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Monday, July 6, 2015

Oil finish, and a total recall step by step

I'd put on a few coats of Tru oil on this mahogany soprano, but I wasn't 100 percent pleased with the surface. Maybe I should have sanded a bit more before finishing, I think a shellac finish would have filled some of the imperfections but the oil brought them out. Since I'm not in a rush I decided to hit the surface with some 400 and then 600 grit sandpaper. 

The surface got dull, of course, and I quickly got rid of some problems. Then I remembered a method I learned long ago, and even used a couple of times. That is to apply the oil with some high grit sandpaper, thus creating a slurry of sorts which should fill the pores. So I went ahead and did just that. 

Then I remembered more - the slurry you get with Tru oil differs from the one you get with Danish oil, and that was what my wife used when she told me about the method. My slurry got very sticky and covered the uke with a grime that built a thick cover. Just like last time! When I told myself it would indeed be the last. 

But finally I recalled the last bit of hidden information in my once fully operational brain. Last time I was able to rescue the uke by rubbing it vigorously with a rag. So pretending to myself that this was the plan from the start I got a rag, and my phone for taking a few pics for this blog. 

Ready? In the first pic you can see the top with some of the grime remaining, north of the soundhole and the fretboard extension. 


Now rubbing. It doesn't take long but you need to rub hard. The area next to my thumb is now shiny. 


And would you have thunk it, the slurry did fill the pores and the rubbing left the surface with a great lustre. (As it did last time, I remember now.)

But the pic, what a fugly perspective. I'll add one more for balance. 


Here it is, with a bit of the cottage interior in the background. 


Since this strange method does give results, would I recommend it? Would I use it again (even if I remember more of the process than I did today)?

No, I wouldn't recommend it. To much hard work, and I wouldn't want to recommend a process demanding such force being put on a fragile uke. 

Yes, I might use it again. If I wanted to use Tru oil for some reason and my surfaces weren't prepared enough. I know it works and I know what it takes. And a good oil finish rivals a shellac finish in both looks and feel. 



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