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Braces · Attaching the soundboard · Fingerboard · Finishing · Gallery of the completed oud
Before finishing I realized I had forgotten to make the "bracelet", the veneer strip that covers the neck/back transition.
The completed oud sanded to 320 grit. The face and fingerboard are masked off with wax paper and masking tape.
The peg holes are plugged with cork to keep them clean.
First coat of finish. Per Hankey's recommendation I am using Tru-Oil. It is an oil based varnish that many instrument makers use. The walnut has taken on a beautiful color with the application of the finish.
5 coats Tru-oil. I tried applying the finish with various methods. First I brushed it on, which yielded good results. Next I tried a fine cotton cloth. This worked fairly well, and allowed a nice thin coat, but left some very fine lint, which I didn't like. Lastly I tried my bare fingers, which worked fairly well, but was a little difficult to spread evenly. I think for the next few coats I will go back to the brush, which leaves no lint and is easier than using my hand. I will of course thin the finish just a bit so I put on thin coats. After the first coat I sanded with 400 grit (dry), after the second coat, 0000 steel wool, after the third I tried wet sanding with 600, but this left some unsightly white residue in the pores (which disappeared after the next coat was applied). After the fourth coat I went back to the steel wool, very lightly. I wiped down the wood before each coat with a cloth wetted with some naphtha to remove the dust. I am not a fan of tack cloths, since the gummy substance can interfere with the finish if it transfers to the wood. I am not sure how many coats I will apply, but it is already fairly glossy. I am removing some of the finish after each coat, so it is not very thick at all.