#1
Is tung oil a good choice for the finish on a neck? its a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. I'm not really sure what tung oil does, i've just heard it's an option. Other than that is it just like lacquer like I used on my guitar body?
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#2
Yes, tung oil is a good choice for a neck finish.

It will do wonders to the speed of the maple, don't get it on the rosewood though, rosewood doesn't need a finish.

You can clean the rosewood with lemon oil or fretboard cleaner occasionally.

You can re apply tung oil at any time.

It is similar to lacquer in the sense that it protects the wood, however it differs from lacquer in that it is not glossy, but satin, and therefore doesn't have the "stickiness" of glossy lacquer. Also, it will not protect the wood from dent as thick lacquer can, however it can be re-applied at any time.

A can or jug of tung oil should run you $10 - $30 or more depending on the size. Wipe it on with a rag, sanding or using steel wool in between coats, but just follow the instuctions on the can.

Sorry if that was too much info.
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#4
You will also need to lacquer the Maple fretboard since the strings will gouge through Tung Oil. Acrylic Lacquer or Policrylic work very well.

When refinishing the back of the neck, make sure to get 100% Pure Tung Oil ... without the varnish, hardener, and other additives. That was what the pros recommended. So far, my Tung Oiled necks have been excellent.

#5
Alright so tung oil is a good choice. I don't need to do anything to the fretboard right? Just fretboard cleaner or somethin? It's not a maple fretboard, its rosewood. The tung oil is strictly for the back of the neck right? and the headstock too?
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#6
Quote by tremonti9482
Alright so tung oil is a good choice. I don't need to do anything to the fretboard right? Just fretboard cleaner or somethin? It's not a maple fretboard, its rosewood. The tung oil is strictly for the back of the neck right? and the headstock too?
Yep, 100% Tung Oil. Fretboard cleaners are so cheap and available in so many brands.

#7
Tung oil is actually a fairly poor neck finish IMO you need at least 5 coats to get water protection and it still cures soft and slowly, raw linseed oil is worse.


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#9
What would you recommend then Absent Mind? I'm open to suggestions
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#10
Well I'm no expert by any means but I wouldnt really suggest oil on a neck at all, but if you want oil suggestions, polymerized oil is your best bet, but they are glossy (although I'm sure you could flatten them by not sanding up to 20,000 lol)

oil varnish blends will also give better protection than pure oil and are satin (still cure soft)

but you are probably better off with a lacquer of some sort.


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#11
like the lacquer I used to finish my guitar body? That kind of lacquer or is there a different kind...I don't want the neck to be sticky which is what i've heard happens with that kind of lacquer.

This is a strat neck too, what is the normal finish on a strat neck? I haven't played a strat in so long I have no idea lol as bad as that sounds.
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Last edited by tremonti9482 at Jan 23, 2009,
#12
Well people tend to say that glossy necks feel sticky and satin necks feel fast. So if you get a satin lacquer you will be good to go.

I'm afraid I have no idea what Fender use on their necks atm.


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#14
so there's a satin lacquer? I had not heard of that, but this is the first time i've built a guitar lol so that's probably why. So either a nitro lacquer or a satin lacquer would be best then correct? I just need to sand the wood and spray that on don't I. Unless I want to stain the wood, which I don't figure I do.
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#15
Quote by halvies
last night i used raw linseed oil to go over my neck, it worked great, looks like new now, and im not sure but i think it might have polished the frets a bit



My secret finishing method consists of linseed oil, naptha, and rub on oil based polyurethane. for necks/bodies i use 50/50 linseed oil and naptha, 3 coats, then 2 coats of 75/25 linseed oil/poly. for fretboard conditioning and finishing, i use one coat of the 50/50 naptha/oil.

dont ask why, just know that it works wonders.
#16
Hmmmm that sounds interesting LP addict lol It sounds like you've spent some time developing that formula of concoctions there lol What oil based polyurethane did you use? and does this give it a satin feel or a glossy feel.
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#17
i get the high-gloss whatever home depot sells (Deft is the best though), and its sole purpose is moisture resistance really. The naptha helps the oil penetrate deep into the wood, then when the wood is already oily and finished, the poly really just sits on top and makes microscoping moisture-resistance film that you cant really feel, but it is very effective especially on maple. maple turns to ass when you play it enough raw, so applying this stuff to a maple neck every time i do a setup (2-3 weeks), it keeps the maple from going gross.
#18
I use Nitrocellulose lacquer. I comes in satin, but some people don't like the look of "canned" satin finishes.
You can use an old furniture finishing technique. Use the glossy, but rub down each coat with 0000 steel wool. Usually about 5 coats. It takes longer, but it does look better, at least to me.
#19
Ok so i'm gathering that Deft high gloss lacquer, naptha, and linseed oil, is all I need right? I used the Deft high gloss aerosol for the finish on my body but i'm gonna guess there's a different rub on kind? and thats the poly stuff correct? so just those 3 things and use the ratios that you put earlier and I should end up with a well finished neck?
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#20
I'm a carpenter rather than an instrument maker but I'm a bit worried about using raw linseed oil as it won't dry. Boiled linseed is used because it dries much quicker. Tung oil produces one of the harder oiled finishes. In the UK we have something called Danish Oil which contains a little Tung oil plus some resins, kind of like the concoction LP addict is suggesting. An oiled finish will breathe meaning your neck will lose and absorb atmospheric moisture. This could potentially cause warping, though I have no idea of how much in practice. Lacquers will seal in moisture and should be more stable.
#21
Ok i'm still not sure how to go about finishing this neck lol It's about 50/50 on whether or not tung oil is a good choice or if i should use the deft lacquer I used on my body. Would LP addict's concoction be better if boiled linseed was used? or is it just better to lacquer it. I would just like to avoid the stickiness factor of the lacquer.
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#22
Quote by Absent Mind
Well I'm no expert by any means but I wouldnt really suggest oil on a neck at all, but if you want oil suggestions, polymerized oil is your best bet, but they are glossy (although I'm sure you could flatten them by not sanding up to 20,000 lol)

oil varnish blends will also give better protection than pure oil and are satin (still cure soft)

but you are probably better off with a lacquer of some sort.
Pure Tung Oil, as in no additives/hardeners takes a long time to dry and get absorbed by the bare wood, but once it's dried, it makes for a very fast neck.

It doesn't get gummy like the other oils and it doesn't get rancid. It's a natural polymerizer that bonds to the wood and keeps off other pollutants. and provides a very tough and water-repellent finish.

A bonus, depending on your perspective, is that it gives Maple a golden, vintage tint, naturally ... without using the usual Amber tint.

The Chinese have used pure Tung Oil to preserve their palace structures (stones, timbers, etc.) and more recently, most kitchen finishers use a ratio of 1:5 ratio of pure tung oil : naphta to seal granite and marble countertops against moisture and acids from foods.

I understand some people don't like the length of time required for pure Tung Oil to dry properly but the benefits of polymerizing vs. quick drying with the additives is supposed to be better.

In the overall scheme of things, it'll be the player and his amp.



*posted from buddy's network*
#23
Quote by LP Addict
My secret finishing method consists of linseed oil, naptha, and rub on oil based polyurethane. for necks/bodies i use 50/50 linseed oil and naptha, 3 coats, then 2 coats of 75/25 linseed oil/poly. for fretboard conditioning and finishing, i use one coat of the 50/50 naptha/oil.

dont ask why, just know that it works wonders.



i hope you realise its not secret any more muwhahaahhahahahahahahaha


im thinking of using tung on my guitar, 2 coats enough for a body?
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#24
tung oil is not tung oil, read your lables, the only place to get it is special order online unless you have an obscure wood store around. its full of all sorts of shellacs and bull**** that are no good. boiled linseed oil is just oil, and its one of the only pure oils around, you can also find danish oil with little additives, in fact i prefer danish oil to linseed oil. linseed oil takes a long time to dry if you dont 50/50 it with naptha, and the fast-drying polyurethane rub on makes it dry faster on the surface so i can you come back in about 20 minutes with a rough paper towell, whipe off all of the gunk, then about 3 hours later you can 0000 steel wool it and add another coat.
#25
Is this stuff pure tung oil?

OIL

I'm kind of leaning towards trying the tung oil if someone can point me to the right kind without all the shellacs and what not. Does adding the naptha to it just make it dry faster? When you say it takes a long time to dry, how long are we talkin, days...weeks...months?
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#26
Quote by LP Addict
tung oil is not tung oil, read your lables, the only place to get it is special order online unless you have an obscure wood store around. its full of all sorts of shellacs and bull**** that are no good. ....
100% Pure Tung Oil without any additives is available at most bigbox DIY stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Fred Meyers, Joe's, etc. and also online:

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=768
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=20049&cat=1,190,42942
http://www.thefurnitureconnoisseur.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=171

The other "Tung Oil" contains shellacs and/or hardeners and/or other ingredients to lower the cost and perform some other way.



*posted from buddy's network*
#27
Quote by Øttər
Fender uses glossy nitro lacquer.

No, it's gloss catylized (SP?) Polyurethane except on the back of the neck which is satin.
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#29
Alright, so if I rub 100% pure tung oil on the back of my neck and head stock, it'll give me a good finish correct? Is there anything else recommended to put on with the tung oil, or just tung oil and that's it? Also, how many coats of it should I use? Should I rub some on, let it dry and then rub more or just rub it on once and let it dry?
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#31
Quote by tremonti9482
Alright, so if I rub 100% pure tung oil on the back of my neck and head stock, it'll give me a good finish correct? Is there anything else recommended to put on with the tung oil, or just tung oil and that's it? Also, how many coats of it should I use? Should I rub some on, let it dry and then rub more or just rub it on once and let it dry?
The first time it's applied, I did 1 coat per day for 5 days and let it sit while I worked on refinishing the body ... my very first mod. I probably left it hanging to dry for 2 weeks (?). I've had to re-apply only once every 6 months, 2 coats, and this is on a heavily-played Strat ... ~2 hours/day ... and it's been solid for about 2 years now.



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#32
Alright I think i'm good to go now. Thanks so much for all of the help.
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