Tru Oil alternatives

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blackalex1952
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Tru Oil alternatives

Post by blackalex1952 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:58 pm

Firstly, where can I get Tru Oil for a reasonable price and not in a 90mm bottle for an exhorbitant price. The Tru Oil seems to vary in price quite a lot, the cheapest I found in Australia was $15 for 90mm. This is about $166 a litre! Most expensive finish on the market it seems. I was thinking of using it for necks as I have heard good reports for this use. Also is there an alternative which polymerizes the same way? How about Aussie Oil? What do people who use it think of the product for this and other finishing purposes?
-Ross
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jeffhigh
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by jeffhigh » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:03 am

Just pay the $15 a bottle.
I might seem better to buy larger quantities, but once the bottle is opened, it starts going off, so you are better with the fresh small bottle which is plenty for a guitar.
I have a bottle of Aussie oil but have not used it yet.
The difference between tru oil and many of the other oil finishes is that TO will build up a coating on the surface, where most are designed just to sink into the wood penetrating deeply rather than building a surface film.

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nkforster
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by nkforster » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:07 am

You might want to try Osmo oil. It's a nice finish for simple work. Two or three coats is enough for a nice satin filled finish.

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Mark McLean
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Mark McLean » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:03 pm

i have used PNZ Hard Wax Oil on two instruments. It is a mixture of natural oils and waxes, developed as a hard surface finish for flooring and internal woodwork. Gerard Gilet put me on to it and it, and it seems very suitable for instrument finishing - if you want that oil finished look. I apply it by hand with paper towel or soft cotton. Wipe it off and friction rub it a bit after 5-10 minutes. It dries overnight, and 3-4 coats seems to be enough for a really durable finish. I then wax and buff it a couple of weeks later. This makes it a super easy finish to apply. One instrument I did 2 years ago, and play daily, has stood up really well. I haven't got any longer history to report.

It is certainly not a high-gloss factory finish look. But it gives a very durable and nice looking satin finish, which is what I am looking for. There is also a matt version available. It originates from Germany, but in Australia you can buy it from Wittle's Waxes, or I found a supplier in Sydney selling it as a floor finishing product. I have used Tru-Oil in the past and this stuff is very similar, but available in larger quantities. The safety data sheet indicates that it is from all plant sources. They reckon you can eat off it if you want to.

Lex
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Lex » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:23 pm

I use a tung oil, that is a finish that oxidises, the chinese have used it for thousands of years and there are still things finished with it that still exist today and the finish is still good .
Trouble is that pure tung oil has the consistency of honey but when mixed with something like orange oil is beautiful to use .

A company called Howards in Tamworth NSW mixes the one that I use.
I have been using it on necks for years.

Tod Gilding

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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by vandenboom » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:42 pm

I got tru-oil from gun shop. I wasn't bothered by $13 for small bottle due to short shelf life.

I like and have used the Whittles wax product Mark discussed above. But again once the tin is open, i think it's buggered after 6-12 months. Can someone confirm that? Furthermore i went to buy 1 litre recently (as i prefer it to tru-oil) but found that price had gone from about $50 /litre (4 years ago) to something rediculous- can't remember exactly - $130??? Could have alao been due to 1litre no longer available - minimum of 4. I spoke to brisbane distributor and got no further with it so gave up on whittles wax.
So I'll keep using tru-oil on oiled necks. Little bottle goes a long way if u can produce enough target to use it on in 6 months!!
Frank

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:37 am

Has anyone tried Organoil Hard Burnishing Oil on a guitar? I've used it on furniture (seems OK, dries hard fairly quickly) but not on a guitar. A light first coat will likely prevent too much penetration.

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J.F. Custom
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by J.F. Custom » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:24 pm

Trevor Gore wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:37 am
Has anyone tried Organoil Hard Burnishing Oil on a guitar? I've used it on furniture (seems OK, dries hard fairly quickly) but not on a guitar. A light first coat will likely prevent too much penetration.
Yes Trevor, I have several times and I'm not the only luthier I know of that has.

I've used it for necks, where the customer has requested an oil finish for the feel. It provides good protection and makes for a lovely satin touch, while being easy to touch up over time. It does not however, build to a higher gloss like the Tru-Oil, being more matt or satin.

To the best of my knowledge (don't count on it), it is predominantly a mix of tung, citrus and eucalyptus, with some wood turps and perhaps other minor ingredients. It does penetrate, being quite thin and sets hard - I've not had an application go sticky again in high temps or humidity like some oils do. You can "burnish" it to a higher gloss level if desired, however, I've done some sample testing on that and never liked the look. It was kind of strange when you turned it in the light it would go from looking glossy to matt...

I also use it as my first coat on fretboards too. A light coat to penetrate and protect the board longer term. When dry, I then use a citrus oil as a final coat to the fretboard and buff it out. That's it.

I quite like it, but that's just my personal experience and may change if I find another I like better! In the mean time, it ticks the boxes when I need an oil to use.

Here's an example:
oiled_neck.jpg

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Thanks, Jeremy. It seems like a good option for necks at least.

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Graham McDonald
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Graham McDonald » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:03 pm

Feast-Watson Scanindinavian Oli works just fine. Their Fine Buffing Oil is good as a last coat as well. I do tend to get a little curious, perhaps even suspicious, about all the claims around ingredients with all the various oil finishes. As far as I can tell the Feast Watson stuff only ever soak in a tiny amount into the timber, don't affect the sound, that I can hear, and are simple to apply. Ticks all the boxes :D

I was was very suspicious about oil finished until it tried some on a scrap piece of spruce and then cut it in half to check out the penetration. A tiny bit, maybe .25mm, or less. You do have to sand to 400 grit to avoid obvious sanding scratches, but you do avoid all the the tedious sanding flat and buffing of lacquer. Try applying with 0000 steel wool and rubbing off with kitchen paper or old bits of t-shirt cotton. Even better are old bits of cotton towelling.

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vandenboom
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by vandenboom » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 pm

Graham. Re feast & watson products do u find u need to reapply one or both products periodically depending on level of use?? Frank

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Graham McDonald
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Graham McDonald » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:36 pm

Not as yet :D
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Dennis Leahy
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Dennis Leahy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:35 am

How about "Liberon Finishing Oil?" (http://www.liberon.co.uk/product/finishing-oil/)

And, you can make your polymerizing oils (and probably just about any liquid finishing products) last longer if you eliminate the air in the bottle/can. Kim Hickey mentioned adding marbles to the can, displacing the air, as you use up the liquid. Another way is to add a heavier than air, inert gas to the bottle. There's a product called "Bloxygen" that does this, but there must be much cheaper alternatives.
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old_picker
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by old_picker » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:58 am

I have had excellent results with danish oil by Cabots. The trick with it is sanding until you have a surface reflecting light - on a top quality job I'll go to 2500 grit wetn dry [using it dry] then buff with the back of the paper. The Danish is slopped on quickly as possible in great dollops - I usually use a two inch brush. Leave it sit for a few minutes then wipe it all off. If any where has gone sticky add more danish and wipe off all residue.

I'll repeat this 3-4 times sometimes rubbing rough spots with 0000 wool or 2500 W&D. I have done maby 20 electric prejects this way and it holds up very well over time.

NOt recomended for acoustic instruments

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Graham McDonald
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Graham McDonald » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:00 pm

I will disagree and suggest it is perfectly fine for acoustic instruments. It soaks in only a fraction of a mm and hardens up when it dries. I used to think it would have a noticeable deadening effect on the sound until I strung up a carved mandolin with no finish at all, pulled it all apart then wiped on a few coats of a danish oil and reassembled everything. No difference that I could tell and so much easier than any other finish. The sanding has to go to at least 400 grit to avoid seeing any sanding scratches.
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J.F. Custom
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by J.F. Custom » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:30 pm

Danish oil, or the Cabots variety at least, contains polyurethane (among other driers etc) - hence why you can 'build' a finish of higher gloss with it than other oils. Like applying multiple thin coats of polyurethane. It does "yellow" somewhat.

Polyurethane itself is generally frowned upon and not recommended for quality acoustic instruments. This could however be one of those old biases that has not been fully tested, I'm not sure. But at least, that is also in reference to a more traditional polyurethane context - it is quite a thick finish itself.

I have used the Cabots Danish once about 20 years ago on an electric instrument and it worked just fine for that - a nice satin oil look that lasted the test of time and was super easy to apply. Haven't used it since though.

Would I use it on an acoustic instrument? Probably not. Not when there are other alternatives far less risky. Would I hear the difference? I get to make so few instruments as it is, I'm not willing to experiment to find out!

Jeremy.

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Clancy
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Re: Tru Oil alternatives

Post by Clancy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:37 am

I'm using Danish Oil more & more on necks.
It feels nicer to me, and most customers seem to think so too.
Craig
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