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Thread: Tru-Oil: How much do I need?

  1. #1
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    Default Tru-Oil: How much do I need?

    How much Tru-Oil will I need to finish a soprano uke?

    The reason I ask is a 32 oz. bottle costs only twice as much as a 3 oz. bottle. I'll probably use it for some other non uke projects as well. What kind of shelf life does it have after the bottle is opened? I hear you should store it upside down.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Get the 3oz bottle unless you plan to go into mass production. 3 ounces will finish many, many ukes. And, yes, it is best either to store the bottle upside down or use Bloxygen because the finish will interact with the air as soon as it is open, forming a surface film. If you need to break through the film to get to fresh oil, you'll have to deal with little pieces solid material on your rag.
    Last edited by mzuch; 02-21-2014 at 12:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    I did an entire classical guitar with the small bottle, and had some left over.

  4. #4
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    [I removed my post, since it was really a response to the OP's question]
    Last edited by Warbulele; 02-21-2014 at 08:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    I've finished several ukes and gun stocks with Tru-Oil and I like it. Shelf life is a problem after a bottle has been opened, but the ukes have held up well. There are pros and advanced amateurs who use a variety of finishes but I've been really happy with Tru-Oil and it has a number of fans on this forum.

  6. #6
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    [Also removed this post]
    Last edited by Warbulele; 02-21-2014 at 08:19 PM.

  7. #7

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    Toaster oven. Hmm. You know what shellac is made from, right ... ?

    Edit: Since I was referring to Warbulele's post about Tru-oil being like that guck in the bottom of your toaster oven, this post won't make any sense without that context. I was pointing out that shellac is essentially dried bug pee ...
    Last edited by Steveperrywriter; 02-21-2014 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Reference necessary

  8. #8
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    it seems like cutting corners to take a new homemade Uke and put that stuff on it.
    Sorry, but this is BS, and I don't say that lightly. Is Tru-Oil the most durable finish available? No, it is not. But for the novice, which the OP clearly is, Tru-Oil is a great way to achieve an attractive, lustrous finish in the most foolproof way possible. I finished a dozen or so ukes with Tru-Oil, all are more than a year old, and none have come back to me due to abrasion. I now spray lacquer, but it's not something I would recommend for someone just starting out. Virtually all of the finishes have a legitimate place in the luthier's tool chest, and to make blanket, denigrating statements about any one of them does a disservice to those who are just beginning their journey into building.

  9. #9
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    The same criticism is leveled against french polished finishes, but they're quite common for various reasons. Ease of repair is one, and this applies too Tru-Oil as well. I did use a couple of coats of shellac under the Tru-Oil, and that guitar's finish held up well enough to sell it after using daily for nearly two years. Actually, I just used a couple of wash coats of shellac on that guitar for a few weeks before deciding I needed some gloss.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I cannot agree with that statement either. A well done oil finish is nothing to complain about.. I am not sure why I would use it on one of my own ukes, (I might if I were teaching someone) as I am well set up for lacquer, and really like nitro for ukes. I use an oil finish on my turntable plinths, polished past 3000 grit and buffed, IMO, oil can be a nicer finish than lacquer.

    Just do excellent prep work before oiling.... zero scratches when looked at under close scrutiny, the wood sanded to a completely consistent color, everywhere. Corners broken all over like tiny, perfect radii, everywhere, the same radius everywhere, no sharp edges anywhere. Get your prep correct, careful not to rush it, and your Tru-oil finish can be gorgeous. Not polished lacquer, but gorgeous nonetheless.
    Last edited by Chris_H; 02-22-2014 at 05:55 AM.

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