#1
Quick version - ordering new guitar, have to choose between tung oil or satin matte finish. Have some concerns about durability of tung oil finish.

Longer version - ordering a Carvin and will be the most expensive piece of gear I've ever bought. I love the feel of a tung oil natural finish but never owned one. I've read that the finish is delicate and requires maintenance, which would be difficult for me. I like Satin Matte adn I've owned guitars with natural Satin Matte finish before and can take care of them fairly well.

I can't decide which way I wanna go. I know the tung oil finish feels better, but can't decide if it is worth the added maintenance or how delicate it actually is. I do have kids that could potentially get to the guitar if I forget to lock the case, etc. Any opinions/information to help me make my decision?
#2
I love tung oil, but I have questions about it's durability and protection. It absorbs into the wood and you need to reapply it every now and then. My strat neck was finished in tung oil, but I decided it was just too much of a hassle and put a thin layer of truoil gunstock finish over it for more durability.
#3
Quote by katalyzt13
Quick version - ordering new guitar, have to choose between tung oil or satin matte finish. Have some concerns about durability of tung oil finish.

Longer version - ordering a Carvin and will be the most expensive piece of gear I've ever bought. I love the feel of a tung oil natural finish but never owned one. I've read that the finish is delicate and requires maintenance, which would be difficult for me. I like Satin Matte adn I've owned guitars with natural Satin Matte finish before and can take care of them fairly well.

I can't decide which way I wanna go. I know the tung oil finish feels better, but can't decide if it is worth the added maintenance or how delicate it actually is. I do have kids that could potentially get to the guitar if I forget to lock the case, etc. Any opinions/information to help me make my decision?

You don't have to do that much with them... Every few months or so apply a little more tung if it's looking a little worn.

As far as durability goes: it's a thin finish.. If you ding it you'll notice it! It will sound great though, probably the best finish in terms of tone.

I've heard carvin doesn't dry their wood too well so a tung finish is the best option for them. This was from a corksniffer however so take it as you will.
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#4
I would be really interested in anyone who owns a guitar with a tung oil finish and a satin matte finish. I am talking about a finish for the entire guitar and not just the neck.
#5
I finished a coffee table and end tables I built using polymerized tung oil sealer, followed by a polymerized tung oil. Sorry, but my dog can't scratch it, and I can't sand it off one of them that I want to redo. It just won't happen. The stuff is rock hard. Several thin coats applied to a neck would never need to be redone.
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#6
It depends on the wood. If the stock is basic plain maple or mahogany with common construction, get a satin poly finish on it. If it's a stronger build (e.g. laminated neck, quarter sawn 3-piece, graphite support rods, double expanding truss rod, stronger exotic woods, etc etc) then go for Tung Oil. A properly applied Tung Oil finish does not need maintenance, although it will look like it's wearing down faster than a poly or nitro finish will (in particular, maple fretboards with oil finishes tend to pick up dirt like crazy). Also be aware that over maple, Tung Oil can feel a little tackier and slower than a simple satin poly finish would.

My advice would be if you're not sure, go with satin poly. It'll feel super slick and you know where you stand with it. Tung Oil may be better, it may be worse, it really depends on how well tthe neck has been treated and if the wood is suitable for an oil finish.
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#7
Quote by MrFlibble
It depends on the wood. If the stock is basic plain maple or mahogany with common construction, get a satin poly finish on it. If it's a stronger build (e.g. laminated neck, quarter sawn 3-piece, graphite support rods, double expanding truss rod, stronger exotic woods, etc etc) then go for Tung Oil. A properly applied Tung Oil finish does not need maintenance, although it will look like it's wearing down faster than a poly or nitro finish will (in particular, maple fretboards with oil finishes tend to pick up dirt like crazy). Also be aware that over maple, Tung Oil can feel a little tackier and slower than a simple satin poly finish would.

My advice would be if you're not sure, go with satin poly. It'll feel super slick and you know where you stand with it. Tung Oil may be better, it may be worse, it really depends on how well tthe neck has been treated and if the wood is suitable for an oil finish.


This would be the entire guitar and not just the neck, but the guitar is alder body with figured claro walnut top wood and a 5 piece maple neck with 2 walnut stripes. This is through Carvin and I've read their tung oil application is usually flawless, but it does help to hear it doesn't need maintenance.
#8
Ah. for the whole body I would always recommend a poly or nitro finish. Oil should be fine for those woods (not so great for alder, but it'd do) and Carvin do do their oil finishes properly, but a poly or nitro finish will be more protective. If you want the guitar to look clean, don't go for an oil finish. Though if you want it to look as natural as possible (the 'raw' look), go for oil. In terms of stability and feel, I would trust Carvin to do the oil finish well enough that it shouldn't feel any different to a satin poly finish nor be any less stable, I just personally wouldn't want it for the entire guitar. Even at their best I'd only ever use oil for the neck.
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