Guitar DIY // Part 4: Oil

Guitar Oil Intro 2 Well kids, we're finally at the point with our guitar project where it's starting to look pretty legit. It feels so good to say that! This DIY was a big undertaking in a short amount of time, and we're very excited to see it come this far. Keep reading for the down low on oiling your stained guitar!

IMG_5738

There aren't many supplies for this step of the process, but it's crucial to have the correct ones. First, to sand between each coat, we used a grade 00 steel wool. Before oiling the next coat, it's important to rub a piece of tack cloth over the surface to remove any debris. Finally, the oil we used is called Tru-Oil. It is a gun stock oil that cures and hardens with each coat, creating a very strong and protective surface.

Note: the stain we used to get the green color is Minwax Emerald Wiping Stain, and the how-to for staining can be viewed here!

IMG_5746

To apply the Tru-Oil, we tried many different applicators before finding the perfect one. Surprisingly, the most successful option were cosmetic sponges used to put on foundation. They were don't leave any residue behind, and also create pretty clean strokes.

IMG_5740

After protecting your hands, place a cosmetic sponge wedge over the top of the Tru-Oil bottle and tip it over to get a small amount on the sponge. With this product, a little goes a long way. Each side of the guitar only needed 2 or 3 sponge fulls of oil.

Coat the front, back, and sides with the sponge. Take your time to create a clean look, leaving no drips or streaks behind. Then leave the oil coat dry for 2 hours.

IMG_5749

Here is our makeshift drying rack. We rigged the guitar onto a clothes hanger with some tied plastic cord. We then hung the body in an open area (in our case on a hi-hat cymbal stand) with a fan for ventilation.

IMG_5729

After giving the proper amount of drying time, you are ready for another coat of Tru-Oil. To prep, sand the entire body with a piece of steel wool. This will feel a little taboo at first because it roughs up the nice polish, but that is what helps the oil adhere after each new coat.

IMG_5735

Lastly, rub a piece of tack cloth over the entire body to pick up any debris left over from the steel wool process.

IMG_5754

Continue applying oil, drying, and sanding. Here is what the body looked like after 3 or 4 coats. It is shiny, but nothing compared to how it looked a few coats later...

IMG_6089

IMG_6101

IMG_6102

IMG_6104

Jake and I are so pleased with how this guitar project turned out. We learned a lot along the way, and would do some things different next time, but that's all part of the process, right? For now, this just might be the last you see of this guitar on here for a while. Since I am off to Europe on Saturday, Jake will be left to work on the neck and all of the wiring on his own. We hope you have enjoyed this 4-part series! Perhaps one day we can share the final finished product with you! Thanks for joining us!

Want to make your own guitar? Check out all 4 steps of the DIY guitar series: 1/2/3/4

P.S. Stop by the blog tomorrow for an exciting giveaway!

 

DIY Guitar // Part 1: Supplies + Testing

I am thrilled that Jake and I have finally started our big project of designing a guitar body and then getting it all set up and wired to play! I previewed the project in this photo at the beginning of the summer, and it has taken us this long to do all of our research and gather the supplies. This project is a bit of an undertaking, so we will be sharing it as a series of posts over the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Today we will be sharing all of the supplies we will use throughout the process, how we chose the guitar, and some experimentation we did to prep.

IMG_4540

After doing our research, we gathered everything we thought we would need to design, stain, and finish the body of the guitar. Here are some of the supplies we are using:

-Miquelrius sketchbook & ink pen, for design ideas -pencil, for testing the art on the guitar body -woodburner, for the art -pliers, useful to change out tips of the wood burner -rubber gloves, for staining -staining pads, for applying the stain -Minwax Emerald Express Wiping Stain, we chose a green stain for the body! -220 grit sandpaper, a very fine grit to help us smooth out the body gently -steel wool, to sand off the oil coatings after staining -Tru-Oil and cheesecloth (not pictured), which is what we will be using to make the guitar shiny after the staining process is complete.

IMG_4547

The body we chose is a Warmoth Musiclander. Jake was awesome and let me help choose the shape from the Warmoth Custom Body Builder. I preferred all of the "Modern Styles" but decided on the Musiclander because it wasn't too crazy, and still had a traditional feel to it. Jake liked this choice as well, and that was that!

IMG_4549

The guitar is made of Alder wood. So far it has proved easy to work with, which is great. It is also a beautiful color. We considered going with a brown-toned stain and even had it in our cart at Home Depot, but at the last minute spotted the Emerald version and thought, why not? We did however have to track the color down on Amazon, because it isn't stocked through Home Depot.

IMG_4543

We were then ready to prep the guitar for sanding. The body is high quality, so it was already pretty smooth, but we went over it with a very gentle 220 grit to get it perfect.

IMG_4554

Testing beforehand is always a good idea. We wore rubber gloves and then squirted some stain out onto a paper plate. Then dip a staining pad into the stain. A little goes a long way when it comes to this product, so work with it in very small amounts. We then rubbed it along the direction of the woodgrain, on a test piece of wood from the craft store. You can test different methods and how many coats you would like at this point.

IMG_4559

Since we decided to wood burn our design into the guitar, I practiced that on the scrap wood as well. This was useful to test out the new tips I had purchased, to see what each one can do. In the third part of this series, I will elaborate on each tip and what kind of results they will create!

That's all for now! Thanks so much for reading and check back soon for the next part of our series, the Design + Sketching process!