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Danish oil finish


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I want to do a Danish oil finish on my guitar.  Being a flamed maple top I want to dye it purple, the limba body will be grain filled with the oil slurry method.  For those unfamiliar I intend to sand the wood and oil together which creates a slurry to fill the pores.  I also want a faux/ scraped binding.

my question is about what order to do things?  My thoughts are:

1. mask off and lacquer with a brush/ apply danish oil with a brush (not sure which here) for faux binding

2. apply the purple dye using various layers of purple and blue to get flame popping through

3. apply a sealer coat of danish oil to the top to lock in and protect the colour

4. apply oil to the back of the body and sand it in to make the slurry grain fill

5. apply final coat of oil to the whole body

i’d appreciate if anyone could highlight any issues with my approach and alternative suggestions.

whilst I have full spray equipment I want to stay away from painted and lacquered finishes this time.


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sounds about right to me.  I don't think danish oil will seal off well enough for faux binding - might want to use lacquer.  Maybe if you did many coats it would work, but I doubt it.  I did my first build with danish... and after 3 days I put on the shielding paint.  got some on the finish... and it sort of mixed in with it as I tried to get it off.  was very difficult to get back off... in fact never did get it completely off as it left a little dark spot.  beautiful finish tho. 

also, my experience with danish is that is take a long time to dry too.  true oil dries much faster and that's what I was used to. 

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For protecting the faux binding I'd use lacquer rather than Danish oil as the oil might get under the masking tape and repel the dye. After you've finished with the dye and have a protecting layer of Danish over it, scrape the lacquer off. 

And in case you haven't heard or for someone wanting to copy your idea, here's the oiling procedure: Apply plenty and reapply on areas that get dry immediately. Rub across the grain especially if you're making the slurry fill. Let sit for about 15 minutes until the oil starts to feel just a bit tacky. Take a clean tissue and wipe it all off!  Again, if you've made a slurry wipe across the grain to keep the slurry in the grain. After letting it rest for another 5 to 15 minutes wipe it dry again as the oil may sweat off the pores.

The wiping is essential because oil won't actually dry. You don't want your guitar to feel like flypaper!

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I use danish oil for necks on my builds (only the builds I make for myself because I don't think it provides as much protection as others) I personally wouldn't recommend it for finished a stained flamed maple top - reason being that it requires a lot of rubbing away of excess and that has a habit of taking the stain with it, it's also very good at turning blues into greens. I've also found the lack of protection against plectrum scratches, finger nails etc soon gets through the finish and stain. Obviously do a tester and see what results you can get, but I've never had any success with it and stain.

If you want to get a vibrant finish for a stained flamed top, I would recommend sealing the colour in with a spray can sanding sealer, then use a wipe on poly or acrylic which you could then buff to a gloss. You could then sand back the sides and do your danish oil on the rest of the neck body. 

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