Oil finishes - little tutorial for my wet sanded oil finish technique

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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    That's the only way to do it if you want colour and tru-oil. The sanding back in my method doesn't work with stains.

    But my method will feel much better, which is why I don't mind wasting a bit of oil to do it
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    Could you explain why your sanding back method doesn't work with stain please? I've only done this with stain so far but plan on natural finishes soon.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    because you are sanding the stained surface at the same time as applying more oil.  it tends to lift the stain out as you go
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    Ah, I see.
    but it could be done after I've built up a good thick layer?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    yeah, but  its not the same as wetsanding pretty much back to the wood. I like to keep oil finishes super thin.  The wetsanding helps build up protection without thickness. 

     I do similar to you if I am using a colour, but i prefer Eze oil these days for that purpose.   
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 1218
    Would it be right to say that your wet sanding allows you to push the oil further into the wood? And only after you finish that, then you put on the the further top layers of oil.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    I don't actually think it penetrates much deeper than a non-wetsanded oil finish -  but it does grainfill and seal better than just wiping on 

    there is also a tendency for torn wood fibers from sanding to swell when finishing.  the wetsanding with finer grits helps take care of these leaving the surface as smooth as it can possibly be... and because you have taken care of those tiny torn fibers  they are less likely to swell up from humidity a few months later.  if you ever play a raw neck that's feeling a little rough, those little wood fibers are usually the cause
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    Thanks for the pointers @WezV much appreciated
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  • redrighthandredrighthand Frets: 717
    edited May 2015
    So, I'm giving this method a go on a pine tele body (separate build thread coming soon). Now seeing as how I'm totally new to this sanding and finishing lark here are a few noddy questions to anyone familiar with the technique. Basically I'm at stage 1 - sanding with a high grit - and spent about 45 mins today with 400 grit sanding the body.

    1. How do I know when I've sanded enough? Am I looking for a completely smooth finish, no scratches, or what? Given the wet sanding to come, do I need to worry about it being perfect at this stage?

    2. What's the best way of removing the dust once this stage is finished? A wet rag / dry rag / Hoover?

    3. I've noticed some marks on the wood which I've just about been able to picture. Will upload a pic shortly. A couple of faded parts at a 90 degree angle to the grain, and some light marks that look kind of lake track marks. Almost flamey, but too uniform. The 400 grit had no impact on these. Should I try a lower grit to get rid of them, or will they be less noticeable after the oil goes on?

    http://imgur.com/etMBJDB

    http://imgur.com/3VEJTf6
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30945
    WezV,  wondering about your thoughts about using something other than steel wool for this process?

    I'm just experimenting with offcuts at the moment.
    I don't like using wire wool on acoustic guitar soundboards, because no matter how hard you try small fibres are left behind, even with Liberon.
    I've wet sanded with Tru-oil at 240 and 320 grit and had reasonable results.

    Recently I've applied finish (to rosewood back and sides) after getting up to micro mesh grades, then used some Lubrisil at 400 grit and polished with micro mesh grades, then finishing off with a think coat of lemon oil to help with fingerprint marks.
    I'm looking for the glossiest finish I can get with Truoil on acoustic guitars.

    Your thoughts?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30945
    edited May 2015

    2. What's the best way of removing the dust once this stage is finished? A wet rag / dry rag / Hoover?
    I use tack rags.

    I use tack rags.

    Do you mean before you've put oil on?
    A wet cloth will raise the grain.
    If after you've put oil on, you want to avoid using water on oil- it makes the finish go cloudy as water gets trapped under the oil.
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  • redrighthandredrighthand Frets: 717
    octatonic said:

    2. What's the best way of removing the dust once this stage is finished? A wet rag / dry rag / Hoover?
    I use tack rags.

    I use tack rags.

    Do you mean before you've put oil on?
    A wet cloth will raise the grain.
    If after you've put oil on, you want to avoid using water on oil- it makes the finish go cloudy as water gets trapped under the oil.
    I mean before the oil stage - just to get rid of all the tiny particles of dust (assuming that's even necessary).
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30945
    octatonic said:

    2. What's the best way of removing the dust once this stage is finished? A wet rag / dry rag / Hoover?
    I use tack rags.

    I use tack rags.

    Do you mean before you've put oil on?
    A wet cloth will raise the grain.
    If after you've put oil on, you want to avoid using water on oil- it makes the finish go cloudy as water gets trapped under the oil.
    I mean before the oil stage - just to get rid of all the tiny particles of dust (assuming that's even necessary).
    This is what tack rags are for.
    I don't want to speak for WezV and his process though.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    @octatonic I am not generally going for super gloss ao I can't say about that. I only use wirewool for the final polish with wax. Go to 800g up with the wetsanding and the results will be better than reasonable. Then experiment with different things for your final polish

    @redrighthand

    1. You will know if you have sanded enough when you apply the first coat. You can always go back a grit to remove more scratches but no point going up a grit till you are happy

    2. Tack cloth is best, just giving it a wipe with any cloth will do as this ain't lacquer

    3. Looks like big sanding drum marks, may be less obvious once oiled but if not may need relevelling totally

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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12623
    Actually, wipe with a damp cloth. Wait a day and resand to 400g or whatever. Then wipe with a dry cloth or tack cloth and do your first coat
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5956
    @WezV and @Sarge - going to do this to the excellent tele body I bought from @GSPBASSES. a) how do I add a colour, and b) any particular brand of colour/stain you would recommend?
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    http://kedadyeinc.com/index.php

    I've started using this Keda powder dye for flexibility, very bold colours and easy to mix, just add to hot water.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bolgers-Water-Based-Wood-Stain-Dye-500ML-CHOICE-OF-COLOURS-/121672643877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item1c54413525


    Bolgers stains are very good too, I used the blue for my avatar Westone, again a very bold dye, though I can't speak for their other colours.
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5956
    Thanks @Sarge - so I sand and stain with one of the dyes, let it dry, then do the Wez oil and wax thing on top?
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    I think wez advises against staining then wet oil sanding as it can disturb the stain, maybe leaving patchy patches.
    Ive not done the wet sand yet myself.
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1917
    Wez's finishing looks outstanding for sure, for my next refinish I'm going to try stain then lots of oil coats, nice and thick, THEN try the wet sanding, I'm not sure the stage will be necessary, but nothing ventured.....
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