|Forum topic by kdownes||posted 10-15-2009 04:23 PM||8379 views||0 times favorited||22 replies|
10-15-2009 04:23 PM
I just found this site this morning, and I hope these aren’t questions that have been answered a kagillion times already. I started my very first woodworking project a couple of weeks ago, which is refinishing a solid-body electric guitar. I bought a cheap instrument made of good wood (mahogany) with a nasty original finish (camouflage!). I decided to stain it a deep red to show off the grain I imagined was underneath, then finish it off with tung oil, which I’d read was a nice and easy-to-apply finish. I took it apart, sanded away the original finish, applied a grain filler (Behlen water-based mahogany grain filler, which was pink!), sanded that down, applied Behlen red mahogany stain, sanded again, and am now in the process of applying the tung oil. I’ve cut the oil to about 50/50 with mineral spirits, which I also read was a good way to go, and have so far applied four coats. Here’s where the questions come in.
- How long must I wait to reapply coats of tung oil? All the things I’ve read suggest that after applying a coat, letting it sink in, and wiping off the excess, it should be ready to recoat in 12-24 hours. But the last coat I put on was about 36 hours ago, and if I touch the surface its still a bit greasy to the touch. This has been true for previous coats as well, and I’ve gone ahead with applying more after a full 24 hours, which I hope wasn’t a big mistake. I’m doing this work in my basement, which is quite dry (we keep a dehumidifier down there set to about 60% humidity). Should I wipe it down again until the greasy-ness is gone, then apply another coat, or just wait until it is completely dry?
- Related to the first questions, how long should I expect to wait after applying the final coat? I’ve seen three to four weeks elsewhere online—is this a good rule of thumb? Obviously I need this instrument to be dry and sealed since it’s going to be played regularly, and although I’m anxious to put it back together, I can be as patient as I need to be.
- There seems to be some debate about using 0000 steel wool between coats. I’ve gently rubbed steel wool on the surface between the last two coats, and I imagine some of this is a matter of taste and what you want for the finished product (I’m looking for a nice matte finish, ultimately). Any recommendations on this front? I noticed that after the steel wool, the oil wiping rags pick up a lot of red tint from the stain—I’m guessing this will eventually stop happening as the oil coats build up and seal in the stain—is that correct?
- I’ve seen some recommendations about using a wax on top of the final coat of tung oil—is this a good idea, particularly for something like a guitar that will be used and handled a lot? If so, any recommendations for particular waxes that would be good?
I hope this isn’t too many questions for a single post. Thanks so much in advance for any advice. This is something of a test project for future, more expensive guitar refinishing projects, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can!