I have a project which I finished with Tung oil. For the first coat, I
slopped it on, let it soak in (end grain swallowed tons!) and wiped off
after 10 min.
It seems like the finish is taking a long time to cure. It's been at
least 4 days, and I get some slight shinyness on my fingers when I touch
the surface of the wood. My impression was that this stuff cured in 48
hours or so.
Well, the directions usually say "flood," so a thinking man might figure the
fault lays in the "wipe dry" section of same. Then, of course there may be
a temperature problem this time of year, coupled with the reluctance of
"pure" tung oil to take on oxygen rapidly anyway.
If it's still lying sticky on the surface, rub it off vigorously with
solvent and abrasive, put the piece where it's warm but not hot enough to
make the oil flow, and remember next time to wipe off any shiny areas over
and over until they no longer shine.
At the time of application I did wipe all the excess (unabsorbed) oil
until the surface was matte. But after 4 days of curing time, the
surface still transfers small amounts of oil onto my fingers when
picking the workpiece up, and will transfer small amounts of oil onto
paper towels if I use them to pick up the workpiece.
The surface is not sticky, just soft and slightly most, nowhere near
the somewhat "durable" that I'm expecting. I am sure it will turn
hard after a few weeks, but that's a long time to wait for each coat
if one wants to build up 5 coats of pure tung.
Jeremy is right. I get good results with tung and linseed oils when it is at least 70
degrees (21 C) in the shop. Drying time multiplies 3-5 times at 60, so I use a space
heater in the winter. Helps to have humidity below 50%, too (requiring a dehumidifier
the summer - basement shop).
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