HomeHelpSearchLogin  
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Ukulele finishes (Read 4429 times)
Jerry_Maksymyk
Member
*
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 2
Ukulele finishes
Jul 26th, 2004 at 3:40am
 
Hello from Canada everyone  Smiley

I've been enjoying your forum for a while and decided it was time to participate. There's some wonderful advice here.
I'm an amateur builder having built seven mountain dulcimers. I've just ordered a set of Kasha tenor plans from here and am very excited to try and build a mahogany uke from those plans.
I know you've talked about finishes before, so I apologize if this is is redundent.
I'd prefer not to use lacquer to finish my uke. I just used Tru oil for the first time on my last dulcimer which was bird's eye maple. It looked great but the sound wasn't as bright as I thought it might be.
Is Tru oil an accepted finish for ukulele's? Will it "hurt" the sound at all? Any advice as to other alternatives that you would suggest?
I'd appreciate your advice very much.

Thanks
Jerry
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
John_Mayes
Member
*
Offline



Posts: 46
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #1 - Jul 26th, 2004 at 4:36am
 
Tru oil would be fine.  You can actually build up multiple layers and then buff it out to a nice high gloss.  Other alternatives would be a water based finish like what Stewart Mcdonald ( called color tone) and LMI sells (called KTM4 or something.)  It is brushable and looks great.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
RCHawaii
Big Uke
***
Offline


Malama Pono Ukelele !!

Posts: 144
Ewa
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #2 - Aug 1st, 2004 at 1:48am
 
Mahaloz braddas ran across this Instructional site on French Polishing, copy it and bookmark it, it's a priceless resource!

http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html
Back to top
 

Thanks Hana Lima 'Ia and Asa!
WWW RadioControlUSA  
IP Logged
 
ukulady
Member
*
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 16
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #3 - Oct 18th, 2004 at 8:45pm
 
Thank you RC for the link for French Polishing!!!  Toni  Cheesy
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
msrvfx
Member
*
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 35
Portland, Oregon
Gender: male
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #4 - Jan 21st, 2005 at 7:22pm
 
Cheesy

I'd like to share a story on finsih. Lyle Ritz just move to Portland where I live, and I had the opportunity to take a jazz workshop from him at the Portland Uke festival a few months ago. He had his favorite uke with him.  Beautiful sounding and looking all mahogany uke, and the only finsh is applying some tung oil on it every few months.
i was speaking with David Hurd a few nights ago, and he mentioned that Tru-oil or tung oil will both polymerized over time and really solidify in essence.

Mark in Portland
Back to top
 
http://www.myspace.com/msrvfx http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1543208653  
IP Logged
 
Bob Uke-er
Member
*
Offline


Turning expensive wood
into noise!

Posts: 15
Chicago, Illinois
Gender: male
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #5 - Jan 22nd, 2005 at 6:23am
 
Hi Jerry from Canada, Aye
     Just finished a tenor uke, koa body, spruce top, with Tru-Oil.  I've found that the Tru-Oil won't have an adverse effect on the sound as long as it is applied in THIN coats. In order to get a decent polish, it will take eight or more coats. If each is very thin, the final finish should be as thin as a spray-on lacquer and thinner than a brush-on lacquer or varnish finish. I applied the Tru-Oil from a plastic dropper bottle a drop at a time to a small (maybe 4" x 4") then wiped each coat on with a 4-layer thick pad of old t-shirt followed by a wipe-off with a dry T-shirt pad. It seems almost like there is no finish going on but after eight coats applied every 12 hours, it was ready to polish with a soft polishing wheel and some fine rubbing compound. Buffed up to a high, clear shine.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Vincent
Guest


Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #6 - Jul 6th, 2005 at 7:08pm
 
Resurrecting this thread...

I intend to finish one of the lil mahogany soprano kit with tru-oil, but before i do so, i want to paint a picture on the back of it with black paint.

Any suggestion on the kind of paint to use?

will we see the painting through the finish?

Thank you

Vince
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
drfrancov
Member
*
Offline


Ukulele Lover!

Posts: 21
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #7 - Jan 11th, 2009 at 7:24pm
 
Hi guys...I am going to start my first build from a kit...I have a question regarding finishing: why not use lacquer (spray on)?...What about polyuretahne?

Thanks
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
unkabob
Big Uke
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 225
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #8 - Jan 12th, 2009 at 5:38am
 
drfranov:
On your first build you should stick closely to the book. If you want to look at other finishing systems , test them out on small pieces of scrap wood and see what you like. The scrap should be sanded to at least 350 grit. It takes too much work to build an ukulele to mess it up on the finish.

Bob
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Don_Orgeman
Big Uke
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 140
Minnesota
Gender: male
Re: Ukulele finishes
Reply #9 - Jan 12th, 2009 at 9:53am
 
Drfrancov:

You can spray lacquer if you have the equipment.  Most commercial guitars are sprayed with lacquer for production reasons, but it produces a grerat finish and good tone.

I would suggest you stick to finishes that are manufactured for or commonly used for instrument building.  Tru-Oil is a gun stock finish that has become popular with ukulele builders because it is a nice no-mess process with no special tools.  Rub on a thin coat to a small area with a cotton rag (one builder skips the rag and just rubs it in with his fingers) and wipe it off with a clean cotton rag and keep going until you're done.  A nice part of this system is the ukulele is dry when you're done and dust doesn't stick to the finish as it does with other finishes.  The bad part is the number of coats to get a really nice finish.  Also, be aware that Tru-Oil will darken the wood tone toward the brown side, so a white spruce top will not stay as white as when you started.  If this is a concern, use a piece of scrap spruce and try about 8 coats of Tru-Oil to see if you like the results.  I like the mellower color that Tru-Oil gives me.  Tru-Oil also makes a filler/sealer which will help with the number of coats needed to build a base porous wood like bubinga, but it can be hard to find.

I have used old fashoned varnish (not poly) applied with a brush on a guitar with good results.

Hope this helps.

Don
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print


Home | About Us | About Classes | Shop Store | Shop Tour | Session Tour | Luthiers Diary | Gallery
Class Schedule | Register | Alumni | Message Board | Tool Tips | Building Tips | Contact Us