View Full Version : Simple finish for my Uke Project

04-07-2017, 06:07 AM
I am getting to the end of my Ukulele build and am thinking about a finish. I dread this part as it is not something I have done well in the past.
I'm a tinkerer, not a Luthier, I like to build things and this is my first instrument. It has a few minor blemishes but I'm happy with how it's turning out just using a radial saw, drill and hand tools so I don't want to mess up the finish.
Any suggestions on a simple finish that will protect it but that I won't screw up putting it on?
Here is a picture of my Uke up to where I am in the build. It's not put together yet just mocked up. Thanks in advance.99152

04-07-2017, 06:28 AM
Check out Tru-oil by Birchwood Casey, it's a gunstock finish which is very friendly to use and gives great results. Many luthiers both amateur and pro use it. Sand your instrument to at least 320 grit but up to 600 is fine. Apply with a cloth or paper towel with very thin coats, then wipe off. This leaves a micro film, which builds up after a few coats. Buff off with 0000 steel wool in between coats. When you get to a point where your happy with the look, stop.
Check the Youtube videos, there's plenty of them. Good luck.

04-07-2017, 08:20 AM
+one on Tru-oil. I use it on many woodworking projects, including making wooden bows, counter trim etc. I just used it to refinish the neck on my Flea which I reshaped. Apply with a cloth or your bare fingers, wipe smooth and let dry. Buff with some steel wool between coats to knock down the sheen. That helps the subsequent coat adhere. Each successive coat must be applied sparingly. You can later top it off with a light wax if you wish.

04-07-2017, 09:53 AM
Min wax oil stain, in your choice of color, followed by Minwax Wipe On Poly, either satin or gloss (I like satin) is super easy, durable and looks great.

04-07-2017, 11:33 AM
Tung Oil wiped on in multiple coats over several days will build to a very nice finish, and is about as easy as it gets.

04-07-2017, 11:45 AM
I've built just one ukulele, and I researched finishes along with everything else. I went with the Tru Oil and have been glad. It goes on without any special methodology or equipment. And when a blemish bothered me enough to want to mend it, a little sandpaper and several Tru oil applications did a decent job. Like the others mentioned above--go with Tru Oil and forget sweating over the decision.

04-07-2017, 03:21 PM
Wipe On Poly. I used satin and gloss. Pictures of gloss.



Think this was satin.