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Questions About Tung Oil

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  • Questions About Tung Oil

    What differences are there between using tung oil on mahogany compared to alder?

    What colour does tung oil tend to turn a finish or wood?

    Can a tung oil finish affect plastic and metal hardware on the rest of the guitar?

    Does tung oil react with any petroleum products such as poly or vinyl?

  • #2
    I've used tung oil on alder, but not mahogany. But I do know a little about mahogany, so I'll take a stab at some of your questions.

    Mahogany is an open grain wood. If you don't use grain filler with mahogany, you'll need more coats than you would with alder. The tung oil tends to darken the wood and it really brings out the grain. The more coats, the darker the results. With alder, you get a nice deep tan color.

    Not sure how it reacts with hardware or plastic, but you should probably avoid getting it in places you don't want it. If you do, I think as long as you wipe it off before it dries, you should be ok.

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    • #3
      I have another question , if you decide you dont like tung oil I suspect your stuck with it since it goes into the grain correct?
      Or can you finish over it at a later date?

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      • #4
        I think if you sand the finish off, you can do another finish over it. However, you may have to do a lot of sanding if you want to remove all the color.

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        • #5
          Sounds like tung oil is a very bad idea on a blue dye!


          Does anyone know about using linseed oil as a body finish?

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          • #6
            Im toying with the idea of using it on my black limba V , it only has a few coats of clear laquer on it now but I cant stand the wood color , it was soo beautiful before the clear got shot on it .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheBoatCanDream
              Sounds like tung oil is a very bad idea on a blue dye!


              Does anyone know about using linseed oil as a body finish?


              I think any type of oil finish is going to give your guitar a brownish-yellow tint, which would probably make a blue guitar look green. You need to use a clear finish.

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              • #8
                I'm thinking with finishing a guitar with tung oil.
                After you apply the oil, do you still need to apply a clear coat, or is it good to go?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by the_schuster
                  I'm thinking with finishing a guitar with tung oil.
                  After you apply the oil, do you still need to apply a clear coat, or is it good to go?


                  Nope, the tung oil is the final finish. You'll probably want to do at least 4 coats, because it is a very thin finish.

                  You should be aware that it's not as durable as a poly finish and will dent and scratch easily. I personally prefer the thin finish over a thick coat of poly. It really makes you feel like your holding a piece of wood. The nice part is you can easily sand out any scratches and apply more coats later down the line.

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                  • #10
                    If you have a scrap of the same wood as your guitar, stain it and apply tung oil as a test. If not, try removing a pick up ring or pick guard and apply tung oil to a bit of the wood concealed by the ring or guard to see if you like it.

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                    • #11
                      Also, if you do decide to finish the guitar, remove alll the hardware and parts from the guitar, then finish it. I doubt if the tung oil will affect plastic bindings or metal parts.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all your help so far, I think thats the way I am going to go. Where can I get tung oil? Is it as easy as walking into Home Depot/Lowes and picking some up, or is it an online order?

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