I am building a bed out of ash for my son. Most of my projects have been
maple or cherry. (I'm using ash for this to match an existing dresser.)
I'm really pleased with how workable ash is, and the project has turned out
great, but have questions on finishing it. I really like using an oil
finish on my projects. Anybody have thoughts or suggestions on this? Some
form of Danish oil or Tung oil? Other thoughts? I would appreciate any
feedback. Thanks in advance, Ben
Danish oils of various flavors are oil/varnish mixes, so they would give you
a bit more stain protection than a strictly oil finish, but not as much as
varnish. Doubt you'll need much additional protection on a bed.
That said, you'll want to pay special attention in the wipe off stage of
oiling, because ash doesn't exactly wick oil in, and oil left on the surface
can remain tacky, with all that implies about being a dirt magnet, for a
Minwax Wood Finish #209 (Natural) was all my dad used on his furniture, and
the 50 year stuff is still as nice as the 15 year.
this past spring i made a set of bunk beds for someone out of ash and i
agree it was a great wood to work with. I sprayed three coats of "pre
catalyzed varnish" fro woodcraft on them to protect them from the boys that
were going to use them. they still look new as of yesterday. i hope this
Oil finishes work on ash like any other wood. As ash has a slightly
open grain, you can apply the oil by wet sanding it on, allowing the
oil/dust slurry to fill the grain. Try it out on scrap, ash can be a
really nice, bright looking wood.
I use it all the time as a substitute for red oak, if the project will
be stained. The figure is pretty much identical to oak, but I prefer
the working properties of ash.
Ash finishes really nicely with oil. Just make sure you have a good
surface finish on it beforehand.
If you want a "rustic" quality to it (good for Windsor chairs) then a
coloured wax applied beforehand can highlight the open grain. I use
brown ochre mixed hot into my usual beeswax recipe, then applied very
thinly on a stiff brush and worked well into the grain.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm thinking of trying "Watco teak oil" for
this. I've never used teak oil, but I tested some on scrap and I like the
look. How many coats do you usually apply? Are there special tricks to
using teak oil? Do you apply similar to Minwax tung oil? Thanks everyone
for all of the great advice! Ben
On 2/7/04 9:22 AM, in article
email@example.com, "Larry Bud"
Finishing oil, teak oil, danish oil - they're all much the same stuff,
a mixture of oil, driers, thinners and varnish. Exactly what's in
each one depends on the brands, so you have to be specific and not
just talk about "danish oil". Get used to what you have available ad
make your own decisions about what it's best for.
Teak oil is a thin oil intended to soak into timber and replace
natural oils in teak that have been lost by outdoor weathering. They
don't build up, so you get a very "natural" but not particularly
Finishing oils are generally near-plain oils, modified a little to
make them easier to apply. They have a thinner and chemical driers to
get them onto the timber easily (without over-thick coatings) and to
dry reliably afterwards. They're slow to build a finish, but they can
do it with enough coats.
Danish oils are a mixture of oil and varnish. Traditionally they're
UV-resistant and value longevity over visual quality. They may also
have reduced drying, so as to give a more flexible result. Personally
I use a Danish oil (Screwfix's) on workshop tool handles, but not
anything I care about.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
I've made several projects from Ash and I always used MINWAX Natural.
I think it really enhances the natural qualities of the wood and makes me
like a better WW than I am am.
PS: I usually finish with a E-thane varnish.
As some others here have pointed out, the grain in ash is very open. And oil
will soak in then leach back out of the pores over time. You may have to wipe
it several times following your application. Danish oil is a nice finish on
ash. I have used it as well as a pore filler and water-clear poly. You may also
want to apply several coats of oil allowing each coat to fully dry. And Danish
oil smells pretty bad for a short time. So you might want it to cure in the
finishing room before moving it into the house.
BM Cooper wrote:
You've got lots of good answers. All I can really add is- I have
noticed yellowing when I've used Watco on ash. Not a bad look, mind
you, but unexpected. I'm talking, two years after finishing.
And yes, it smells bad, I routinely cure the projects for a week or
three, when time permits.
Did you notice any nasty reactions to the ash dust? I generally get a
cough that hangs on for a week or two, I have not had that trouble
with other woods. I suspect my sloppy housekeeping dosen't do much to
help with that. One of these days I'll get a real dust collector.
I did notice this to a smaller degree. It lasted a day or so, but I noticed
it nonetheless. I too have poor dust collection (shop-vac type
connections), but based partially on this past project, I'm going to upgrade
to a better dust collection system (if I don't buy more lumber with the
On 2/7/04 8:26 PM, in article
firstname.lastname@example.org, "Dan Valleskey"
Try Waterlox. It's tung oil and varnish. I degloss it with steel
wool and paste wax. It wipes on and dries quickly. The smell is
1/3 that of Watco and much nicer. Highly recommended.
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