Tung Oil Curing Time? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2003, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
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Tung Oil Curing Time?

Well, over the weekend I gave the (stripped) neck of my 7620 a tung oil finish. It looks gorgeous now- i only had time to do two coats, and while i probably should have done three, well, i needed to put the gutiar back together to get back up to school. Theres just one problem- i waited the recommended 24-hours between coats, and it's probably been nearly 36 since the last coat went on, but the neck still feels SLIGHTLY tacky when i play it, and while i only played about 5 minutes after re-assembling it, i think my hand felt VERY slightly sticky when i was done- i could have imagined it, but it felt like it was still coming off a little on my hand. I was udner the impression that 24 hours was the recommended curing time... for anyone else who's done this, did you need to wait longer for it to really harden?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 12:00 AM
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give it a week under the couch or bed, and drag it out again, should be dry after that. Tung oil tapes much longer than lemon oil to soak in so give things a few days
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 12:06 AM
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What procedure did you follow for applying it? I've never had a problem with tung oil being dry after a day or so.

The humidity in your house may also be a factor. The more humid, the longer it will likely take to cure.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 03:23 AM
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You may have laid it on a bit thick. =]
I do 2-3 coats with just about an hour in between, and then leave it overnight/approaching 24 hours - at that point, I steel wool it with superfine 0000 grade wool.
I have /never/ had a residue from this procedure; you can trust me on this, as I am subject to OCD on this matter - any residue would be unacceptable and intolerable to me.

If it's that heavy a coating, then it'll just take a little longer to cure. Did you wipe of the excess after each coat? That's quite important; that which won't soak in sits on top, and that would take longer to dry.
Did you steel wool it after?
Once it's done right, it's just about /the/ slickest neck finish I've ever felt - I've gotten quite a few comments on this aspect of my instruments.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 09:01 AM
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You must have applied it very thick.....I had good results when using a tiny bit of oil rubbed in like you are waxing a car. I didn't try to build up the finish at once but over several applications and mine dried very hard in about 12 hours. Yours may take longer depending on temp and humidity and of course the thickness of your application.

Good Luck!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Well, a number of possible answers here...

1.) humidity. My little corner of western mass is usually fairly humid, and it doesn't hurt that my mom's one of these italian housewife's so there's always sonething simmering on the stove. I've since returned to my (painfully dry) campus, so leaving it out overnight probably did the trick.

2.) i steel wool'd it after the first coat, not after the second.

3.) thickess of the coat- yeah, i put it on fairly heavy, although that's what the package suggested. It said brush or rub on a generous coating, then after 5-10 minutes buff it lightly with a clean lint-free cloth, let sit 24 hours, and then coat again as many times as desired. The first coat completely got soaked in- the second is now a very light gloss.

4.) Other possible complication- the guitar shop i go to didn't have any "guitar-specific" tung oil, so i grabbed a small bottle of "Minwax" (if i'm remembering it right) tung oil intended for furiniture refinish. It's possible that it's not pure tung oil, and maybe there's some other laquer-like elements in there... but doubtful, the package made no reference.

Anyway, it does feel a bit better today... after rehearsal tonight i'll probably take off the neck and sand it lightly with 0000 steel wool and see what happens...

Anyway, my main reason for refinishing was to make the neck a little less susceptable to weather-related warping, as i was having to redo the setup every time a storm passed through after i stripped it, so i don't want it ENTIRELY bare... We;ll see.

Thanks guys,

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 11:50 AM
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Good stuff; you'll just love the feel of it after it's steel wooled again.
That's a big part of the magically smooth, fast feel.

Not to worry about the nature of the Tung oil; the stuff I use is also a general use furniture treatment - wooden furniture.
I don't know if anyone does market Tung oil with a label that specifies it as a recipe specific to guitar wood; if they did, it would likely be precisely the same concoction, simply relabelled as "High Performance Guitar Neck Finish/Treatment - seals and protects the wood while providing a low-friction surface that will take your playing to the next level!" and soforth.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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haha, true. I'll get back to you after i hit the steel wool tonight.

Idunno, steve, you've been coming through for a lot of my stupid questions lately, i owe ya man.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 03:45 PM
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it should definately feel silky smooth and dry quick as posted... should be almost transparent to the touch. I will be doing this to my GC Custom's raw neck as the humidity creates a bit too much problem for me these days. I'll try to outline the steps for the tech area... glen
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 09:51 PM
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Drew, I at least /try/ to hold to the idea that there is no such thing as a 'stupid' question (there could be cases made to the contrary on this, but by and large, I think it's true - and certainly none I would perceive this way from you at all =]).
I do believe there is such a thing as a 'stupid' answer... =]
None of these have been forthcoming in these threads either, fortunately.
Hope the steel-wooling makes it feel like magic; I'm betting it will.

Glen; good luck with the oiling - it will do a nice job of sealing that neck up and making it nice and stable, and smooth as h3ll. That's a nice instrument, to be sure.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2003, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Jesus christ, steve, you're right... I'd just assumed that tung oil was one of these finishes where you wANT a slight coat over the wood, but on your recommendation, i stripped it down to the point where you could no longer see any gloss buildup with 0000 steel wool. Wow. smooth as butter, but the wood "feels" harder, somehow- it's got the surface of bare wood with the feel of something that's been coated, maybe.

I'll have to see how it holds up over time (I've heard re-finishing eveyr 6 months is a good idea?), but i think i'm going to be a convert.

And steve, if nothing else i've got a thing for self-abasement- i figure, who can make fun of me better than myself? Thanks again, man

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2003, 12:57 PM
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You don't really need to re-finish with that regularity, but a good touch-up a couple of times a year is a good idea, depending on the humidity where you live. Also, if you get any gunk building up on your neck, you can easily clean it with a quick rub of steel wool.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 12:47 AM
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That's an excellent description of what happens; it feels the same, but fortified and slickened...

Darren's quite right; touch-ups to clean gunk just with steel wool are good. I re-do my oil perhaps once a year, or even longer, depending. You can basically feel and see when it needs to be done.
As for longevity, you'll draw your own conclusions. I've got a 'test' that is going to turn 12 years old on the 5th of this month. =] About 2 days after I got my UV7BK, I re-shaped the neck profile and sealed it up with Tung oil... it is truly awesome. My RG7's neck is no slouch, either.

I'm a member of that club, when it comes to making fun of one's self; heck, I'm /never/ short on material for that when it comes to me.
My pleasure; glad to help.
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guitar shop , neck finish , steel wool , tung oil

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