Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Les Paul Florentine: Thinning Tru-Oil with Shellite (Naptha)

A few weeks ago I posted a quick article about how to resurrect your Tru-Oil when it gets old and cruddy. The secret was to stick a bit of Shellite (Naptha) in it and give it a shake. Well, today I decided I'd try to thin my Tru-Oil down using Shellite rather than the usual Mineral Spirits. I wet-sanded for a couple of hours with 1500 grit (it needs more but that's another story) and then thinned some Tru-Oil about 70:30 with Shellite.

The thinned oil wiped on smooth and had soon settled into a new streak-free layer. I would even say that the thinned oil went on easier (smoother?) than when using Mineral Spirits, but I'm not 100% sure. Let me do it a bunch more times and I'll let you know the conclusion. All I know right now is that it went on nicely and the results speak for themselves! The shine is really starting to pick up on this sucker now. Just wet-sanding with 2000 grit to go.

Postscript 16/01/2014
Well, the oil dried and guess what? There were streaks in it where it hadn't settled. With hindsight this is not surprising given that Shellite (Naptha) evaporates much faster than Mineral Turpentine. Obviously the Shellite is evaporating way too fast. So in conclusion, thinning with Shellite is a very bad idea! Stick with Turps instead and save yourself the agony of having to wet-sand all over again...!