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Danish Oil-fact or fiction?

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  • Danish Oil-fact or fiction?

    I've been told that when you use Danish Oil as a finish, it will eventually crack and peel over time.Any truth to this, or could it have been due to improper application?
    "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."---Thomas Paine

  • #2
    I have never heard of it cracking or peeling. It is basically boiled linseed oil with a little urethane added and in my area carries a very high price tag for what it actually is. .
    Some prefer it as a complete finish and is usually a dull finish unless you apply many coats to get a little shine.
    Personally I use a semi gloss lacquer over a seal coat of 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits (BLO/MS) because semi gloss is the type of finish that both me and my customers prefer in my particular area.
    Whenever I tried to sell clocks finished in Danish oil alone they were not accepted. But when I re-finished them with a nice smooth semi gloss finish they sold right away.
    Also , a hard film finish like lacquer or straight polyurethane will not attract dust like a danish oil only finish will so it makes it easier to dust them off.
    But don't take me wrong. Danish oil is a wonderfull product for some applications. On some of my turned bowls I soak three or four coats into the wood and let sit for a couple weeks to cure and then power buff and it comes up to a wonderful shine.
    Unfortunately fretwork is not suited to power buffing especially when all the pieces are assembled so I refrain from using it as a finish on fretwork.
    W.Y.
    http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

    The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

    Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

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    • #3
      I would say probably fiction on the first part, and about improper application is true. It will not give a good shine, unless multiple coats are applied. And, after the first coat, each subsequent coat will take a little longer to dry up.I suppose it is possible it could crack if you had a batrillion layers on, but that really isnt practical.I use danish oil on all of my scrolling things, but only one coat. After a light coat of it, and its fully cured,I then topcoat it with a spray on lacquer or poly. The oil is used for me to bring out the real beauty in the wood, and to seal the pores. The topcoat (usually 3 or 4 light coats) is to add the desired shine, and further protect the wood. dale
      Dale w/ yella saws

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      • #4
        Dale;
        Does this mean that two great minds think alike At least on this topic
        Please don't take me seriously. I'm only kidding.

        But your reason for using danish oil for a base coat is the same as what I use the BLO/MS for. But then I'm too cheap to use danish oil as a base coat for sealing the wood and enhancing the grain pattern because they charge about $17.00 a litre for it around here.
        W.Y.
        http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

        The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

        Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

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        • #5
          Id say its bound to happen sooner or later. The reason i use danish instead of BLO is the smell, its like comparing the smell of deisel fuel to gasoline to me, Id prefer the gas.
          Dale w/ yella saws

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          • #6
            We have a lot of walnut furniture we bought unfinished in the '60's and I used Watco Danish oil as a finish. So far no cracking and no problems. I would say it stood the test of time.

            Earl

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            • #7
              I heard that rumor.

              I thought it had to do with people who applied Danish Oil, or the so-called 'lemon oil' (Boiled linseed oil with lemon sent,) annually to a shellac finish table. There could be a reaction between a shellac finish and BLO, the shellac finish cracks.

              Phil

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