Tung Oil, Please Advice.

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I have never use tung oil (mainly due cost) on all my projects, instead I use varnish than finished it with as many coats (sanded between each coating) of polyurethane as needed to get good finished. However, if for example I need to finish a heavy use, long-lasting cabinet door knob, shall I first varnish it, sanded and finished it with as many coats of tung oil?
Please advice and thanking all in advance for replying.
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Oil finishes and heavy use do not go together in the same sentence. Oil is pretty and "natural", but offers virtually no protection.
Bob
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says...

I suspect a troll, no one can accidently get that many things turned around, but, just in case.
1 - polyurethane is a varnish. Coating with a non poly varnish then following with a poly varnish is redundant and unnecessary
2 - Tung oil is an oil finish. It is not meant to build but to soak into the wood and form a low luster natural look to the wood.
3 - Since tung oil is meant to soak into the wood and varnish seals the wood and forms a film finish over the wood putting the oil on top of the varnish would be an exercise in futility.
4 - Oil is an inappropriate finish for a surface that is going to have heavy use.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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I do appreciate your explanation, thank you. I'm not a troll. I did say I have never used Tung oil cuz it's rather expensive. Most magazines say use Tung oil first, than apply polyurethane or something of that sort. Last night I read Kingspor's Woodworking Shop catalog (old copy) page52 ..."The advantage is a consistent quality finished that will built up to be extremely hard and durable." Further, David Mark's always praises Tung oil in his Woodworking show on TV, without elaborate further...
If you don't know or don't understand "ASK" and I am here doing just that from the good people here. :-) Thanks.

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Marks does favor tung oil, because it enhances the natural wood. But he doesn't use it exclusively (despite what Mrs. Craig thinks). For high-wear applications, I've seen him use a Maloof mix (tung/poly/BLO). Same for a bath cabinet (a high humidity application).
To help emphasize what others said about your proposed finish: it would be like dipping the wood in plastic, then rubbing it with baby oil. The baby oil might make it look "wet" and shiny, but it wouldn't affect the wood at all.
Keep asking questions. That's why we're here. :-)
Kevin
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snipped-for-privacy@nomanland.com says...

I'd recommend you obtain a copy of Bob Flexner's "Understanding Wood Finishes". It's a good and easy read and will give you a great foundation on various finishes.
Yes, tung oil is a nice finish when it provides the protection required by a piece. That is the primary purpose for applying a finish. To protect the wood from reasonably expected daily use. Looking good is entirely secondary since, if the finish doesn't provide the needed protection, the finish will not remain looking good for long.
I don't have a copy of a Klingspore catalog handy so I don't know exactly what it may or may not say but tung oil is NOT a highly protective finish. It is not meant to build. If you do manage to apply enough to get a build it will be neither comparatively hard or protective.
Use whatever you feel comfortable with but, however I don't care what the catalog says, if you want a hard really protective finish tung oil makes no sense and varnish, which contains chemically linking resins that an oil doesn't, would be the way to go for both protection and economy of labor and materials used.
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MikeG
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There are polyurethane varnishes and there are water-based polyurethane finishes that some prefer to NOT call varnishes becuase they are so different from traditional varnishes.
That said, I don't argue with your conclusion.

Oddly enough I've been told some folks use oil over shellac and like the results. I haven't tried it myself.

Yes. The wood will get dirty from handling and be hard to clean.
--

FF

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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net (Fred the Red Shirt) wrote in

But shellac AFTER oil can be a nice treatment. Rubbed out with a nice wax, after curing, and you get a pleasing finish. Not 'poly-tough', but nice for many applications not subject to heavy use.
Patriarch
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Now you guys have me doubting myself...
I'm finishing up a small (~30"x24") cabinet for a bathroom. It has a maple case with cherry trim with a frosted glass door framed in cherry. The shelves will be maple. I was going to finish this with tung oil. It will be used to hold toiletry type stuff in the bathroom so it might get occasional water sprayed or splashed on it. Do you think I would be better off with a poly? I want to retain the original "look" of the wood, just bring out the grain and give it a bit of a polish. If I do the tung oil and want to change later to another finish, is that possible?
I want it to look somewhat impressive, it's really my first project, so I need to impress somebody...;+} -- -Jim
If you want to reply by email its --> ryan at jimryan dot com Please use BCC and lets all avoid spam "patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

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Hi Jim
Add a coat or three of a good quality paste wax and a very rigorous schedule of inspection and renewal you could probably be able to get away with it.
Your real problem would come from standing water left from wet items put into the closed cabinet. All in all it would probably be more of a hassle then it would be worth.
However should you decide the oil finish was worth the effort I'd suggest a Danish oil rather then a straight oil. Danish oils don't have the resin content of a true varnish but they do have some which will afford a bit more protection then straight oil would.
What you can do is use a coat or two of oil to enhance the grain then varnish the piece or go with an oil/wax and see how it stands up. You can, after removing the wax, always apply a varnish later if the conditions in the bath prove, as I suspect they will, too much for the oil only finish.
Good luck
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Since so many varnishes and "Danish" oils also have a tung oil component, you are in no way limiting yourself by using only tung now. A solvent clean and varnish application is possible anytime in the future.
That said, I think that there are two components to finish penetration or adhesion, one for polar, one for nonpolar. The fibers are made to _hold_ water by adsorption, but allow oil to fill the spaces. You may get some unwelcome effects from not using a barrier finish in such a wet environment.

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Some folks are really happy with Waterlox Original for these types of things. Higher solids content, some surface build, still looks and feels close to the wood. Maybe you can find a sample somewhere, without spending $15....
Patriarch
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 02:13:43 GMT, patriarch

Yes, straight from www.Waterlox.com, but once he has tried it, he'll instantly kick himself in the arse and wish he'd ordered a quart or gallon can size instead.
And, yes. Waterlox is much more easily removed than poly, JT. The question is "why would you ever do so?"
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OK, OK, I'm sold....
I looked at their website, what product would you recommend?
Tung oil based: Sealer Satin High Gloss
Urethane Based: Gloss Satin Semi-Gloss
Thanks,
-- -Jim
If you want to reply by email its --> ryan at jimryan dot com Please use BCC and lets all avoid spam

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ranted:

http://www.waterlox.com/product.cfm?productid=6 I prefer their Original Satin product. YMMV because I degloss it every time. They state that you don't have to sand between coats but I always denib each coat with scotchbrite anyway.
I thought they had free samples but it appears that you'll have to pay shipping even for the 2 oz. samples. If SWMBO is sensitive to finish smells, the citrus might work. It's new to me and I haven't yet smelled it.

Er, NO times 3. I'm not a fan of polyurinestain.
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On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 14:53:06 GMT, patriarch

Yeah mon!
The oil pops the figure and the shellac adds some protection.
A really nice finish combo.
Barry
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On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 20:21:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nomanland.com (BlueDude) wrote:

I'd use the poly for a door handle, myself. Tung oil looks really nice, but I guess it's not all that tough according to the finishing book I just got.
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Lately I've been using a lot of Tung Oil - for some natural looking shelves, boxes, etc. I'm really happy with the result - looks great. Expecially on some figured wood.
Now - I have quite a load of cherry - I plan on making a dining room table with it. Is it feasible to start with Tung Oil, and finish off with 2 or 3 coats of a Polly?
Brian

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Yes.
One could also use a product like McCloskey's Gymseal, which is a urethane / tung oil blend right from the can.
Other choices after the oil might include Waterlox Original, Waterlox Urethane, or Behlen's Rock Hard Table Top Varnish.
Barry
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snipped-for-privacy@smpatico.ca says...

Yes
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MikeG
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