting shellac finish it needs to be rubbed down with a fair bit of pressure. The way you do that and get good burn in is all in how much shellac/alcohol/oil you load at a time :D .

Peace,Rich

Edited by fryovanni
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I am glad the link helped.

A couple little things that helped me out;

1. Go to a second hand store andbuy an old wool sweater, and possibly the most worn out white T-shirts you can find(trust me the more worn down the better- makes for much smoother application).

2. Buy yourself three bottles with drip tips. I bought three from wood crafters. You will use them a lot. They are your control over your loading.

3. You will find that you need to get a good pattern that allows you to cover a lot of ground without passing over an area twice when you first place a freshly loaded munica. Make your first pass a complete loop around the outer edge of your guitar,then move in, but keep circling until you find the trail flashing correctly. Then you can cross your paths.

4. For sides. Take passes in one direction and sweep the cloth off each time. After you make three or so passes this way. Use a light load and use a circular pattern, but keep it moving!

5. Don't be afraid of oil(it is essential to making this work). add it to your loads until you have a slight sheen over the surface you are working. Then stop adding(no more is needed). Before you finsih each fresh load. work the surface until the sheen is back on the surface and smooth. When you are done with the session be sure to wipe the oil off(the surface should dull slightly). Then take a clean dry cloth and polish it back up a bit and end the session.

Peace,Rich

Edited by fryovanni
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