Reply by BArnold

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Posted on Vacuum impregnating oil finishes?

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175 posts in 2893 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:04 PM

I’ve been waiting to see a response from someone who might have done something like you describe. Since there has been no response yet, I’ll offer my thoughts.

First, let me say that I’ve done quite a bit of work with my vacuum press, ranging from flat veneered panels to bentwood lamination. I had never considered how the system might work with any type of finish, however.

I have done quite a lot of finishing using BLO or a BLO/Naphtha blend as the initial product. In all cases on any type of wood, the oil soaks into the wood, then some gets released back to the surface. As the oil seeps to the surface, I wipe it off and continue to do so, as needed, until there is no more seepage. I can see where the use of a vacuum bag or chamber might cause the wood to hold more of the oil. My concern would be what happens when one begins to apply top coats to the piece. Will the areas that would normally seep oil back to the surface cause an issue?

Another concern with the use of a vacuum in this application would be making a total mess if one allows the item to remain in the vacuum bag until the oil cures, which could take several days. I envision a wood surface that looks quite splotchy with different densities of oil across it.

My take on this is to use a vacuum system for pressing veneer or making bentwood. Do the finishing through the normal process.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

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