Rubio Monocoat as a Guitar Finish? (Props to Michel Berdah)

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rolo

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Sep 10, 2019, 7:16:46 PM9/10/19
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I thought it might be useful to have this as it's own heading. I was impressed with the pictures I saw of the 2 guitars by Michel Berdah. I am very curious and it's always good to keep up to date on products.  Thank you Michel! I was wondering if anyone else has tried this on a steel string and/or a classical guitar? Are there any tonal drawbacks? Any particular findings or issues to look out for? What do you pore fill with? Michel, do you have any additional details you wouldn't mind sharing on how you applied the product? How was your prep work? Did you do something different for the back and top? Did you use a seal coat of shellac or just right on the wood? What product do you use? Any particular shade? Is there a clear product? Is it available in other sheens (ex. gloss, satin, matte)?

I know there are a lot of questions. Again, just find it worth investigating. So, if any in addition to Michel have used this product, I'm sure sure your observations would be valuable.

Thanks,

Rolo

Jeff Ridenour

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Sep 10, 2019, 11:56:46 PM9/10/19
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Hi Rolo,
We sell Rubio Monocoat at Woodcraft. The gist is it is a two part oil that bonds with wood. You wipe on the oil after activating it with a catalyst. It has a 6 hour open time once you mix it up. Like Michel says, it bonds with the wood surface. You wipe it on, let it sit and wipe it off. It comes in any sheen you like as long as it is satin and it is waterproof. You cannot overcoat it with anything else, nothing will stick.  I can imagine that if it were to be damaged, repair might involve sanding back to bare wood. It is very thin so I can imagine it is excellent tone wise. I had not considered it for a guitar before but I might try it in a uke class I’m working on. 
Jeff in Nashville

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Karan Singh

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Sep 11, 2019, 3:52:01 AM9/11/19
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Rolo

I've been using monocoat oil plus 2c for the past year and a half and have no complaints at all. It's the thinnest finish possible, since it's a single coat and is a thin oil. I think it looks lovely, and is a pure matte look. No satin or gloss possible.

You need to prep the wood really well, since there's no touch up work possible with CA glue etc. I pore fill with timbermate, as recommended by the rubio team. Then I sand it back with 220,320 and 400 for a super smooth surface. Then apply the finish.

The good things about it for acoustics are-
1. you can glue on the bridge first and then apply finish.

2.you can get the hardware and strings on the same day as the finish is applied

3. If you do get a scratch, just touch up that area with a drop of oil later on.

4. The catalyst isn't really needed, but it helps with curing speed.

5. Ten minutes and application work is done!

I highly recommend it. If you want a finish that can build up a bit of a sheen, try Osmo Oil.

Cheers,
Karan

Kerry

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Sep 11, 2019, 1:27:55 PM9/11/19
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Karan

Very interesting! As with most Luthiers I'm always on the look out for a good finish that can be applied in a simple shop set up.. Their website says 5-7 days to fully cure, but you are stringing up the same day, any issues with that..

Also repairability?? since nothing sticks to it can you repair issues with it after time??

Thanks

Kerry

Michel Berdah

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Sep 11, 2019, 4:14:00 PM9/11/19
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Hi, Rolo and guys.

I used it without the hardener. Thought about make a try with it on the next build.

The prep work is easy but you must remove any material other than wood. The product bonds only with 100% wood. So the tiniest spot of super glue or other will not accept the oil.

After that, let around 5 minutes for the product to bond with the wood. On the first one, I removed it too fast. No issue, but the color remain very light, while when waiting the 5 minutes, even light wood takes a nice a bit "amber" color — less amber than TruOil, but more than with just one minute.

In case of touch up, very easy: you sand the spot, fix whatever the problem is, then sand smooth again and apply the product again. I'll go through only on the bear wood spot. Impossible to have drip off and problem like that. It's almost magic!

I've builds on the bench right now. I'll make you a video and I'll let you know when I'll post it.

Cheers and happy building!

Michel

De : 'rolo' via Robert O'Brien Guitar Building Forum <obrien...@googlegroups.com>
Envoyé : mercredi 11 septembre 2019 01:16
À : Robert O'Brien Guitar Building Forum <obrien...@googlegroups.com>
Objet : Rubio Monocoat as a Guitar Finish? (Props to Michel Berdah)
 
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Karan Singh

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Sep 11, 2019, 9:47:08 PM9/11/19
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Kerry

It does take a week or so for full cure, but that simply means it shouldn't come in contact with water till then. For the rest, is you're careful (which we luthiers are!!) it's no problem to string up the same day.

Repairs are easy - lightly scuff sand the area and reapply a bit of oil there

Pore fill and stain only with water based materials. And sand back to wood after filling. This is critical


Cheers 
Karan 

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Mark Ballard

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Sep 11, 2019, 11:19:05 PM9/11/19
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Looking on the Rubio webpage you can get it in many different colors/shades. I guess getting a darker shade would allow you to stain & finish in the same one coat. Am I understanding this correctly?
Mark

Karan Singh

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Sep 11, 2019, 11:58:50 PM9/11/19
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Mark

That's right. However, you'll need to think about white purfling lines getting stained!


Karan 

On Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 08:49 Mark Ballard, <balla...@gmail.com> wrote:
Looking on the Rubio webpage you can get it in many different colors/shades.  I guess getting a darker shade would allow you to stain & finish in the same one coat.  Am I understanding this correctly?
Mark

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rolo

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Sep 12, 2019, 12:58:48 AM9/12/19
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So, no shellac seal coats or anything like that. No epoxy pore fill as well? 

Rolo

Karan Singh

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Sep 12, 2019, 2:56:21 AM9/12/19
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Rolo

Absolutely not!


Karan 

On Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 10:29 'rolo' via Robert O'Brien Guitar Building Forum, <obrien...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
So, no shellac seal coats or anything like that. No epoxy pore fill as well? 

Rolo

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rolo

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Sep 12, 2019, 5:27:44 PM9/12/19
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Any particular colors that anyone has used that they liked? Has anyone used one color for the top and something else for the back and sides? What about bindings and purflings? Any recommendations so light colored woods don't get stained by darker color?

Rolo

Kerry

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Sep 12, 2019, 8:49:48 PM9/12/19
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They do make a clear, they call it "Pure" as in no colour added.. Going to give some of it a try.. They say it adds an amber hue similar to other oil finishes, although I guess one of the appeals of this product is it could be an all in one stain & finish but for me I don't even like sunbursts :-)

I can see not wanting to colour some parts like purflings being a PITA...

Kerry

rolo

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Sep 12, 2019, 9:25:28 PM9/12/19
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I saw these pictures on the RM site (see link below). Does anyone in the group have connections with the Canadian School of Lutherie? I wonder if they've used it on more builds? Oh, and thanks all so far. This is a lot of good information to keep in mind if/when using this product on a guitar or considering it.


Rolo


Kerry

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Sep 12, 2019, 9:41:00 PM9/12/19
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The School itself is closed or out of business as far as the original owners..??? I have no idea I'm on the wrong part of the country.

Kerry

Jeff Sechelski

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Sep 13, 2019, 1:26:39 PM9/13/19
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Probably a long shot question, but does anyone have any idea of the cured film thickness? Is there even a film to measure?  This is very intriguing stuff if you're going for a non-gloss finish.

Karan Singh

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Sep 13, 2019, 1:33:26 PM9/13/19
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Jeff

There really isn't a film. It's literally a single coat of a thin oil. 
And it would be quite a bit thinner than a French polished surface, which in my case would be around 0.002"


Karan 

On Fri, 13 Sep 2019, 22:56 Jeff Sechelski, <jeffs...@gmail.com> wrote:
Probably a long shot question, but does anyone have any idea of the cured film thickness? Is there even a film to measure?  This is very intriguing stuff if you're going for a non-gloss finish.

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j.Brown

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Jan 16, 2021, 4:40:07 PM1/16/21
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Karan,
Does the Rubio adhere to the Timbermate at all?
j

Karan Singh

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Jan 16, 2021, 8:35:10 PM1/16/21
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Yep it does. But ideally, sand back the timbermate so it's only in the pores of the wood. Rubio will work fine over that.


Cheers
Karan 

Paul McEvoy

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Sep 22, 2022, 1:13:29 PM9/22/22
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Reviving an old thread but can anyone compare Rubio to Osmo for a soundboard finish?  I am finishing two prototype classical guitars I just made from a new model and I'm mostly interested in getting them done and seeing what works and what doesn't.  I.e. I'd rather not spend too long finishing them. I've used Osmo on electric necks in the past with good results...somewhat less impressed on a maple neck then a Cherry neck (which came out amazing).

The guitars are cherry and maple, both with spruce tops, the maple one will have a port orford neck and the cherry one probably mahogany. 

Anyway, it seems like there's more people using Rubio than osmo on acoustic guitars, is that just coincidence?  I have a big new can of Osmo clear and I'm inclined to do both guitars with it.  I'm not sure the surface prep on my maple neck was up to snuff, I was rushing to finish the guitar before a move.  I also was looking to darken the finish so I tried some Stewmac Straw dye.  It is fine but not a beautiful job. 

On my maple guitar I'm not looking to darken the wood significantly, the trim is all blue (celluloid and burl) and it's a nice contrast with the white maple. 

TLDR: any appreciable difference between Rubio Monocoat and Osmo Wood Wax Clear?

bkcarnett

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Sep 22, 2022, 6:18:40 PM9/22/22
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Hi Karan, do you have any photos of one of your guitars with the Rubio finish you could post.
Thanks, Brian 

Karan Singh

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Sep 22, 2022, 10:19:17 PM9/22/22
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Hi Brian 

Here’s a link to an acoustic finished with Monocoat. I quite like the look and feel of it. 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ciutoz4JVSX/?igshid=ZjA0NjI3M2I=

Osmo works just as well, but needs at least 4-6 coats with a steel wool (or fine sandpaper) scuff after every 3 coats.  

Main thing with either of these techniques is that the surface prep needs to be perfect before starting. Filling in gaps with super glue etc won’t work once the oil is on. So take the time to make things look great, then apply the oil.

Hope this helps!

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063

bkcarnett

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Sep 23, 2022, 12:02:49 PM9/23/22
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That is a beautiful guitar Karan. How did you keep the padauk from discoloring the white purfling lines being as you can’t use a sealer under the oil? I also assume You need to attach the neck to the guitar before applying the oil.
Brian 

Karan Singh

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Sep 23, 2022, 10:22:47 PM9/23/22
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Hey Brian 

Thanks! 

I kept this a natural, open pored finish, but you could use timbermate or something similar to pore fill before applying the oil. 
I sanded down the surface properly and thoroughly vacuumed the guitar to get all the excess Padauk dust off as well. From there on, just go for it :) 

I glued the neck and bridge before applying the finish, but you could do it any way you’re comfy with. 

Cheers

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063

Xavier BARON

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Sep 27, 2022, 11:39:18 PM9/27/22
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Rubio Monocoat Oil plus 2C is the finish I use on all my necks (that's the best feel I ever got) , and many of my guitars, both electric and acoustic.
I sand up to 800 grit before applying.  MONOcoat: one coat only rubbed with a paper towel. five minutes, et voila...
Easy fix too... just rub some product over.

IMG_9148.jpg
IMG_0454.jpg
IMG_0964.jpg
IMG_8804.jpg
IMG_9191.jpg

Sean Gilbert

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:43:33 AM9/28/22
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So the only finish on the wood on your necks is the Monocoat?

How long does it hold up?
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Karan Singh

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:46:26 AM9/28/22
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Sean

Monocoat was designed to be used on hardwood floors, so once it’s cured (about 2 weeks), a guitar isn’t really an issue. 
Having said that, the oldest guitar I’ve built with it is about 6 years old and the finish in most areas is the same as when it was new. Areas where the nails or plectrum hit the surface get scratched, but takes 2 minutes to touch up. 


Hope this helps

Karan

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063
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Paul McEvoy

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:50:36 AM9/28/22
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If it takes 2 weeks to cure do you let it sit for 2 weeks or is it playable in short order?

On Wed, Sep 28, 2022, 10:46 Karan Singh <ka...@bigfootguitars.com> wrote:
Sean

Monocoat was designed to be used on hardwood floors, so once it’s cured (about 2 weeks), a guitar isn’t really an issue. 
Having said that, the oldest guitar I’ve built with it is about 6 years old and the finish in most areas is the same as when it was new. Areas where the nails or plectrum hit the surface get scratched, but takes 2 minutes to touch up. 


Hope this helps

Karan

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063
On 28 Sep 2022 at 20:13 +0530, Sean Gilbert <gilber...@gmail.com>, wrote:
So the only finish on the wood on your necks is the Monocoat?

How long does it hold up?

On Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Xavier BARON <baron....@gmail.com> wrote:
Rubio Monocoat Oil plus 2C is the finish I use on all my necks (that's the best feel I ever got) , and many of my guitars, both electric and acoustic.
I sand up to 800 grit before applying.  MONOcoat: one coat only rubbed with a paper towel. five minutes, et voila...
Easy fix too... just rub some product over.

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Karan Singh

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:53:10 AM9/28/22
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You can handle the guitar carefully while it’s curing. Not a problem. But full hardness is reached in about 2 weeks. If you use the accelerator then a few days less. 
Make sure the surface doesn’t get any water on it while it’s curing. 

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063

Paul McEvoy

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:57:09 AM9/28/22
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Thanks that's super helpful.  The guitars look great.  Have you tried Osmo?

Karan Singh

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Sep 28, 2022, 10:59:15 AM9/28/22
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Thanks! 
I have tried Osmo, and it’s great as well. But I find it looks best (to me) with 5-6 coats applied 12 hours apart, and a round of steel wool half way through, and maybe again at the end. 

Monocoat is way faster but needs better surface prep. 

Karan Singh

Bigfoot Guitars
7011800063

Paul McEvoy

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Sep 28, 2022, 11:00:24 AM9/28/22
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Ok I think this batch will be Osmo and I'll try Rubio next time.  Sounds great.  

John Peters

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Sep 28, 2022, 1:41:06 PM9/28/22
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Love the pictures of the LP.  I was just thinking to myself that it would be great for a set neck electric.  seems much easier to do prior to gluing up the neck than other methods.

Xavier BARON

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Sep 28, 2022, 11:37:05 PM9/28/22
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For this one I used the cherry red color
IMG_0434.jpg

John Peters

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Oct 14, 2022, 9:01:27 AM10/14/22
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I've been thinking of getting some of this and using just on the necks instead of lacquering and going over with 0000 steel wool.  Any down side to that?

Paul McEvoy

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Oct 14, 2022, 9:16:21 AM10/14/22
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The company seems pretty adamant that you don't sand above 150 but that seems pretty rough.  I'm not super inclined to go against their specific directive...I wish they would make a set of tested guitar specific instructions.  

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