• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Maple and Tung oil

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

the great waldo

Established Member
Joined
2 Aug 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
12
Location
Vienna
I'm trying not to be rude or stroppy and it's not a bash on Dave. From what I can gather someone has asked him to do the work on a neck that they have bought (probably from ali express or even from someone reselling Chinese "quality" products as hand made or whatever) and Dave is trying his best to do as good a job as possible, and I am very happy to help him as much as possible to do as good a job as possible. This kind off situation is always a bit of a grey area. I've been making and repairing guitars for a living since I was 18 and yes I did study guitar making for 3 years at the london college of furniture (commercial road London in the late 70's) I learnt the hard way by doing it myself including many cockups (including jig sawing through the kitchen table and spraying the net curtains fiesta red overspray which glowed impressively at sunset) We didn't have any internet and just a couple of books from the local library. maybe i'm just getting a bit grumpy in my old age. Anyway Dave let us know what works and what didn't in case anyone else has similar problems. And appologies to your friend/client/customer/bloke down the pub I meant no disrespect.
Cheers
Andrew
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,396
Reaction score
572
Location
North West
I'd consider scraping it at the curve behind the nut to get back to the raw wood, then sealing it with de-waxed shellac, ideally you want to sand it back and seal the entire neck with de-waxed shellac, let it cure and then try the oil again, it should be much more even and less blotchy in the area behind the nut, the oil will still penetrate but more evenly because the shellac acts as a buffer.

I really like tru oil on guitar necks, you can easily do 3-4 layers in a day and lightly buff between coats with steel wool.
 

KIVESTO

New member
Joined
25 Oct 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Apology accepted :)

Here's the score:
I've been playing guitar (or trying!) since I was 18, 30+ years ago. My real passion is making however and I've been tempted to have a go at building a guitar for a couple of years but it did seem a bit daunting.
I though long and hard about how to approach it. The part that gave me the jitters the most was the neck - as you know, it's the most important part to get right - so I decided to buy a part-built kit. I knew that I was getting what I was paying for and that it wouldn't be the same as a quality kit that would have cost multiple times more. I also didn't want to spend that much money and potentially cock everything up. The company I bought the kit from has something of a reputation for supplying the (relatively) better quality ones so went with them.
When it arrived I checked everything over. The heel was a little 'fat' so I sanded off about .75mm from each side to get a nice snug fit. I then checked everything else over, bridge position, neck angle, etc.
I had a 2nd-hand Ibanez Gio with a twisted neck so routed out the body cavity to make room for the HSH electronics from that. I also re-soldered all the electronics with new sillicone-sheathed wire. I then made one-off 3mm carbon fibre pickguard and rear access plate with a lip recessed into the rear cavity so that the plate fits flush with the body.
I shaped the headstock from the original paddle shape and applied the tung oil. Apparently an oil finish gives a nice low-friction finish which is why I went to for that. The problems I've encountered with the tung oil is possibly down to how I applied it. There seemed to be 2 methods; either multiple thin coats to build it up gradually or a 1st, thick coat to allow the wood to absorb as much as possible before it cured and then thin coats, if necessary. I went for the latter and it was as the 1st coat was drying that the 'wet' areas appeared, strangely, mostly in the end grain where I would have expected it to appear dryer, if anything. I left it for a few days and then sanded back which is when the tung oil seemed to break down into a white 'powder' that left the wood also looking bleached. I applied thinner coats but the defects remained.
I knew this wasn't going to be a show-piece instrument (I also cocked up the paintwork in trying to flat sand and re-polish the original paint) so decided to accept the defects - I do, after all, have a pretty decent guitar that plays nicely and sounds good.
I didn't ask for help in correcting the finish. Dave, out of kindness, decided to try and find an answer for me but when I read the info he passed to me I admit I was a little offended by the quoted comment.
Sure, there are folks that want everything handed to them on a plate and pay nothing for it but I've put time, effort and money into the build and am pretty happy with what I've achieved, especially for a 1st go so I decided to join the forum and give my 2p's worth :)
In case you're interested, I've attached a pic of the guitar.
 

Attachments

the great waldo

Established Member
Joined
2 Aug 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
12
Location
Vienna
Hi Kivesto
Sorry about the rant again. Thanks for posting the picture .Maple is usually a quite forgiving wood to oil. I would use Rustins danish oil a finish. I've been using that stuff as long as I can remember. Don't buy a big can as if you don't use much it can go off after a while 12months + depending how much air is in the can. Use a heavy coat for the first coat leave for 10-15 mins then wipe it off. Next day put a thin coat on leave for a bit wipe off and let dry overnight (somewhere warm and dry as the stuff dries by oxidation and not much from evaporation. You could colour the oil a bit by mixing spirit stain (or oil based stain if you can find it ) and mixing with acetone and then adding to the oil. Danish oil is not mega easy to tint but that way with acetone usually works. You could also try stainithe barte maple first with thinned stain. Nick one of your drummers maple sticks and practice getting the colour right on that ! Maple doesn't absorb much as it's very close grained . After you've built up a few coats of oil 4-5 let it dry and go over it with a grey scotch pad/mat thing with some pledge to lubricate it and then give it a rub with an old t shirt and you should be good to go. I see your'e a lefty (things have got better for left handed players in the last few years) If you've got any more questions feel free to ask. Watch out for the dust on carbon fibre. The wet areas your seeing in the end grain is because more oil is absorbed into the end grain and hence takes longer to dry. Keep going the first try is rarely perfect but things become easier with experience. I've still got a classical guitar I built (the first one at the college) which I thought was pretty good at the time and when I look at it know I get embarrassed.
Cheers
Andrew
 

pe2dave

Established Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
1,237
Reaction score
349
Location
Peterborough, Cambs, UK
I'd consider scraping it at the curve behind the nut to get back to the raw wood, then sealing it with de-waxed shellac, ideally you want to sand it back and seal the entire neck with de-waxed shellac, let it cure and then try the oil again, it should be much more even and less blotchy in the area behind the nut, the oil will still penetrate but more evenly because the shellac acts as a buffer.

I really like tru oil on guitar necks, you can easily do 3-4 layers in a day and lightly buff between coats with steel wool.
I'm confused. Shellac, then Tung oil? I *thought* Shellac sealed wood? Am I wrong? I'm unsure how the Shellac acts when oil added atop?
I can see scraping back the wood to 'remove' existing finishes... but thereafter?
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,396
Reaction score
572
Location
North West
I'm confused. Shellac, then Tung oil? I *thought* Shellac sealed wood? Am I wrong? I'm unsure how the Shellac acts when oil added atop?
I can see scraping back the wood to 'remove' existing finishes... but thereafter?
you can use shellac before oil yes, I am referring to thinned out de-waxed shellac, so around 1/2lb cut or thinner, as a sanding sealer, which is then sanded back very lightly and then you add the oil, it should even out the oil finish a lot.
 

KIVESTO

New member
Joined
25 Oct 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
No probs. It's easy to be cynical.
Thanks for all the tips. I shall buy some offcuts of maple and do some tests with all the possible oils, etc. That's probably what I should have done beforehand but it seemed so easy to apply.
 

the great waldo

Established Member
Joined
2 Aug 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
12
Location
Vienna
I'm confused. Shellac, then Tung oil? I *thought* Shellac sealed wood? Am I wrong? I'm unsure how the Shellac acts when oil added atop?
I can see scraping back the wood to 'remove' existing finishes... but thereafter?
Shellac would work like a very thin sealer coat. It's used because it's compatible with most finishes. It could help reduce patchiness. Personally I don't use it much. If your'e having problems with danish oil soaking to deep into end grain I would apply the oil sparingly with a sponge or tissue paper kitchen roll (almost dry )and use just enough to wet it for the first coat instead of the usual heavy wet coat let it dry and then it should have sealed itself. Danish oil/tung will actually be similar to a finish/paint/laquer if you check the residue on the top of the can you'll see it's tried like a normal finish.
Cheers
Andrew
 

the great waldo

Established Member
Joined
2 Aug 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
12
Location
Vienna
No probs. It's easy to be cynical.
Thanks for all the tips. I shall buy some offcuts of maple and do some tests with all the possible oils, etc. That's probably what I should have done beforehand but it seemed so easy to apply.
If you need stewmac stuff these guys Madinter España: Maderas para Luthiers - Wood for Music (Tonewood) supply from Europe although I suppose thats not really relavent as the brits have left the EU. But they've got plenty of other stuff you might find usefull.
Cheers
Andrew
By the way it's not that easy for me to be cynical , but i've been in this buisiness so long and seen and heard so much nonsense that it tends to get to me. So there's no harm in me getting pulled up by the ears from the more down to earth people here on this forum :)
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top