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Has anyone used Tung oil for the neck finish? Does it hold up well?

Mark

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I'm having a Danish Oil period at the mo, a quick check with wiki indicates one possible component is Tung oil. Works well on blond timber and very well on mahogany. I've just finished oiling an oak neck, 3 coats and much rubbing. Another useful advantage is damage repair. Spot buff with steel wool or used up fine grade sand paper and wipe over with more oil.

I've done several necks with tung oil and I'm very happy with the results. It's very easy to apply I do a heavy coat applied with a foam brush let it dry steel wool and do any other coats with a rag to get desired patina. The only drawback is it has a fairly long drying time and takes some scheduling or planning to avoid down time. I usually have several projects on the bench at any given time so it works well for me. If I need fast Deft lacquer is the bomb.  

Thanks for the tips. I'm doing a red oak neck with poplar finger board, fretless. I applied the first coat yesterday. Looks like it's going to work out nice.

Does the steel wool just smooth the surface? Wouldn't mind adding a little patina to it.

 

Mark 

Hi Mark,

I have used Tung oil for many other joinery projects and it is really good stuff. I second what has been said earlier about drying time and repair. I almost always use it in a mixture that I prepare myself. 1/3 Tung Oil, 1/3 Turpentine and 1/3 Yacht Varnish - the proportions are not critical so just guess. Fill a jar with this mixture  and keep a lint free cloth in the jar. Whenever you do some coating squeeze out the cloth and rub over the work and put the cloth back in and put the lid back on. Between 20 and 60 minutes later use a fresh dry cloth to buff down the work then leave ovenight. Do this as often as you want to. Each coat is very thin and the more coats the more lustrous the result.

The best thing is that this is very safe and I am building a 3 string guitar with my 7 and 9 year old daughters (my apprentices) so I am happy with them doing some of the finish.

You can speed up the drying and curing considerably by adding a small amount of terebene. However it is toxic so needs handling with care and my apprentices are not careful enough to even consider it

On the subject of Tung Oil. Because it is expensive I have found that there are lots of fake cheap Tung about and I always make sure that I buy from good sources. A lot of the cheap stuff on places like eBay that are not what they seem

Thanks John,

I'm using Minwax. I'm on the third coat. I'll mix up some like you suggested and try it on the next CBG. 

 

Mark

I've used Tung oil for years on refurnished furniture and walking sticks. I also used it on my 1st CBG. The great thing about it is that it's a penetrating oil. Unlike other finishes (shellac, polyurethane, etc) Tung oil penetrates the wood and after 2-3 coats depending on the type of wood and how much of a finish you're looking for, you end up with a long lasting, durable, water resistant finish. Tung oil will not peer or crack like other finishes

It's easy to apply, but does take a while to dry, but it's worth it. Here's a finishing tip I learned from an experience craft person. After applying a coat of tung oil or any finish, instead of rubbing with steel wool, crumble up a brown shopping bag and rub vigorously. You'll end up with a smooth finish w/o those little steel wires taht can be hard to remove & if you don't get them all will leave rust marks. Just make sure the tung oil is dry.

not all brands of tung oil are the same, lets set a rating system, Formbys is my fav

I've only used Minwax. Tru oil for gun stocks might be a from of tung oil. Works the same way. Don't know for sure.

Does the Formbys oil add any of its own coloration? 

 

Mark

Great tip!  I'll try both on my next project.

Pete "Papa Bo" Turner said:

I've used Tung oil for years on refurnished furniture and walking sticks. I also used it on my 1st CBG. The great thing about it is that it's a penetrating oil. Unlike other finishes (shellac, polyurethane, etc) Tung oil penetrates the wood and after 2-3 coats depending on the type of wood and how much of a finish you're looking for, you end up with a long lasting, durable, water resistant finish. Tung oil will not peer or crack like other finishes

It's easy to apply, but does take a while to dry, but it's worth it. Here's a finishing tip I learned from an experience craft person. After applying a coat of tung oil or any finish, instead of rubbing with steel wool, crumble up a brown shopping bag and rub vigorously. You'll end up with a smooth finish w/o those little steel wires taht can be hard to remove & if you don't get them all will leave rust marks. Just make sure the tung oil is dry.

Thanks Papa Bo the bag trick works great.

I have always rubbed the finish with some soft lint free cloth after about 20 minutes. Any longer than 1 hour and the finish is too tough for this to work well. I just tried your suggestion and left is a lot longer than normal. Very happy with the result.

John

Cool, most people don't believe that a brown bag works. I think what happens is that the bag actually burnishes the wood flattening all those micro wood fibers. By the way teak oil or any penetrating oil will work. I just brought a can of teak oil because tung oil was much more expensive.

Hi Jim

There are only 2 brands that I am happy enough to recommmend that I have bought recently and they are:

1. Chestnut

2. Liberon

Both claim to be pure Tung Oil and I see no reason to doubt that

jim said:

not all brands of tung oil are the same, lets set a rating system, Formbys is my fav

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