The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was at Solo Music this afternoon t o pick up a few new luthier tools and parts for another project guitar, and while there, I picked up a rather nice strat kit. The body is basswood, and is quite nice. no blemishes or flaws, and the front of the body appears to be one piece. My other kits I've finished had basswood as well, and I just sanded, painted and clear coated. On this one, I'd like to attempt a natural or stained finish. Does anyone have any experience in finishing basswood in a natural (Tru-Oil or Tung Oil) or a water based stain finish that can make a recommendation? Or am I dreaming, and should accept that basswood is cheap and should just be sprayed and clear coated?

Thanks as always for the advice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
So long as it's not made out of 4 very visibly un-matching pieces of basswood so ugly it assaults the eyes, I'd say go for it. You're the builder, if it looks good to you - its good enough to have a natural finish.
Personally, I love going all natural, all the time. :D

Lately I've been playing with clear gloss lacquer mixed with dye to make see-thru a colour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So long as it's not made out of 4 very visibly un-matching pieces of basswood so ugly it assaults the eyes, I'd say go for it. You're the builder, if it looks good to you - its good enough to have a natural finish.
Personally, I love going all natural, all the time. :D

Lately I've been playing with clear gloss lacquer mixed with dye to make see-thru a colour.
Thanks! There are no visible unmatching joints. hence my plan to try a natural finish. What type of dye would mix best with a lacquer? I was initially looking at some analin (sp?) water based dyes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
Thanks! There are no visible unmatching joints. hence my plan to try a natural finish. What type of dye would mix best with a lacquer? I was initially looking at some analin (sp?) water based dyes.
Water based dyes in water based/bound lacquer. I use these dyes ColorFX Dye Concentrates

and this is the lacquer EM6000 Production Lacquer Smaller quantities of this are available at Lee Valley. ( 1 liter)

I've also played around with powered dyes from the fabric store. They work too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Water based dyes in water based/bound lacquer. I use these dyes ColorFX Dye Concentrates

and this is the lacquer EM6000 Production Lacquer Smaller quantities of this are available at Lee Valley. ( 1 liter)

I've also played around with powered dyes from the fabric store. They work too.
Wow. Thanks! I will check these ones out. I have a local Lee Valley to pick them up if needed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
if you want an easy natural finish, Tung oil. It will pop the grain nicely and does not change the color of the wood by much. It will be a shade darker when cured. This picture shows before and after a coat of Tung Oil. Wipe on a thick coat, let it sit for a half hour and wipe off the excess. Repeat every few days if desired
_DSC0149.JPG
_DSC0196a.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dorian2 and Vally

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
Tru Oil is another good choice. A little harder to find, but gives a smoother, harder finish. Stores that sell guns is the best place to look for it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
I did not mention tru-oil because it changes the color of the item you are oiling. Compared to tung oil or similar natural oils (hemp oil etc). Here's a pic of tru-oil over the tung oil so you can see the difference. Another option is BLO aka boiled linseed oil which will give you something in the middle. ATTACH=full]225272[/ATTACH]
DSC_0139.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vally

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
if you really really want to keep it natural without changing the color, multiple coats of Renaissance Wax from Lee Valley. It's pure white wax so it has no color. Pops the grain nicely and doesn't change the color of the wood. But it really pops the grain!! Leaves a nice slick glossy finish after multiple coats. Quilted Sapele no grain fill, no sealer. Just the raw wood and the wax.
rw.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hey everyone - thanks for all the help and suggestions. After looking closely at the body I received (it is basswood), I can see the different body pieces (does not stand out too much), and there are a few blemishes in the wood that I've tried sanding out (I'm done sanding 180, 240, then 320). Before I decide whether to put a paint finish on it, I'm going to dye it, and try a tung oil finish over the dye. I can guarantee that without paint it it will looked like a relic (which is not bad in my opinion). I'll post pics as I progress.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
That will be a nice finish. Make sure the tung oil is cured for at least a week. Make sure the dye is not oil based or it may want to come out with the tung oil. Or you can use a sanding sealer over the dye then tung oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
That will be a nice finish. Make sure the tung oil is cured for at least a week. Make sure the dye is not oil based or it may want to come out with the tung oil. Or you can use a sanding sealer over the dye then tung oil.
The stain is water based, so there should not be an issue with the tung oil. Thanks for the tip on the tung oil curing. Do you recommend curing each coat before applying the next? The tung oil instructions say wait 24 hours between coats.

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
My method was to really pour it on and let it sit for at least an hour. Make sure it is wet everywhere. If there is a dry spot apply more. After the one hour wipe it dry. Come back an hour later and wipe it again. As dry as possible. Let it sit for 24 hours. Second coat same thing. Make sure the wood looks wet for about an hour. Don't worry about it drying. ( You can leave a few ounces in an open jar and it will stay liquid for weeks. It's useless as a finish after that long ) but it doesn't evaporate or dry up. Make sure you keep wiping until it feels completely dry after the hour. If you want to apply more after that. I would just do about a 15 minute soak and a really really good wipe down until bone dry. repeat every 8-12 hours for coats 3 and more if you want to go that far. After your last coat, let it sit for at least a week for it to cure. Try not to handle it at all for that week.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jaxty

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
My method was to really pour it on and let it sit for at least an hour. Make sure it is wet everywhere. If there is a dry spot apply more. After the one hour wipe it dry. Come back an hour later and wipe it again. As dry as possible. Let it sit for 24 hours. Second coat same thing. Make sure the wood looks wet for about an hour. Don't worry about it drying. ( You can leave a few ounces in an open jar and it will stay liquid for weeks. It's useless as a finish after that long ) but it doesn't evaporate or dry up. Make sure you keep wiping until it feels completely dry after the hour. If you want to apply more after that. I would just do about a 15 minute soak and a really really good wipe down until bone dry. repeat every 8-12 hours for coats 3 and more if you want to go that far. After your last coat, let it sit for at least a week for it to cure. Try not to handle it at all for that week.
Thanks for the advice. It now has 2 coats of dye applied, and has been sanded (roughly 4 hours after dye job). I don't think I'll try to get it darker, so I'll proceed to the tung oil finish stage next, using your advice. Here it is after the dye/sanding. I am hoping the tung oil brings out he grain in the light spots. If it doesn't turn out, she gets stripped and painted, which was always plan A.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I like Osmo Poly X hard oil wax. Harder to find. Satin finish. 2 or 3 coats. Like any wax, nothing else will work after using it. With tung oil, you can apply other finishes later if wanted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
As a quick update - after working on this body for a couple of days, here's where I've landed. It is a 3 piece basswood body, sanded 180, 240, then 320 grit. I wiped with a damp cloth to raise the grain, and dyed it with a water based dye, that I had tinted blue. After 2 rounds of stain, wipe, wait - it was lightly sanded with the grain, with 240 grit in hopes of getting a "barnwood effect". I then applied 3 coats of tung oil, over 36 hours. Here it is:

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
884 Posts
For anyone looking to do this in the future, Danish Oil is another alternative. I believe the results and application are similar to Tung Oil, but it builds up faster for fewer coats. There are "clear" versions, but also some that have some built-in woody tones, if you're into that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,581 Posts
For anyone looking to do this in the future, Danish Oil is another alternative. I believe the results and application are similar to Tung Oil, but it builds up faster for fewer coats. There are "clear" versions, but also some that have some built-in woody tones, if you're into that.
I used Danish Oil on my Garage workbench. That stuff works great.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top