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  • Oil finishes

    What is the difference between the different oil finishes? I know that the commercial finished (Danish Oil, Tung Oil, Antique Oil) are all basically BLO with additional drying agents, but what is the difference between those three?

    My dad always used Antique oil on his projects, but I hear a lot about other people using the other oil finishes--is it just personal preference?

    I'm going to be finishing 40+ ornaments, several hardwood puzzles, and two chess sets...Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    Bob
    www.GrobetUSA.com

  • #2
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    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      You asked what is the difference is, well today what is sold, nothing is the difference just called by a different name. Now if you were to get true Boiled Linseed oil or Linseed oil in its raw state that is different. If you were to get tung oil in its raw state that is different. These oils used in their raw state would take a long time to dry. That is why today the oils you mentioned have the raw product with dryiers and most have poly mixed in. When using Boiled linseed oil mix 50/50 BLO and mineral spirits. Add a little poly and you have Danish oil.

      To your question about what to use. This come down to taste. Do you want to top coat the piece or do you want to have a soft glow. If you said to top coat then BLO as I described it or tung oil or antique oil is good to give it a soft color and seal the wood. Top coat with either a lacquer or a poly, Oil based. You can choose from semi-gloss to gloss.,spray on or wipe on. If you choose Danish oil no top coat is required just the amount of coats will give the look you will want but will not even get close to a semi-gloss texture. The differences between Danish oil and the others is it takes more than one coat for a look of finish with Danish oil. With the others one coat of it is all that is needed before you top coat. Always remember to allow enough time between top coating. Usually 4 to 5 days.
      When I do projects like this all I use is 2 coats of Danish oil
      When I do projects like this I use 50/50 BLO and mineral spirits and top coat with waterbase lacquer sprayed on.

      Hope this did not confuse you more and maybe others will chime in with their preferences. Good luck and by all means try the finish on some samples before committing. Remember to finish the sample to the same manner as you would the real project to get the full effect.
      John T.

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      • #4
        I dont know the chemistry of the diffrent finishes,but I dont believe clockman when he says they are all the same.They arent the same.Take one whiff of BLO (boiled linseed oil),and campare that smell with danish oil smell. If you still think they are the same,you need to see a dr.
        What I use is danish oil (I switched from BLO because of the nasty fumes from BLO made me feel ill),either ragged on,sprayed on with a misting bottle,or dipped into. After thats dry,I spray on a few light coats of clear wood finish from aerosol cans,sanding tween the coats lightly.My preferace of clear coating is deft,not only because of availability,but also they are a big supporter of 4-H,of which I am the woodworking leader for.Even the cheap dollar store clear coat works fine though if thats all you can afford.
        Thats a quick explaination of what I finish fretwork with,there isnt a need to go into deeper detail is there? If so,I can
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          Lucky

          Lets back up here a bit. I did not say anything about smells. All oils are not good for you so smelling them is not a great thing to do but a Danish oil is BLO, poly and driers mixed together. If you are using plain boiled linseed oil that has one smell now cut that 50% with mineral spirits and it has another smell. You chose to use Danish oil and top coat it. In my opinion you are wasting money but if the smell bothers you then so be it. You could always use a resperator. Which I hope you do with the use of Deft lacquer. That is some potent stuff and you have to be extra careful around open flames such as your boiler if using indoors. Those fummes are not good. Always a good idea to finish outdoors when you can.
          John T.

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          • #6
            I have used Tung oil for many years in all of my furniture projects, and naturally have incorporated it into my wood models and now in my scroll projects. And in my opinion Tung oil is the finest natural wood finish in existence.

            However I will have to disagree with you Bob and JT that Tung Oil is BLO, here is a excellent link on the history and properties of Tung oilhttp://www.sutherlandwelles.com/tungoil.htm

            Just my 2 cents worth....

            Ozarkhillbilly
            Last edited by ozarkhillbilly; 11-28-2005, 05:50 PM.
            Bill

            DeWalt 788



            aut viam inveniam aut faciam

            God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

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            • #7
              Bob,

              I use tung oil to finish all my snowflake ornaments as it is easy to dip
              them into a small (reusable) aluminum pan. This pan has one corner that
              is bent so that it is easy to pour the left overs back into the can. I wipe
              off the excess oil with rags, wipe out the pan also, then hang the rags
              outside to completely dry before disposing of the rags.

              Boiled Linseed Oil is my first coat for items that really need to bring out
              the grain. I let the oil dry several days then use a clear shellac topcoat.

              Hope this helps..................

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              • #8
                I too use Tung oil.
                I know my product has some addatives but it finishes well and doesnt have that plastic look that some finishes have.
                It took me a little while to learn how to use it properly and like all oil finishes leave it for 30 days to cure before eating food off it or chewing the wood.

                Not recommended for beavers!
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                • #9
                  Just a little note here, here is my original statement:

                  "You asked what is the difference is, well today what is sold, nothing is the difference just called by a different name. Now if you were to get true Boiled Linseed oil or Linseed oil in its raw state that is different. If you were to get tung oil in its raw state that is different. These oils used in their raw state would take a long time to dry. That is why today the oils you mentioned have the raw product with dryiers and most have poly mixed in. When using Boiled linseed oil mix 50/50 BLO and mineral spirits. Add a little poly and you have Danish oil."

                  Now what people are using I will not dispute. But I ask you to read the can. If you are using pure tung oil then that is different but I never said tung oil is BLO . My statements have been misread again. BLO in any state unless mixed with poly will leave a dull finish. A danish oil will leave a soft gloss like I said but will not even come up to a satin finish. I do not mind being corrected but correct the actual statements. I stand by what I said.
                  John T.

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                  • #10
                    JT my sincere apologies, I here-by retract the following statement,


                    " However I will have to disagree with you Bob and JT that Tung Oil is BLO,"

                    Carry on!!!

                    Ozarkhillbilly
                    Bill
                    Bill

                    DeWalt 788



                    aut viam inveniam aut faciam

                    God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bill

                      No apologies necessary. You have though piqued my curiosity. You say you have used tung oil in your furniture projects. First are you using pure tung oil?? and if so do you add any top coat like poly or lacquer?? The reason I ask if it is a furniture project what type of protection from water stains and surface scratches does it give?? With tung oil do you have to retreat after a few years because of drying out??? Curious minds want to know. Thanks for the reply.
                      John T.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the responses!

                        Now a further question: I'm planning on making DIana Thompson's compound chess sets--and since I don't want to spring for dark wood (since I have a free source for maple, oak, and cherry) I'm planning on staining the black pieces using ebony or walnut stain. Can I apply the oil finished over that? Or should I just use a spray finish?

                        Thanks again.

                        Bob
                        www.GrobetUSA.com

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                        • #13
                          Just to throw a bug in here. Why not make one set of maple and the other of Cherry. There is usually enough contrast between the two. The oiled cherry and maple look very rich.
                          CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                          • #14
                            I haven't taken a full inventory of my wood, and I'm not sure if I have enough cherry...
                            Bob
                            www.GrobetUSA.com

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                            • #15
                              Hello John,

                              For my furniture projects or any wood project for that matter I use "Sutherland Welles" Tung oil. No it is not pure Tung oil, but I feel it is the best Tung oil available, I've used Formby's and Miniwax and a host of others thru the years and have settled on Sutherlands for its unsurpassed quaility.
                              It too does have driers added to it. However they do not add any varnish or
                              urethanes to the product.

                              I do not add any top coats to my projects other then the Tung Oil, and then followed up by other applications of Tung Oil as needed rather it be to hide any scratchs (not deep) or just do periodic maintance. It has been my understanding and finding that varnishes or urethanes while giving a wonderful top coat protection from light scratchs and moisture, prevent the wood from obtaining its natural patina and actually darkens with age and breaks down and discolors, when that happens the entire surface must be removed by labor intensive stripping and sanding before another coat is applied. Not so with Tung Oil. As Tung Oil dries and cures, the molecules join together in a tight complex formation. This process is the secret to Tung Oil's effectiveness as a finish. The cross linking of the oil's molecules makes the surface waterproof and impervious to many chemicals. The bonding also gives flexibility to the surface, making it capable of withstanding wear and tear. Any sign of wear disappears when a thin "maintenance" coat of oil is rubbed in. The maintenance coats, rather than cause a build-up, actually improves the patina as they protect and preserve the wood.

                              John I hope I have answered your questions.

                              Bob, yes you can apply Tung Oil with no problem after applying your stain.

                              Bill
                              Bill

                              DeWalt 788



                              aut viam inveniam aut faciam

                              God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

                              Comment

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