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Message started by Wood_Butcher on Jun 19th, 2008 at 1:48pm

Title: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jun 19th, 2008 at 1:48pm
Hi,

I have been looking for Tru-oil and I see it is available in 3 oz. and 8 oz. bottles.  Having never finiched a tenor ukulele before, I was wondering how much it took.  My uke is mahogany, but I plan to build in mango and koa as well.  Thanks for any input.

Mark

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by konacat on Jun 19th, 2008 at 2:40pm
Mark,

It really dosn't take too much Tru-oil. When you rub it on you only want a small amount. Then wipe off any excess. Use as many of the ultra thin coats as needed to pore fill and creat a smooth surface. Dry between coats of course. Let dry a week and then level and polish with micro mesh under an eraser. Follow that up with a nice wipe down with lemon oil and you will have a very nice finish.  [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

Philip

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Matt Blacka on Jun 19th, 2008 at 3:55pm
Hi Mark,

I bought the bigger bottle of tru-oil and used bugger all of it to finish my uke with 8 or so coats. The remainder of the bottle went off while sitting in the cupboard. It was a waste. I'm not sure if there are better or worse ways to preserve tru-oil once the bottle has been opened, but from my experience, its not worth getting the bigger bottle just to save on money, because then half of it dries up anyway.

If you are only finishing one uke now, and maybe want to do another in a few months time, I would get the small bottle, especially if its easy for you to get hold of. If you run out, just get another bottle.

Matt

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by achock on Jun 19th, 2008 at 9:36pm
A little Tru-oil will go a long way, the 3 oz bottle will be more than enough to finish 3 or 4 tenor ukes.  As Phillip mentioned, you want nice thin coats, no more than 2 per day.  Too many coats at once or too thick and it will start to gum-up.

We also have a problem keeping the stuff from drying up between uses.  One tip is to keep the foil seal on the bottle.  Punch a small hole in the seal to dab oil onto your cloth but keep more air out.

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Doug on Jun 20th, 2008 at 8:03am
I bought a small bottle to do a tenor uke. I probably used about 1/2 of it. I read somewhere on the net that a good way to store Tru-oil is to set it on the shelf upside down. That way the dryed out part of the bottle would be at the bottom when it's in use and not interfere with the opening. I've never tried this, but thought it would be worth a try. If not, Tru-oil is about 4 dollars a bottle in any Walmart.
Doug

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jun 20th, 2008 at 3:00pm
Thanks for all the info.  I did read somewhere that the problem with storing this stuff is the high content of japan drier.  A local gunsmith/ locksmith shop has the small bottles on the shelf, so I'm good to go.

Thanks,

Mark

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Mr_Roboto on Jun 26th, 2008 at 2:52am
I HAVE NEVER USED TRU-OIL!  

With that said, I don't know what causes it to cure.  (Light?  Heat?  Dry Air?)

Find out from the manufacturer what causes it to cure, then eliminate that factor to extend shelf life.  If light, put in dark place.  If heat, put in refrigerator in plastic, lock-tite freezer bag (or in a cool basement).  If dry air, wet a paper tower, stick the wet paper towel AND the Tru-Oil bottle (sealed) in a plastic, lock-tite freezer baggie, squeeze out air from baggie, and put in a cool, dark place.  Bag may stick to oil on bottle, so be prepared...  NEVER TRIED THIS, SO NO IDEA IF IT WILL WORK!

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jul 3rd, 2008 at 1:57pm
Hi,

Here's my uke after 10 (or was it 11) coats of Tru-oil.  Yeah, I was trying to keep track but somewhere about 9 or 10 I spaced out.  I am pretty happy with the sheen, but am looking for advise on the options to finish at this point.  I am also interested in finding out about brands of products that you use, such as the lemon oil that Philip suggested.  Also interested in how your method affects the Tru-oil base coats, as to whether it glosses it or satins it.

Also curious what finish to use on the bridge once I get it installed or before installation if that is better.

Thanks,

Mark





Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by dochughes on Jul 4th, 2008 at 8:22am
Looks beautiful, Mark.  What kind of binding are you using?  The dark color really contrasts nicely against the lighter color of the body.

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by lefty on Jul 4th, 2008 at 10:33pm
Mark,
 That is a beautiful uke.  I have a question about the tru oil.  Since it is an oil will it soak into the wood more than a laquer does?  And if so how tuff is it to scrape off prior to gluing the bridge on.

                           Thanks,
                                Lefty

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jul 5th, 2008 at 4:01am
Lefty,

I'm not a chemist, but I have read that Tru-oil is more a varnish than an oil.  When you apply it in a thin coat and wipe it off within a minute or so, it actually seems to grab the dry rag the second time you go over it.  Makes me think that it dries too quick to soak in all that much.  I suppose if you were to put your first coat on heavy and let it set that you might have a problem with too much penetration.  I would guess that is why some people have trouble with it staying gummy.

I did have an issue with some nasty sanding scratches on the concave edges of the headstock that I finally decided to sand out after about 4 or 5 coats.  The finish sanded off pretty quickly and didn't seem to have gone in that far.  After several more coats, the sand out wasn't noticeable.

Having done that repair, I feel confident that stripping the bridge location will be easy.  I'm going to wait a week to let the finish cure before I go any further.

I also did unscientific tap tone testing at the piano before and during the process.  It didn't seem to change.  Stayed right around the G below middle C.


The bottle says you can apply another coat after 2 hours.  I tried to accelerate the process by putting more than two coats a day.  We were having a hot spell with temps in the 90's with low humidity.  I was able to put on a coat every 2-3 hours, but the third coat seemed to stay a little tackier.  That was the maximum and I stayed with the two coats a day that Asa recommended after that.

Here's a link to LMII's tutorial on Tru-oil.  I ran across in one of Philip's postings way back in the forum.  

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/TruOil.htm

Mark

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jul 5th, 2008 at 4:13am
dochughes,

I used an ebony/basswood binding that I found at LMII.  I wanted that light basswood line to make it stand out.  I was able to find a sheet of 1/32" thick basswood at a hobby shop to put under the ebony heel cap as well.  Since the basswood was pre-attached to the ebony I just used 2 pieces of binding glued basswood to basswood fo the tail inlay.

If you decide to try ebony, I would recommend sanding it down to .060 to .070".  Mine are at .070" and I cracked one in the bending process.  It went back together pretty good, but I know it's there.

Mark

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by lefty on Jul 5th, 2008 at 5:42am

Mark,
 Thanks for the info.  Sure looks good on your uke.

What will your next build be?

Lefty

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by Wood_Butcher on Jul 5th, 2008 at 3:11pm
Thanks for the kind words.

Well Lefty, I ain't done with this one yet!  And yet you must know me well.

I actually do have some mango that I ought a few weeks back.  Big enough to do a standard baritone, but alas there are no plans available from Hanalima yet.  (Hint, hint, Asa.)  The currently available cutaway baritone plan looks a little complicated for a second build.  Probably with Rosewood and some abalone.  I liked the contrast using ebony, but want to try someting that shows more grain.

I've also been tempted to  build a series of koa tenors.  Thinking of one all koa, one with a spruce top, and one with a western red cedar top.  Kind of an experiment in tonal qualities of different woods.  Might start this first if the baritone plans don't come out this summer. (Oh, please hurry, Asa!)

Is it just me or do the rest of you have the same problem with this getting out of control?  I see a whole closet full of ukes in my future. Yikes!

What have you got on the burner, Lefty?

Mark

Title: Re: How Much Tru-oil?
Post by lefty on Jul 6th, 2008 at 10:23am
Well Mark,
 I just finished an "Urban" uke last month with the Spanish Heel style neck.  I have another tenor build on the bench.  Body is bound and I am fitting the bolt on neck.  I wanted to build useing both styles to see which I liked better.
 Since the Spanish Heel one is done I like it best. :D

Lefty

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