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Project by Bob Collins posted 07-25-2015 09:06 AM 2258 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A 10” bowl from a Tasmanian Myrtle Burl slab, a bit rough but the best I could manage. This is the first time I have finished off the sanding with wet and dry 600g after spraying the bowl with WD40. When told of the WD40 I was very skeptical but quite happy with the result, especially the inside. Has any others tried this?

-- RIP Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

21 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2951 posts in 2350 days

#1 posted 07-25-2015 09:29 AM

A fantastic bowl, Bob. I’ve never heard of using WD40 as a finish. I wonder how it’ll hold up. (WD40 is NOT oil – it stands for Water Displacement – attempt 40). I don’t know what it’s made of, but, it’ll likely just wear off, unless you top it with shellac or lacquer, or some such. I’m just saying. Some Danish, or Walnut Oil would look real nice when this does wear off. Which, I’m sure now, it will. (By wear off, I mean, of course, dissipate.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2951 posts in 2350 days

#2 posted 07-25-2015 09:30 AM

And, where, prithee, may I get my hands on some of that fabulous Tasmanian Myrtle Burl?

-- Mark

View robscastle's profile


8297 posts in 3491 days

#3 posted 07-25-2015 09:33 AM

WD 40 ? unheard of!

Looks like a great result though.
Just where did you get a Tassie Myrtle Burl from? and,
do you have tungsten tips on your gouges?

How much WD 40 did you use, its possibly the silicon producing the lustre.

I would expect uncertain results if you tried to overcoat it

-- Regards Rob

View Cliff 's profile


2049 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 07-25-2015 10:14 AM

Bob, Great project!!!! The Tassie Burl looks fantastic!!!!! Very well Turned.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 4375 days

#5 posted 07-25-2015 10:25 AM

Nice shape and finish, I like it. But what about the smell? Thanks for sharing the idea.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View Ronald G Campbell 's profile

Ronald G Campbell

1108 posts in 3291 days

#6 posted 07-25-2015 11:55 AM

Ok wd40 never heard of anyone using this as a finish. It looks good. I assume that the smell is gone as it dries. Is it food safe. Can you finish over it.

Nice job Bob

-- Ron Campbell

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2847 posts in 4971 days

#7 posted 07-25-2015 12:36 PM

Thanks all. Just finished the WD40 trial today and will be checking results for smell, fading etc. Will try some finishes later. Sam and Ron – the smell isn’t that strong after it was sanded with wet and dry. Food safe – don’t know (will try it on the wife -joking). Robert – just a quick spray on the wet and dry 600g and it worked in well.
Have carbide cutters. Have had the myrtle burls slabs sitting on the shelf for many years, I think I got them from Tasmanian Timbers while visiting Tassy. Have another burl bowl in the works but it is a lot more spalted, will need a hard hat for safety. Mark – I’ll keep checking how it holds up but feel free to experiment.

-- RIP Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Lee Hartwig's profile

Lee Hartwig

7 posts in 3079 days

#8 posted 07-25-2015 02:00 PM

A quote from the WD-40 website. “WD-40® does indeed have 50% mineral spirits, but they are refined and purified for specific characteristics needed to meet today’s performance, regulatory and safety requirements.” The remaining ingredients are a trade secret, though. You can read more about it at

Great job on the bowl, btw! I gotta get my hands on some of that Tasmanian Timber!

View doubleDD's profile


10804 posts in 3330 days

#9 posted 07-25-2015 02:00 PM

Hi Bob, nice work with the bowl. I know that wood is not too friendly. Years back I sprayed WD-40 on a piece to try and slow down some cracking. It seemed to work on the smaller ones and in some cases closed them back up. It had no effect on larger ones, they kept getting bigger. I never tried to use it as a finish so this is interesting. I will keep an eye on your future progress.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View BobWemm's profile


3047 posts in 3213 days

#10 posted 07-25-2015 02:30 PM

That’s very interesting Bob, I’ve never heard of it being used either.
Have to love that Tassy Myrtle burl. I got a couple of smaller bits in a crate load I bought a few years ago.
Thanks for sharing this.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3294 days

#11 posted 07-25-2015 02:49 PM

Very nice bowl! I’ also wonder how the WD40 will last. I know you can do all kinds of things with it. My father-in-law used to rub it on his knees and He SWORE it helped fend off soreness better than Bengay cream !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Hawaiilad's profile


3382 posts in 4308 days

#12 posted 07-25-2015 07:11 PM

I really like the wood in that bowl. Not surprised about the WD40. I think we have all seen the list of things you can use it on. Why not bowl finish.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View branch's profile


1142 posts in 4441 days

#13 posted 07-25-2015 09:04 PM

very nice bowl love the rustic look of it branch

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4110 days

#14 posted 07-25-2015 10:26 PM

I can imagine you arm wrestle with this gnarly piece of timber mate, the result is great Bob it has that “been through the mill” look about it.
Like others I haven’t heard of the WD 40 trick although I do a lot of wet sanding with Odina oil which is a Shell product, quite highly refined & gives a great finish on dry timber, I find it better to wash of the excess with white spirits when finished sanding otherwise you have to wait too long for it to dry (the oil is really only used for the sanding)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Splash's profile


19 posts in 3142 days

#15 posted 07-25-2015 11:59 PM

WD used to contain Herring oil but no more. Used in our parts on fishing lures which some swear by.

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