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Choosing Stain

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First of all, I'm new here so Hi Everybody! :D

I have a new body coming in pretty soon, so I have to start to purchase finishing supplies. The body in question is this one, and I would like to finish it like the rendition below:


I am going to use tru oil to finish the body and neck, but I need help choosing stain. Should I use water, oil, or alcohol based stain? What type of stain would work the best with tru oil? Are there any brands that I should avoid? When staining, should I rub the stain directly on bare wood, or mix it in with a little bit of tru oil and put it on, kind of like a color coat?

Also, I have to make a decision as to whether I should grain fill or not. I don't mind having an open pore finish, I am only worried about stain causing the wood to warp.

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As long as you use a DYE stain and not a PIGMENT stain, it shouldn't matter what base you are using. A dye soaks in to the wood and actually colors the wood fibers themselves, and the liquid base evaporates away. Aniline dyes are a good choice for bright colors. A pigment is actually a thin layer of finish which contains little particles of colored stuff that stick on top of whatever you put it on, and being a thin layer of finish you can run in to finish incompatibility problems. Dye stains are usually applied directly to the wood although some kinds you can mix in to finishes. This is per Bob Flexner's book, which is fantastic. It is my recollection that his book says it's ok to use dye stains under any kind of finish, and I believe he specifically points them out as the stain to use with oil finishes.

Usually with tru-oil, you would not use a separate grain fill. Using a dye stain should not cause the wood to warp.

Edited by jnewman
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