What is an oily rag...
 
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What is an oily rag and where can you get one?

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jamesbisset
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04/07/2021 6:02 pm  

I consider myself fairly handy. I’ve stripped down and rebuilt bicycles, ripped out and installed kitchens, bodged innumerable guitars… but I’ve never, ever had an oily rag.

And yet every set of DIY instructions anywhere includes, at some point, the application of an oily rag.

So, for the sake of all the other newbies on here, can someone please gives us instructions on making an oily rag?

lint free? Cotton? Acrylic? Three-in-one? Engine oil? Where does WD40 fit in?

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.


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Rocknroller912
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04/07/2021 7:57 pm  

@jamesbisset

Im rubbing down a hickory axe handle with Danish oil today so if you like I can send you a selection of free ones in various stages of oil.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Tej
 Tej
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04/07/2021 8:15 pm  

@jamesbisset I’m presuming this isn’t a serious question!? 

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Jonathan Hodgson
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05/07/2021 10:04 am  

Don't use a WD40 rag when you should be using an oily rag, the pros will know you're an amateur because you're confusing WD40 with oil and either sneer or laugh.. or both at the same time (would that be a snaugh?) 

 


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mattbeels
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05/07/2021 12:10 pm  

I had an oily rag once but I had to let her go. She was just too… oily… and raggy, is that even a word?!?

Pratice on scrap...


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Boo
 Boo
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05/07/2021 12:12 pm  

So, for the sake of all the other newbies on here, can someone please gives us instructions on making an oily rag?

lint free? Cotton? Acrylic? Three-in-one? Engine oil? Where does WD40 fit in?

@jamesbisset For everyone interested in building guitars and especially if you want to paint them, PLEASE DO NOT USE WD40 FOR ANYTHING. 

WD40 and similar products (anything silicone based) are the absolute enemy of paint. You will get so many problems with painting if there is WD40 within a square mile of your project. Trust me, don’t wipe things down with it. 

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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Jonathan Hodgson
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05/07/2021 2:33 pm  

@boo considering how much money people will pay for a reliced guitar maybe there's a business opportunity here for a whole new class of buggered finish?


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Boo
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05/07/2021 4:02 pm  

considering how much money people will pay for a reliced guitar maybe there's a business opportunity here for a whole new class of buggered finish?

@jonhodgson 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Well, never say never. 👍

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Rocknroller912
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05/07/2021 8:49 pm  

@mattbeels 

Trust you to lower the tone of the conversation 

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Rocknroller912
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05/07/2021 8:58 pm  

WD40 is mostly fish oil in case anyone didn’t know.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Tej
 Tej
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05/07/2021 9:25 pm  

@rocknroller912 salmon, trout, makrel?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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jamesbisset
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06/07/2021 12:23 am  

PLEASE DO NOT USE WD40 FOR ANYTHING. 

Thanks for that @boo. That explains the flaking paint on a refurb I did a few years ago.

My partner’s dad was a watchmender. She knew that cleaning a watch might include flooding the mechanism with oil. So when she was a wee girl, she prised open a watch and filled it with Three-in-one. The watch never worked again. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

An oily rag is often recommended to clean and protect metal surfaces, especially blades. I reckon I’m going to keep an old microfibre cloth in a tub with some three-in-one. I’ve also got Danish oil, lamp oil, two stroke oil and a variety of cooking oils. But unless someone tells me otherwise, I’m not going to use those for a rubdown.

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.


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Rocknroller912
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06/07/2021 12:47 am  

@tej

Im not very sure which fish oil but I heard an old radio programme a while ago where the company that was commissioned by the US Govt to find a rust protection/treatment talked about trying different things and Water Displacement 40 was the one that worked after 39 attempts failed. It must be an oily fish like mackerel.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Jonathan Hodgson
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06/07/2021 3:32 am  

There's no fish oil in it, that's an urban myth that's actually mentioned on their website "Myths and Fun Facts" page.

The exact formula is a secret, but between the information they have to provide on safety sheets and a mass spectroscopy study commissioned by WIRED magazine some years back it seems to be mostly mineral oil and alkanes.

 


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mark bailey
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06/07/2021 11:53 am  

Just to clarify for the newbies (and bike mechanics😬) - Your common or garden oily rags and guitar workshops don't mix. 😲

We don't have normal oily rags as they are dirty.🤮 or anything oily and dirty or greasy for that matter...

But this is not to be confused with 'Finishing oil'

'Finishing oil' is nothing like engine oil, or any other lube, or WD40 - no relation. Finishing Oil is sticky till it dries hard - not great on your bearings.. 

However

You'll need a rag to apply the finishing oil if that is what you are using - old white T-shirt or sheet is best as it is already 'lint free' having been washed a load of times (hopefully)....Lint is just small loose particles of dust and fibres in the textile (so I am led to believe) - a right pain if you are using it for cleaning or finishing (fact).

TLDR:

An Oily Rag in my workshop is one that was used to apply finishing oil.

Measure twice, cut once...


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