Pure tung oil not drying -- help!


I recently built a bookcase out of baltic birch plywood, and finished it with one coat of 100% pure tung oil (from Lee Valley). I carefully wiped it dry after appying the oil. The project looks beautiful but a week later is still not dry. After several days I sanded with 000 steel wool, which picked up bit of oil with a white waxy texture. However, a piece of paper pressed on the shelves still absorbs oil. I really would rather not wait a month (or whatever it will take) for the oil to completely cure. Any advice?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote: > I recently built a bookcase out of baltic birch plywood, and finished > it with one coat of 100% pure tung oil (from Lee Valley). I carefully > wiped it dry after appying the oil. The project looks beautiful but a > week later is still not dry. After several days I sanded with 000 steel > wool, which picked up bit of oil with a white waxy texture. However, a > piece of paper pressed on the shelves still absorbs oil. I really would > rather not wait a month (or whatever it will take) for the oil to > completely cure. Any advice? >
Strip it off and start over with perhaps BLO.
One of the caveats of tung oil is that it takes a LONG TIME to dry.
Lew
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BLO = boiled linseed oil?
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On 19 Aug 2006 12:03:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

Yep.
Sometimes a good wipe down with mineral spirits will get enough of the Tung oil off and dilute the rest so that a 2 week drying period is ALL that's required.
Hate the stuff! Use Waterlox, a tung oil based product that drys in a couple of days if you want to avoid the yellowing that BLO can cause.
REgards.
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I have had the stuff stay sticky for over a year. I no longer use it. Won't take the chance.

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The one bottle I tried had to be diluted with mineral spirits to make it usable. It took a couple days to dry.
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One of the early issues of FWW did a test using pure tung oil on a piece of glass, and it never dried.
Driers have to be added to the tung oil to make it usable.
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I don't agree with the others.
The oil will very slowly oxidise into a soft solid. To speed the process you need to use a catalyst. Ready mixed furniture oils and boiled linseed already have the catalyst in them, so the easy thing to do is apply a second coat, diluted if you wish, of Danish, teak, or boiled linseed oil. It will dry everything off.
If you applied the tung properly there should be no film of oil actually sitting on the surface, if there is then wipe with solvent and allow solvent to evaporate before doing your second application.
Tim W
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca says...

As they said ... neat tung oil can take weeks. For a first coat I thin the stuff about 25% - 50% with *vegetable* turpentine. Second coat I add less turps.
I apply it liberally with a cloth, wait for it to soak in, apply some more with the cloth, what hasn't soaked in gets wiped off with another, lint free cloth.
Dry within a couple of days, normally.
So for a fix in your situation, I'd get a couple liters (half gallon?) of vegetable turps, soak a lint free choth with it and spend half an hour rubbing that stuff all over the bookcase, alternating with a dry cloth. Then let it stand in a warm room for a few hours and check what's happening in there. If all goes well, you might have a recovery.
I really like tung oil. I like the smell, I like working with it and I like the finish it puts on timbers that agree with it. Not every timber does, however. I don't have the problems with it not drying any more that I experienced the first time I unscrewed the lid on the can <g>. However I don't use it on even half the projects I do - I make finish samples on scraps, and the tung oil does NOT always win hands down :-) But on bluegum for instance it is unsurpassed i.m.o.
-Peter
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On 19 Aug 2006 11:29:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

I like Tung. But know this - my experience is with it in the Sam Maloof product sold by Rocker, the Sutherland Welles products sold through Garrett Wade and Waterlox.
They're all modified in some way.
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