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Mahogany/oil Finish

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Hi guys,

I'm building a guitar with a carved mahogany body & I'm now at the sanding stage. I'm planning on doing an oiled finish (my 1st) & I also know how much of a pain the grain on mahogany can be at the best of times without it having a carved top too.

Can anyone give me a step by step walkthru' of what I need to do to get as near a perfect finish as possible? (I'd rather take my time & do it right 1st time than with trial & error)

I'd be extremely grateful for ANY advice given on techniques/materials no matter how trivial they may seem.

thanx in advance!!!

sb :D

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well, I haven't had the best of luck with mahogany, mostly because the only mahogany i finished had mineral stains, so gave up trying to be happy with the finish. however this is what I did to get this finish


1. sand up to desired grit (making sure to remove EVERY scratch left by previous grit) this particular guitar was sanded to 600 for a satin finish I believe (dont qoute me on that)

2. clean body of any wood dust

3. apply directed amounts of desired oil (I used Liberon Finishing Oil because I couldn't find Tru-Oil at the time)

4. After oil has dried i like to rub out any wiping marks left with some ultra fine Steel wool (be sure to clean it out of the pores afterwards though)

5. Repeat until pores are filled (only works with Tru-Oil and other "oils" (varnish) similar to that, such as liberon finishing oil)

6. Or instead of step 5 stop when wood is at desired appearance.

7. Apply a wax (like Black Bison or something similar) as directed, buff out with a clean cotton rag

hope that helps, thats just my method of doing it.

I'm positive there are easier and more effective ways of doing it, and i would be curious to hear how other people apply oil.

On a somewhat related note, this method seems to work much better on tight grained woods like this maple <3



Edited by Kenny
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For oil finishes I go to at least 800 grit, usually 1200 grit, apply with an old t-shirt, buff with synthetic steel wool (the metal kind can leave bits of, well, metal in a pore, which can rust and discolour) and then wax and buff. Works great with tru oil, liberon finishing oil or rustin's danish oil. You can even get gloss out of TruOil if you go the micromesh route, but then I'd be tempted to pore fill, and it doesn't give me what I like from an oil finish (open pores, natural 'woody' feel); mahogany looks and feels fantastic with an oil finish - I usually do either oil or shellac finishes on my guitar necks.

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