Hand tool cabinet #5: Applying the oil/poly mix

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Blog entry by Tim Dahn posted 03-05-2012 12:11 PM 10148 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Final sanding Part 5 of Hand tool cabinet series Part 6: Hanging the cabinet, a clean work bench is getting closer »

One third each of Boiled linseed oil, poly-urethane and low odor mineral spirits has become my favorite finish.

Here is a great site with a lot of good info Homeshop Finishes That Work. Scroll down to: Finish #4: Sam Maloof’s Finish.

I normally use a brush to apply the first coat, put it on heavy, continue applying to keep it wet for 10 – 15 min. so it can soak in.

Wipe off with paper towels, I usually go over the entire project with the same paper towel to help rub it in. After wiping all the surfaces, go over it again with additional dry paper towels paying close attention to corners and other areas where the finish can collect. Be sure to “PROPERLY” dispose of the oil soaked paper towels.

Here is what you are looking for, a wet look but nothing laying on the surface.

Let this dry for 30 – 60 min. then lightly wipe off again. Porous woods such as oak when drying will force excess oil out of the pores, this needs to be wiped off. Let dry over night. Lather, rinse, repeat the next day to build the finish, rubbing the finish in with gray scotch-brite pad will remove any dust nibs.

To continue building the finish I use a french polish method. Start with a 10” square cloth ( I used an old tshirt here but use white) fold in the corners, repeat, gather the corners and hold together with a rubber band or tape.

Makes a nice pad to wipe on a light coat of finish, and build a shine.

Thanks for for following along.

Next time I will attach the back and hang it on the wall.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

6 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 02:38 PM

Tim: If I want to fill pores in wood like Walnut. I use the same oil mixture that you are using (I also add just a little Japan Drier and it dries overnight, Only use the japan drier in as much as you will immedietally use)

I use a random orbital sander and sand the piece with the oil micture still wet. It mixes the sawdust with the oil and fills the pores of the wood. After it dries I use a sharp putty knife to cut the hardened slurry off the surface.

Great blog.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 03:32 PM

Really looking nice, Tim. Thanks for the demo and the link as well.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 05:16 PM

The finish looks very good Tim. I’ve been thinking about using that finish for years now, but haven’t got around to it yet. Maybe your endorsement will inspire me to actually try it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4078 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 10:58 PM

Karson, yes this finish and sanding dust makes a great filler, I filled a couple spots on a chest I made and I can’t tell where the spots are now. What grit are you wet sanding with?

Jim, Can’t say enough about the link, its a good read.

Mike, Give it try and let me know how you like it.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View mafe's profile


12110 posts in 3602 days

#5 posted 03-06-2012 12:10 PM

Looking good!
Thank you for the finish info.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4364 days

#6 posted 03-06-2012 10:36 PM

Nice one Tim. Great finish.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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