Staining wood?

Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
yesterday
221 posts

Like Ken, I use tung oil exculsively.  3 or 4 coats over same number of days; depending on the humidity. #0000 steel wool rub between coats. The number of coats also depends on how each species of wood reacts. I have gone as high as 5 a few times.  I work with Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Hickory, and Cedar. 


updated by @kusani: 06/21/18 08:46:24AM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one week ago
1,682 posts

I  love  tung oil  for  a perfect  satin finish  in 4  coats over  2 days .  Use it  all  time  

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 weeks ago
577 posts

There continues to be a debate in the instrument building world over the use of oil finishes on the resonating areas of the instruments (top, back, sides). Some feel that since the oil penetrates the wood it makes the wood less resonant. Those folks prefer a finish that sits on the surface of the wood; e.g., shellac, lacquer, etc. I don't think my ears are discerning enough to notice a difference in the finishes on wood instruments. Tru oil is great for the necks of guitars, banjos, and mandolins. Tru oil is linseed based. I prefer using lacquer and have used both the spray on Deft and brush on Deft lacquers with equal success. I suggest using whatever appeals to person doing the finishing. I don't think it is going to make a big difference.

wdesigndeb
@wdesigndeb
2 weeks ago
1 posts

My hubby just finished building a dulcimer for me. After some experimentation with different finishes on scrap wood, we settled on tru oil. 

You have to apply many thin coats, so it takes quite a while and we let it sit for a month or so before stringing it up.

Here are the advantages that we found:

You can control the finish, either matte or glossy depending upon how many coats you apply and how much you rub the finish.

You can apply it at your kitchen table, no nasty odours.

You can mix up a slurry with sanding dust and tru oil to fill any small imperfections in the wood. 

If you get a scratch on your finish you can apply another quick coat of tru oil.

It has a lovely look and the feel under your hands is excellent. It’s great if you’re after a more natural look. It really brings out the colour of the wood.

Just an additional note, we applied it to the body of the dulcimer only. We applied Dunlop 65 lemon oil to the fingerboard.

We used the same fire precautions as you would with linseed oil...let the rags dry out and store in a metal trash can.

David Bennett
David Bennett
@david-bennett
2 weeks ago
50 posts
I'm not a builder but am posting this question for a computer challenged friend. He's building a dulcimer asked to find out what I could about the advisability of using tung oil vs tru oil for finishing a dulcimer (or is there something better?). He's done some woodworking in the past but not particularly music instruments.
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,682 posts

I'm also a fan of Minwax products.  I never use a conditioner on hardwoods either.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
577 posts

You can use a pre-conditioner which is usually some diluted shellac, but test it on a scrap of the maple first. Generally hardwoods do not really need a pre-conditioner. You can use a Minwax golden oak stain if you would like. Again, test it first to see how it looks. I used a golden oak stain on a maple banjo rim. It came out very well. I did not use a conditioner.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Bob
Bob
@bob
2 years ago
165 posts

John C. Knopf:

Bob, in the past I've used orange shellac to give a warm color to light wood, or a Minwax maple stain. Both look nice.

Thanks John. Minwax is a good product. D0 you use a pre-conditioner so the stain penetrates evenly?

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 years ago
198 posts

Bob, in the past I've used orange shellac to give a warm color to light wood, or a Minwax maple stain. Both look nice.

Bob
Bob
@bob
2 years ago
165 posts

Hi friends! I am at the point in my new project to think about how I want to finish this dulcimer; The top is maple, with the rest cherry.

I think I would like the maple top a more golden color (i.e., golden oak) and leave the cherry natural.

What type of wood stain is best/recommended for the soundboard?

Thanks!


updated by @bob: 11/25/16 05:35:48PM