Examples of various finishes on different woods

I'm currently working in walnut but oak and mahogany are also in line to be used. I have a variety of finishes on hand including tung oil, salad bowl oil, lemon oil, varnish, and shellac. Is there any site or book that has pictures of what these and other finishing materials look like when used on various woods?
TIA Norm
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Typically the store that sells the product that you want to buy has actual samples on oak and pine.
Regardless, if you are looking for a particular "look" make your own samples so that you will see exactly what you will be getting.
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Norm Dresner wrote:

There won't be a nickel's worth of difference among the oils. The varnish will add its own color (if oil based) as will the shellac...more coats, more color. On the woods you mention color from varnish/shellac will be slight.
--

dadiOH
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See if your library system has Bob Flexner's book "Understanding Wood Finishing". It has a number of color pictures that may help you understand your options.
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Alas, pictures aren't good enough. Make test pieces of finishes, and DON'T think the 'manufacturers instructions' are all the techniques you should try.
Always sand before finishing, and remember to finish an end grain or knot to see how that causes variation.
I once knew an architect who kept a bin of wood samples, all carefully labeled, and I try to emulate him. The real thing is better than a book about it.
Most oil finishes (Minwax, tung oil, boiled linseed oil) are similar, and shellac doesn't look markedly different from varnish or lacquer. When you start in on stains, though, the subject gets deep quickly.
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wrote:

[SNIP]

You're at least the third person who's said that most oiled finishes are similar -- and one even said that there was no difference. THIS ISN'T TRUE.
What prompted me to post the question was the experience of preparing a sample of a single piece of walnut with two different manufacturer's Tung Oil finishes. And one of them was substantially lighter than the other -- so much so that I picked up a piece finished with it and couldn't tell for sure what wood was underneath until I looked beneath the surface. There's even more difference between these two Tung Oils and the can of Salad Bowl Oil I have. If there's that much difference between similar oils on at least two woods (walnut and cocobolo), then clearly I can't rely on the "they're all the same" rule.
Yes, you and others are right that the only "right" way is to experiment with the exact piece of wood being used and the exact finishes available, but I'd at least like some starting guidelines without having to prepare a batch of samples myself on six or eight different woods with the four or five finishing methods that I typically use.
Norm
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Norm Dresner wrote:

Yes it is. _____________

Most "tung oil" finishes aren't...they are mostly linseed oil with a little bit of tung. Many (most?) also have varnish. _______________

I fear I do not follow you. Are you saying the dark one was so dark that the application of the oil obscured the wood? To "look beneath the surface" did you scrape off the oil? If yes to either then I bet $$ to doughnuts that the dark one also included pigment (AKA stain). Also that you put it on too heavily and/or didn't wipe the excess off. _______________
Some facts...
1. Finishes color the wood because they wet it. The wetter it is, the more the wood pops. Anything with oil in it pops the wood more than water based products. Or lacquer.
2. The difference between an oil finish and a top coat finish is resin. The most commonly used resins for wood finishing are polyurethane and alkyd. Phenolic sometimes. In fine arts, they still use copal, damar and others.
3. If a finish has resin in it it is going to form a top coat although it may be a very thin one; I'm thinking of the so-called "oil finishes" that tell you their miracle product "actually hardens the wood" DUH...that's because it has resin in it.
4. There are three types of oil: animal, vegetable and mineral. Forget animal oils, they become rancid. Mineral oils NEVER dry, just sit there sucking up dust.
Vegetable oils can be catagorized as drying ot non-drying. The non-drying ones have the same affinity for crud as mineral oil.
There are two commonly used vegetable oils that dry: tung and linseed. Linseed has two flavors: raw and boiled. The boiled linseed generally has metallic dryers added to promote curing; however, it doesn't HAVE to have them added as there are other (more expensive) ways. Boiled linseed oil is food safe after it dries. Raw linseed oil eventually dries but slowly; that's why it is used to make putty.
Linseed oil becomes quite dark (reddish-brown) over time. On dark wood, that darkening isn't particularly noticeable. It *can* be on light wood...how noticeable depends upon how much oil is actually in/on the wood. The finer the wood is sanded (within reason) the less oil will be trapped in the scratch marks. I have some poplar trays and the like in our kitchen drawers that were only sanded medium - 120 or 150; they started off light but are now a darker than teak, almost as dark as oak. The same thing is true with stain...the finer the wood is sanded, the less apparent the stain will be.
5. Some finishes - oil or top coat - may contain assorted other things. Like wax. Or talc or silica to reduce sheen. Even stearates to promote sanding.
6. Manufacturers of finishes almost never tell you what is in them. That is because they are combining common, relatively inexpensive materials into a "miracle finish" that they peddle for big bucks. Their hype goes way beyond hyperbole.
7. I repeat what I said originally. On the woods you named...
"There won't be a nickel's worth of difference among the oils. The varnish will add its own color (if oil based) as will the shellac...more coats, more color. On the woods you mention color from varnish/shellac will be slight."
--

dadiOH
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