Question for all the oilers out there

Not being tremendously experience or expert in the application of oils to wood myself, I find myself in need of some advice. I've done some google searches and think I know the direction we need to go, but I'd like to run my thoughts by some of the guys that regularly use oil finishes.
My son made a grip for his bow out of a chunk of walnut that I gave him and applied about six coats of Tung Oil to it. I'm sure this is not pure Tung Oil, but rather something from the local hardware store bearing that label. I know he didn't have enough time to do this properly (based on what google reveals), since he did the entire project in one night. From what I see, 6 coats should probably have taken about that many days to apply properly.
Anyway, he's at this point where he now has some amount of Tung Oil on the walnut and some areas are showing a nice gloss, or sheen better than others. Maybe because of uneven penetration/absorption of the Tung Oil, or maybe because of the character of the wood. He'd like to even out the luster across the entire piece. Also, I have to ask if he should be mixing up his Tung Oil with a varnish and possibly some Turpentine and applying a couple of coats that way in order to achieve more of a protective coat. This is a grip for a bow and it will be subject to body oils, to weather, etc.
'Preciate any advice on this.
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Mike Marlow wrote: ...

...
Probably the sheen difference is owing to a difference in both the wood itself if it is glued up stock (as I presume it would be) and difference in how thoroughly the sanding was prior to finishing. I would rub out two or three more coats using 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper as the next step to see how that goes...
As for long-term durability, the oil finishes will not stand up to water well, but the good thing is they can be replenished easily...
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Thanks Duane. The grip isn't glued up, I gave him a big enough hunk of wood to cut it out of one piece that is hollowed out to surround the riser from the rear. I'll pass along the recommendation for rubbing out a few more coats with 400. If he mixes some varnish with the Tung Oil, will that help the durability any? I guess it's not really a big deal since he can always rub in some more oil once or twice a year.
I believe he has it soaking in a sandwich bag of Tung Oil while he's at work today, so I'm sure he'll have plenty on the wood to rub out tonight.
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Four coats of Waterlox Original on a walnut memorial flag case still showed some spots with a difference in sheen. That's one of the charms of unfilled walnut. It's a porous wood. But filling it covers some of the texture, in most applications.
After he gets that handle out of the bag, he might want to try a trick that Steve Knight shows on his web site. Bury the handle in a box of sawdust and shavings for a couple of days, and let the oils soak/leach/cure. Probably best done in a warmer-than-my-shop space, too.
Then you can decide on the next round of finish. I like a good paste wax, but the gunstock folks know a thing or three about keeping their walnut clean, straight and beautiful in harsher conditions.
Fun working with the kids, isn't it?
Patriarch
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Thanks Patriarch. That's one I had not heard of.

I had thought about a trip over to the gunstock guys as well. Will probably see what they do as well.

More than you know. My son is 28 and over the past couple of years we've really gotten tight. We were real tight as he was growing up and then he had to do that thing that we all have to do, and we didn't see an awful lot of each other. Now we fish together, hunt together, do car work together, woodworking, cooking (he's a chef), and just about everything else. He just got married a couple of months ago and it's just been a ball doing all these things together and welcoming his wife into the fold and all that stuff. Yeah - it's cool.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Hmmm....that'll soak it up, for sure... :) It'll need a while for that to be able to be worked out of the open pores, probably.
Which product is he using? Most of the wiping oils are mixtures already. I'd be sure to try any mixture on another piece before trying it on the bow...
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Well, that will certainly give it an opportunity to soak in! But I think he needs to spend a couple of days doing what is hardest on a project like this -- nothing! While the oil will be soaking in while in the baggie, it will not be curing. He needs to wipe it well, then let it sit for 24-48 hours. Might need to wipe dry again 3-4 hours into the curing time if some oil seeps out of the wood after the "super saturation". He's not going to get any build by soaking--he's got to let layers dry.
IMHO, of course. But this advice is consistent with my reading of Jewitt.
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Thanks Alex. You know what they say, if a little bit is good... Good points from you and others that he won't benefit from build up this way. And you're right - it will be hard for him to sit tight and do nothing. Fortunately, the bow itself is over at my house. We re-painted the camo on it with a different, and of course, much cooler pattern, and I hung it in the living room to cure. Can't ya imagine the wife's reaction to that! Actually, she's pretty good about these things - we don't intrude on the house very often. But as I was saying, the bow's here so at least he doesn't have the temptation to put it all back together too soon.
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On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:02:49 -0500, the inscrutable "Mike Marlow"

Hey, and you even spelled "advice" correctly. Two points from the get-go, Mike.

A coat a day is what I try to do, especially for the 3rd coat on up. Did he use plain tung oil or boiled/catalyzed tung oil? If all in one night, it will probably never dry. I'd suggest cleaning the dregs off and letting it dry for a week. Then start over with a known product, applying no more than one coat per day to allow it to DRY properly.

Yes, a bit of varnish/turps wouldn't hurt and would help build more quickly. Better yet, have him pick up some Waterlox.
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spake:

I'll take the two points. One can never have enough points.

Update - I spoke with my son late in the afternoon and contrary to what I thought earlier, he never did place the grip in a sandwich bag of Tung Oil. He did however, apply about six coats last night and he said it was dry to the touch within 10-15 minutes. So, he put additional coats on as it dried.

Is Waterlox available in most hardware stores or the BORGs?
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<snip>

We say dried. What we mean is cured. What's important is not that the solvent has evaporated, but that the oils have polymerized. (There are chemists and those who play them on television who are going to correct me on that verb. Please. I can't think of the right one just now. I'm in a meatloaf stupor.) The organics crosslinking, and becoming more plasticine, solid.

In the SF Bay Area, I buy mine at Woodcraft. The website has a dealer locator. At least here, not everyone has the stuff on the shelf. Pity.
You're looking for Waterlox Original Wood finish. Maybe $17/quart?
Patriarch
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Excellent. Looks like we're still ok. The boy can take his time and "enjoy" the process. Sounds like he can't really make any major mistakes.

We'll look around here and if we have to order it, well... so be it. It just so happens that I have this walnut cut up in the garage for a mirror frame for my wife - which has been sitting there since August when I started working on the never ending project known as my neighbor's '52 Dodge... I'm sure I can find a use for what Waterlox is left over from my son's project.
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On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 22:15:39 -0500, the inscrutable "Mike Marlow"

Trying to put on a finish too quickly is an extremely typical newbie finishing error. It's one of the worst and is often accompanied by a SWMBO's impatience and insistence. "Feels dry" and "IS dry" are two completely different animals. As I said, I would definitely strip it and start over. I wouldn't want a tacky grip reminding me of my error every time I picked it up, knowwhatImean,Vern? DAMHIKT

No, but it's becoming stocked in more places. I get mine from Russ at www.woodfinishingsupplies.com . Have your son look around and order online if he doesn't find it locally. (NOTE: The delivery time will give his stripped piece time to dry out before a good finish goes on.)
Tell him to remember these tips for good finishing. They're good for most finishes, not just oils:
Finish ONLY in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area.
Limit finish coats to one per day. If he wants a thick, high-gloss finish, allow even more rest time (36-48 hours as the coats build up) to ensure final dryness.
Denib with the grain (do not "sand") between each coat. (light passes of 320/400 grit wet-or-dry paper used dry, then wipe dust off)
Wait a long while (1+ weeks) before waxing to allow final curing to happen. Some finishes need a month to cure, so look for the mfgr's instructions and follow them as a minimum.
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BTW Larry - thanks for the reply.
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On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 22:16:47 -0500, the inscrutable "Mike Marlow"

De nada. BTW, if you're going to keep the Waterlox around for awhile, be sure to use Bloxygen or other gas to keep OXY off the top so it doesn't skin. I had one old quart which gelled on me because I didn't do that.
Other than that, it's a really nice finish to work with: Not much odor, wiping ease, sanding ease, dries quickly so it doesn't attract dust like straight oil-based varnishes, darkens wood less than straight oils or varnishes, etc.
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