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Hi,
i used an oil finish  on my guitar and the three first coats goes well. I let dry several days between each coats.
But since the fourth coat, after 15 days, the surface of the guitar stay sticky. I'm even be able to mark the finish just with little taps with the flat of my nails!!! 
Do I have to wait longer for drying (the last few weeks have been very wet), reapply oil and wipe off immediately (reactivate the solvent) or sand everything and start again?
Thank you for your help!!!
Best regards,

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The wet weeks sure may have an effect to the curing time.

Just for trying to better figure out what's happening, did you wipe all the excess off after applying each coat? My experience with oiling has allowed a daily reapply without issues but I did wipe the coat off immediately when it started to feel tacky.

If you have just splashed a new coat every few days it will "never" dry - ever found an ancient oil can or a tube of gear lube in a shed with the grease on the outside still being tacky after a decade or more?

There's been questions like yours before, I recall someone trying the solvent only. If memory serves me right it was not a success... But if you know the solvent, applying it liberally to the oil and splashing yet a new coat might soften the layers below enough to be wiped off. Worth trying before scraping?

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Hi,

yes, for every coat i wipe all the excess when it became tacky. That's why i'm surprised that it's still sticky.

Concerning the solvent. i mean apply the oil. The solvent contained in the oil dissolves the layer below. Then i can wipe off and remove some of the oil that does not dry out.

I have heard about this method before for the same problem as me with Danish oil. I don't know if this can work with my case.

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1 hour ago, Macarel31 said:

The solvent contained in the oil dissolves the layer below. Then i can wipe off and remove some of the oil that does not dry out.

Yepp, we're talking about the same thing. What I meant is that if you can change the proportions to contain more of the same solvent it might dissolve the layers below faster.

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I am presuming that this finish is an oil/varnish mixture which is "sort of" an oil. These need to be left for the solvents to escape, and often they get trapped under a skin of dried finish film so stay soft for a very long time. Generally they're best wiped on, left to permeate the surface of the material and then wiped off. Subsequent coats are thin and numerous as opposed to a few thick coats which results in the tacky or soft "floating" surface. I am doubting that it is a wiping oil/poly mix.

What product are you using? I might suggest that if it isn't too late, taking an appropriate solvent and going back to the initial stages of the finishing process. The finish will stay sticky for forever and a day until those solvents can offgas. I'm of the same opinion as @Bizman62 here. It's worth going back and re-doing things with a slower schedule, especially if your weather isn't conducive to swift cure times.

An excellent finishing article to refer to on this is one by @Andyjr1515 here:

 

....whilst Andy's article is about varnishes rather than oil/varnish mixtures, the technique and general approach is good grist for the mill. Additionally, refer to Bob Flexner's article on oil finishes to better get an idea of how the product you're using works in principle.

http://www.woodweb.com/images_forums_public/finishing/Oil_Finishes__Their_History_and_Use_Bob_Flexner.pdf

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Thanks for the link @Prostheta. I've been itching to make my own mix of BLO, varnish and turps. The main issue is how the word "varnish" translates to Finnish, making it hard job to choose the right product.

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Hi, the oil used is the "penetration oil finish" created and provided by Crimson Guitars". It was recommended to me by several amateur luthier. It look like tru-oil.

I'm a litlle confused because between each coats, i waited many more  time that specified by the recommandations (several days even if the recommandations specified 4 / 6 hours between coats).

 In addition, I was careful to remove all the oil excess until nothing appeared on the towels. I used the tru-oil on my neck. It's the same process and i didn't had this problem.

Honestly, I'm not sure I want to reapply this product if I can go back. It look like that the product come froma bad batch. I contacted the provider and for the moment i have no answers.

 

 

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I've used both the penetrating and building Crimson oils and they definitely have dried within a day so a bad batch may well be the culprit. It doesn't say it on the labels but did you shake the bottle well before using? A faint memory tells I may have heard Ben mention that on some video.

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I've had this issue with Crimson oils before, you think you got all the excess off but you didn't. It's also possible that with all the heat at the moment, you left it too long and it became too tacky, It's 30ºC in the UK today, so I would be wiping the excess off after only a couple of minutes. Apply some more oil and sand it in with 600 grit wet and dry until the surface is completely smooth then wipe the excess off more thoroughly.

When it comes to removing excess, I remove the excess, think I'm done and then get some clean kitchen towel and wipe it off all over again.

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I find that during the flood coats, it's worth thinning down oils - Tru-Oil at the very least - with 10% naphtha. This makes it far more penetrative and also easier to wipe off. It's difficult for me to divine what is happening here, especially when talking across products. I use Tru-Oil fairly extensively now due to its friendliness around the home, notwithstanding the likelihood of fires course.

Flood coats are the most critical of oil finishing schedules, and it's literally possible to waste more oil than you end up using around the entire piece on this stage alone. Balls to these "specialty" oils like the Crimson stuff; buy up a big bottle of Tru-Oil or some other tried, tested and quantifiably-consistent product. Generally you get double the quantity for about a 25-40% increase in price, so it's worth it. Anyway. Flood coats should be where you give the wood as much as it will take, and babysitting it through the flooding. Firstly that helps spot any spills or accidents, but secondly you can top up areas that suck up the oil by pushing the excess around from other areas. I take about half an hour doing this before wiping it clean and checking every fifteen minutes for oil bleeding out. Once you're past this stage, everything else is coasting downhill and like you say @ADFinlayson, raising a fine slurry to fill it out makes all the final bodying/glossing sessions a breeze.

It's actually not too different to how I season my cast iron as well....wipe on oil, then wipe off until no more oil comes off. Then wipe some more.

A penetrative oil finish sounds like it's boiled linseed oil, likely with a bit of solvent and maybe some other oils also. In general, oils are the easiest to work with (Tru-Oil is BLO plus solvent) and easiest to get yourself out of a hole with. If it's not curing then either it can't take oxygen from the atmosphere to start cross-linking, or there's something fundamentally wrong with the product. I've never had an oil do this unless put onto an oily wood like Cocobolo. I'd be pissed about this, as I rely on product consistency, and knowing it will do what it is intended to do.

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6 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

you think you got all the excess off but you didn't.

Exactly. That applies to all oils. You wipe it off but in a few minutes there's tiny sweat droplets all over the place. If that isn't mentioned on the label, it should be added. Wipe off after some 15 minutes or when it starts to be tacky, then wipe again after 5-10 minutes with a clean rag.

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13 minutes ago, Macarel31 said:

The real question for me now is how to go back with this product?

As @norm barrows said, plenty of solvent might do the trick. Then again, giving it a bath might also moisten the wood so it warps. Let's say I'm a bit hesitant about that.

As @ADFinlayson said and if I understood him correctly, applying some more oil using a piece of 600 grit wet'n'dry sandpaper might further soften the oil so you can wipe it off. A scotch brite type sanding pad can also be used for that.

Trying to sand it off dry would only clog the sandpaper so if bare wood is your goal then a scraper is the right tool.

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Just sand more oil in with wet and dry, if 600 doesn't get the sticky patches, use 400. Once it's all smooth, wipe the excess off thoroughly. I'm not a fan of scrapers, you will end up taking bucket loads of finish of and potentially ruin a stain job.

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Hmm. Be careful passing out advice if you're not 100% certain of the outcome or what doing X will result in. Heat is not a good idea as it is likely to cause more problems than it solves. To be honest, I'd go with what I know to be certain, and that's to strip the finish back to zero, refill and restain. Take it onboard that Crimson are the inconsistent choice, and go with a product that is both reputable and consistent. Tru-Oil, or some other off-the-shelf product that is engineered and a known quantity. Even then, test on scrap to ensure that your finishing schedule is valid. Your workpiece is not your test piece after all.

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I'm thinking like you Prostheta. 

I started to sand the oil finish completely, even if i have to sand the stain too. I don't mind doing it again. In addition, with the oil, the blue turned green. I will radically change the finish for this guitar. It will be a finish that does not yellow, so a water-based finish.
The most annoying thing for me is knowing how deep to sand the wood to remove the oil. What will annoye me is to redo the pore sealing again.
It was a unpleasent, long and dirty phase...

 

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16 hours ago, norm barrows said:

Supposedly, Crimson Guitar Oil is based on the results of reverse engineering Tru Oil, but designed to build faster.

Basically, the same product but with less solvent and a thicker veneer of marketing wank.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't bother. Buy some Tru-Oil. After all, you're stateside anyway and you'd be buying a less consistent product for more money whilst paying through the ass for shipping and import. If you want it to be more penetrative, add 5-10% nathptha to the oil for the initial coats. 😄

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