I applied a light coat of the Minwax today. I really like it. Nice, easy application. Who knows, maybe by the end of the weekend this dulcimer will be completed. And the world will have just a bit more music
Selecting the wood finish
With the Min-wax you will not need a sealer; nor with any other finish (it IS the sealer).
With Tung oil, it takes about 4 thin coats of the oil to get a nice finish up; about the same as with the Min-wax. One is an 'artificial' product, the other is all natural. I've used Tung oil on all sorts of instruments for many, many years; it's not an oil in the sense of 10W30, but a natural "drying oil" like linseed, which is pressed from the nuts of the tung tree. Check out the Wikipedia explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tung_oil
So glad to read your post and see your photos (You make beautiful dulcimers indeed!).
For the finish, I was just looking to use many very light layers of wipe-on polly. I don't know if I want to use a heavy varnish, and I am not familliar with 'curtting" or diluting them. I had read that the Minwax product was good-to-go and was going to go with that.
I had read that, with Purple Heart., a water-based finish was not the best, as it tended do lower the brightness of the wood. Also, layers of tung oil might not be the best finish for a musical instrument.
I don't think i would need a sealer, would I?
updated by @bob: 02/02/17 12:48:00PM
I'm late coming to this, and it seems you have it worked out. But if your still looking for information will you answer this question? Are you going to do anything else like a varnish, shellac, stain or some such?
The reason I ask is because it sounds like you want to finish similar to one that I would want. When I try to get is a satin finish that is deep. So I do shellac first, then I wipe on Water-based varnish that is high-gloss kind of like a French polish, then I'd be that back with really fine steel wool so that it's not as classy, then I wax it using Trewax, and finally buff that out. It takes me a days to get this done, but I love the deep, rich look.
Here re is a purpleheart one I did with a spruce top.
I will be soon completing my next mountain dulcimer, made from Cherry (Top), African Mahogany sides and back, and Purple Heart Tuning Head, Tail and Finger Board.
I want a soft luster finish and after doing some reading, think Minwax Wipe-On Polly (Satin Finish) is the one to use.
Has anyone used this product, particularly on Purple Heart, and what were your results?