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View Full Version : Wax or oil on an open pore uke?



LarryS
04-04-2016, 10:06 AM
I was just looking at my uke earlier. It is a natural finish, i.e. no glass and I was wondering if a wax treatment would bring out the colour of the mahogany.
Also would it help keep the wood healthy seeding as it isn't sealed with a gloss finish?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/Dawnrider/wood_by_stumm47-d9xtslx_zpswxssorvu.jpg

70sSanO
04-04-2016, 01:02 PM
You ukulele has a finish on it, so it is not open to where oil will penetrate into it. I wouldn't use a wax as it will build up and fill the pores and I think you may have a tough time getting it out.

I think you just need to wipe it down with a soft damp cloth to clean it. I guess that lemon oil, which isn't an oil, would give it a little more shine and enhance it, until it evaporated out, but I'm not a fan.

Hopefully someone else has better info than I do.

John

whistleman123
04-04-2016, 01:17 PM
Possibly an email to the manufacturer would get you some care instructions. That's where I would start.

DownUpDave
04-04-2016, 01:30 PM
Danish oil will do the trick. As John said there is a finish on the wood but because it is not a high gloss it is not noticeable. Clean uke first, Danish oil is applied left to sit 15 minutes, keeping it wet with oil if areas are drying out
Then wipe it and wipe it and wipe it, get it all off. Let sit for 24-72hrs until it is dry to the touch. Buff it up and repeat 1 or 2 more times. Danish oil does have a chemical setting agent added to it. That means it will set up, dry and harden sorta. Linseed oil does not and it will not adhere to a poly finish which your Tanglewood has. I did this to a Koaloha Opio and it turned out great.

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Soundbored
04-04-2016, 03:12 PM
I had a bee's wax finish on a spruce, cypress, and ebony baroque guitar. It had a good bit of friction to it, especially on bare arm skin.
It did not appreciably darken the wood.

But, as others noted, your guitar is already finished. Bee's wax would only work on bare wood.

Nickie
04-05-2016, 05:26 AM
I like Dave's instructions. I literally RUINED the appearance of a uke like yours with wax. And most oils open the pores and make the finish rough. But it sounds like Danish oil would be fine. I've heard Tru oil can work too. But I think I'd stick with the Danish, and maybe go ahead and have that coffee with it.
My luthier told me don't use ANY oil on the neck of my uke, sand it lightly with very fine paper to removed the dirt, then apply carnuba wax to keep it slippery, so that's what I do and the results are incredible.

whistleman123
04-05-2016, 12:02 PM
Maybe I'm dense, but I don't get it! The question posed by the OP was "If a wax finish would bring out the color of the mahogany?" The instrument already has a finish on it, so anything you apply will be applied on top of the existing finish and will not come in contact with the mahogany. So I don't see how anything will bring out the color of the wood unless the existing finish is sanded off and a new finish is applied directly to the wood. Kinda like refinishing a wood floor.

LarryS
04-05-2016, 12:48 PM
Maybe I'm dense, but I don't get it! The question posed by the OP was "If a wax finish would bring out the color of the mahogany?" The instrument already has a finish on it, so anything you apply will be applied on top of the existing finish and will not come in contact with the mahogany. So I don't see how anything will bring out the color of the wood unless the existing finish is sanded off and a new finish is applied directly to the wood. Kinda like refinishing a wood floor.

I didnt think it had a finish on it! But I noticed that if I try to wet it with my finger it repels it.

kissing
04-05-2016, 05:50 PM
The uke has a finish. Some makers say they have an 'open pore' finish in which you can feel the texture of the wood. It just means they skipped one part of the finishing process that levels the surface of the wood and fills the holes, but it is still finish nevertheless.

Most likely some kind of polyurethane finish as it is an inexpensive uke.

Generally you dont need to apply anything to it.

DownUpDave
04-06-2016, 02:22 AM
Even though I gave a detailed instructional on applying Danish oil I agree with Bill 1. If you wait long enough that urge will go away. I did the refinish job to my Opio because it had a flat chalking looking finish that I really disliked. I went at it hard with steel wool to get most of it off before applying Danish oil.

As kissing said "You generally don't have to apply anything"

bariukish
04-06-2016, 04:34 AM
There is a high quality cleaner and polish available, used by luthiers to clean and polish stringed instruments during repair and refurb. I've used it on my ukes and it does a great job. Kind of expensive, about $20 per bottle, but goes a long way and is safe for all finishes. I wish I could remember the name but I'm sure some of the luthiers out there will chime in.

bariukish
04-06-2016, 04:53 AM
Just remembered the product name........Virtuoso. It's selling on Ebay in kits and is listed for about $25-30 for cleaner, polish and cloth. You can easily find individual bottles of cleaner and polish as well. I've used it with great success on high gloss nitro finish but havn't yet tried it on my satin Kalas.

Inksplosive AL
04-06-2016, 08:35 AM
I have a Kala KA-SEM laminate exotic mahogany ukulele much like this but not so many pores. When I refresh the fret board with lemon oil I usually wipe down the finish with the damp rag. Products marketed to musicians like any other product marketed to a niche market are always priced higher than the same product used elsewhere. I use this lemon oil as one bottle for under $4 should last me a lifetime. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Old-English-Lemon-Oil-16-oz/13424637

It is typical that a company like Virtuoso doesn't release their MSDS to the public, its likely the same as common car wax and they do not want you to figure this out. Searching for the MSDS I find a few that say it smells and acts exactly like common car wax. Then there is this post here claiming a letter from them states if there is cracking in your finish it could penetrate and cause a whitening under the finish. http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/reply/1510754/Virtuoso-for-buffed-satin-finish#reply-1510754 Seems like this would build up in the pores of your ukulele like any other wax.

I prefer Meguires cleaner wax on most everything I own with a smooth glossy finish. I wouldn't use it on your ukulele expecting build up in the pores. As it does have a slight cutting action if rubbed vigorously I simply put it on with as close to zero pressure as I can. http://www.meguiars.com/en/automotive/products/a1216-cleaner-wax-liquid/ Back in the 80's I worked detailing high dollar cars most required Carnauba wax as a finish Meguires has you covered there as well. http://www.meguiars.com/en/automotive/products/a2216-deep-crystalreg-system-carnauba-wax/

~AL~

whistleman123
04-06-2016, 09:45 AM
The uke has a finish. Some makers say they have an 'open pore' finish in which you can feel the texture of the wood. It just means they skipped one part of the finishing process that levels the surface of the wood and fills the holes, but it is still finish nevertheless.

Most likely some kind of polyurethane finish as it is an inexpensive uke.


Generally you dont need to apply anything to it.


That's what I thought!

mm stan
04-06-2016, 01:38 PM
Any polish or wax will fill the pores on the wood, in some cases depending on finish . Some will white polish or wax in
The pores and very hard to clean. Some use oil to help relieve that.
With sealed pores any car polish will work, i use nu finish. I do not recommend car wax if you need to fix or refinish your uke.