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Oil Stain Problems

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Hi guys i have almost finished a build that will have a danish oil finish. The Guitar top is a very flamed Australian blackwood, amazing in the light. I wanted to do a light burst around the perimeter and as in the pic you can see the stain on. What i did was to put a very light coat of oil on before the stain. This was to avoid a blotchy result as the end grain would absorb more that the flat grain. So I let the stain dry and then applied some more oil. This basicly disolved the stain even though I dabbed the oil on with a brush and let it dry a bit. So the stain came off on the rag when I finaly wiped the oil coat in. I sort of expected this might happen as oil on an oil stain uses the same solvent. So does any one know of another way of staining with oil finishes?

Thanks.. Kev


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Yes you are correct but I was trying to insure even staining, hense the light initial oil coat. Maybe it was too heavy. After seeing the oiled top with no stain I think I might leave it at that as the blackwood has alot of natrual colour variation and It might be too confusing to the eye with more. Thanks for the comment anyway.


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Lacquer is -not- an oil-based finish, and I don't think Poly is either, but that depends on what Poly you're referring to, there's a lot of products out there that fall under the very large umbrella term of 'Poly', although I don't think any of them are oil-based at all.

Lacquer (like shellac) is a film finish, and dries from the top down.

Oil-based finishes dry from the bottom up. :D

PS, that is a beautiful guitar, I don't think it needs no steenkin stain anyway! :D

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I may have the answer. I have wiped some stain I use with Nitro on the body , now waiting for it to dry. On a test peice it didn`t come off when the oil coat went on .

Check out the New Guinea rose wood I have for the neck. It looks pretty cool with the figure. Just an oil coat on this.


Headstock unfinished

Back of headstock

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I have gone with the black. One other thing is that I have removed the finish. I was not 100% happy with the durability and application (my fault not the product) so its been sanded back lightly to 400 and then sanded to 12000 with micro mesh. Now it has 2 coats of pure tung oil diluted 50% with white sprits. I also added 10% golden teak oil based stain. It blended in with the tung oil and gives a very light lift to the oil. In hind sight I should have used a water based stain before the tung but you live and learn. Once the tung has cured , about a week, I will put on a few coats of tru oil which is realy a varnish( lays on top, not in the wood). I was thinking of using Liberon finishing oil (fast drying tung oil based oil) in place of the tru oil but I don`t know of any one using it so I have gone with the proven tru oil.

:D Kev


just how amber is the tru oil?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got the finish sorted out, This is what I ended up doing and it worked fantasticly.

Sanded the wood down as fine as I could using micromesh 12000 although 4000 would have been enough.

Then 6 coats of pure tung oil thinned 50% with white sprits, one coat a day followed by a very fine sand with 4000. Next the tru oil varnish straight from the bottle , wipe on as directed on the bottle wait 2 hours then another coat. Wait onernight then block sand with 3000 micro mesh very lightly to remove dust and even the top out, Do this for 5 days and you will have a nice coat but close up you will see very fine wipe marks so the next step is for the perfectionist. Buy an air brush and compressor- :D Thin the Tru oil 50% with white sprit and spray on lightly , remember its oil so it will run in no time, thats why I used an air brush and not a spray gun although you could try that I guess. Leave a day and then polish off . Leave it two weeks

You end up with a finish some where half way between oil and lacquor.


Full view

Bench View

For the Australians out there

You can get the Tru Oil from Gun shops, i got mine from one in Sydney and it was mailed out - Too easy

The P90`s are made by a guy in Adalaide, Mick Brierley . Very good pick ups, I have the same style guitar with Lollars and his sound just as good in fact I think the neck pup is better. Mick will work with you if you need something a bit different.

Mike Brierley pickups web site

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