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THANK YOU STEVE. I LOVE TO READ FROM PEOPLE THAT KNOW A FEW FACTS ABOUT A SUBJECT. MY QUESTION TO YOU,
MINWAX AND WATCO TUNG OIL, DO THEY CONTAIN TUNG OIL OR JUST A BUNCH OF OTHER FUN THINGS?
THE MSDS FROM MINWAX ON THEIR TUNG SAID IT HAD 65% MINERAL SPRITS AND 0.2% COBALT 2-ETHYLHEXANOATE. (not a clue) BY WT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks for all the comments and information it has been enlightening, now can anyone speak to the application tricks you've learned using tung oil, as well as the products sarge mentioned in an earlier post.
 

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Hello to the group,

MsDebbieP: Stories like that really serve to let you know how sensitive some folks are to certain nuts. In the same documentary I saw on the boy with the peanut allergy, they showed some flight attendants searching a plane for any peanuts. This same boy was taking an airline trip and they were afraid (mom and the airline) that if even one single peanut was on board the aircraft that he would go into shock during the flight. They practically tore the plane apart looking for peanuts in the back seat pockets and the floor cracks… Kinda scary. :-o They did say he made the trip without incident.

Dan: Walnut oil is one of my favorites for Treenware. I also like the fact that I can eat it right out of the bottle… :)

Steve: I've seen some Boos cutting boards before… The finish is quite nice, but I personally like Walnut oil much better. I rarely use linseed oil for any finishing these days as it darkens considerably with age and is prone to yellowing. The yellowing of linseed oil is thought to be caused when conjugated unsaturated hydroperoxides are converted into conjugated unsaturated ketones.

These unsaturated ketones can produce long-chain colored polyenes. Additionally, if 1,4-diketones are formed during the drying, enol tautomers can react with trace amounts of atmospheric ammonia. This produces a substituted pyrrole, which can be converted into a colored product by oxidation, or by condensation in the presence of formic acid. Colored metal siccatives can also contribute to the discoloration and/or yellowing of linseed oil. To alleviate the yellowing, saturated aliphatic aldehydes are sometimes added to the oil.

Russel: Hehehe… :)

Karson: Macrocrystalline Wax (Paraffin Wax) is a petroleum wax made from deoiled slack wax, which is derived by dewaxing base distillate lube oil streams of predominantly straight chain alkanes. Paraffin wax is brittle and has a low melting point between 46 and 71 degrees Centigrade. Paraffin waxes impart high resistance to moisture, so it should do well for you on your cutting block to prevent juices from soaking in to the wood. If you cut meat on this block, I would opt for an occasional salt rub…

Tony: No problemo, glad to help and that you did not fall asleep reading through my posts… :)

Sarge: Most companies consider their finish formulations proprietary and thus reveal as little as possible about what's in them to consumers. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to make an informed buying decision…

MTO Finish is not a pure 100% tung oil as you have already found out. MTO is a blend of tung oil (actual % unknown, but I suspect it's very small) and an alkyd varnish resin, with a large amount (65%) of mineral spirits. The specific formula is proprietary and can not be disclosed, but it can be found out with GCMS and flash point testing. COBALT 2-ETHYLHEXANOATE is a drier and as such it helps to speed the curing of the finish. Do you mean Watco Butcher Block Finish???

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Wow - so do we use Tung Oil or not? I thing I am going to give it a go on my next project. Back to Brad and his original question - how do we apply TO? I have only used it one time and that was on a clock that I built almost 30 years ago. The finish still looks like the day I put it on. Cannot understand why I have not used it since, but I will be using it on my next project - if I can find the real Tung Oil :))
 

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Hello Bill,

Whether to use Tung Oil or not (for me) depends on the project… I use "pure" Tung oils and blended TO's all the time. Some of the blends are commercial blends, most are my own recipe. If you can give me an idea of what your next project might be (furniture, decorative item, turning etc), I'll be happy to help you if I can with application information. 100% pure Tung oil is easily obtained from suppliers like Lee Valley, or Liberon to name a few.

Note: "Pure" Tung oils will never produce a glossy finish, no matter how many coats you put on, or how long you wait. Pure oils will only produce a matte, or low sheen lustre. This matte sheen is a result of the natural expansion that takes place during polymerization. This expansion creates a very finely textured surface that appears to the naked eye as a matte finish. Pure Tung oils take a looooooooong time to cure, so if you really want anything more than a matte lustre, you should consider another product.

Unblended or pure oils typically include oils extracted from plants, nuts or petroleum. Examples of pure or unblended oils include; raw linseed oil, tung oil, kukui nut oil, macadamia nut oil and walnut oil. The labeling on the oil finish should include the words "pure" or "100 percent," or the oil may be blended with other ingredients. Tung oil is sometimes referred to as "China Wood Oil" by some suppliers.

If you want a glossy finish and you prefer Tung oil, you need to be using one of the polymerised Tung oil variants. Polymerized oils have been heated in an inert (oxygen-free) atmosphere enough to cause thermal polymerization to occur, but not enough to cause gelation. The resultant oil can be very viscous and is best applied in very thin layers. Two types of commonly available polymerized oil finishes are Linseed and Tung.

These specially processed oils provide faster drying and harder cured films with a more durable glossy luster. One challenge with using a Polymerized Tung oil is the colour of the product. It's a dark amber colour and this may be unacceptable to you if you are working with a light coloured timber. However, any timber that is of medium colour and darker should be a good candidate, as the colour of the finish will not significantly darken the preexisting colour of your timber.

So to better answer your question, it would help to know what your project will be, what lustre level you desire (glossy, satin/matte etc) and how durable the finish needs to be… i.e. Will it be handled regularly, frequently, infrequently etc. If you can provide a wee bit more information, I will be happy to help you. Take care and all the best to you and yours!

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Hello Charles,

Thanks for your kind words… :) Hopefully, it did not put too many LJ's to sleep. :-o I've always found that if you first understand the "why" (for example, why finishes cure the way they do), its much easier to understand the "how" (how to apply and perfect a finish). This philosophy has served me well through the years and it's allowed me to perfect and hone my finishing protocols to achieve consistently superior results.

I must admit however, that most folks probably don't want/need to know the why, they just want to skip to the how… That can work if you remain within tight application protocols, but when you encounter any variables outside of the "norms", you're in a sticky wicket as you try to figure out what went wrong (why the finish is still sticky after a week, why it's cloudy, or why it yellowed, etc). For me, delving into the "why," illuminates the "how"... Take care and all the best to you and yours!

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
OK, I'M GETTING READY TO MAKE A SLIDING STEP STOOL FOR LuLu (red oak is the material). I'm wondering if tung oil would be an acceptable choice of finish? Any opinions? If the answer is yes then what would be the finishing procedure?
 

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SteveRussell: I've used Penofin as an oil product because it has a version that has a UV block. They state that it is made with Rosewood Oil. I also notice that the company has been sold to a new buyer. What do you know about their UV finishes.
 

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Hello Karson,

UV degradation and protection is a very complex subject that eliminates insomnia for most folks. A few of us, myself included, find the topic interesting, but then I love reading chemistry textbooks in the middle of the night and learning about various fungi and their effect on wood, so go figure…

I've used Penofin products in the past and they performed well. I'm not sure which version you are referring to (Blue label?) I've only used the Ultra Premium Red label, but the two are similar. Penofin in the blue label uses Transoxide pigments for its UV protection. I've been experimenting with manufactured UV resistant finishes, as well as making my own UV resistant finishes for about 10 years, so I know a wee bit about the subject. There are two schools of thought about how to reduce UV degradation… This is somewhat "deep", so please bear with me…

The use of UV stabilizers in manufactured finishing products works well, to a point. There is a ton of chemistry involved in determining the right type and amount of UV inhibitor to use. To complicate matters further, various types of UV inhibitors are available, each with their own particular drawbacks.

Two primary methods have been adopted to stabilize light/UV light: 1.) Competitive UV absorption by UV absorbers in the 290-350nm wavelength range and 2.) Trapping of the radicals formed during polymer degradation by radical scavengers using Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS). The two primary systems employed to reduce UV degradation are chemical and pigmented.

Chemical: Ciba Speciality Chemicals has a HALS stabilizer, which is a liquid amine stabilizer. It consists of an almost pure mixture of Bis (1,2,2,6,6-penatamethyl-4 -piperidinyl) sebacate and Methyl (1,2,2,6,6-penatamethyl-4 -piperidinyl) sebacate. It is used in automotive coatings, wood stains and industrial coatings and is a clear chemical liquid. It is VERY expensive. My research and testing indicates that these types of chemical stabilizers have great resistance to UV degradation initially, but tend to loose some of their effectiveness over long periods of time.

Pigmented: Pigments will prevent the UV from attacking both the coating system and the substrate. The best type is the old Zinc Oxide and the newer Titanium Oxide, which forms a complete block out. Other pigments of course will provide similar protection, but will obscure the grain. The Transparent Iron Oxides and Titanium Oxides have a very fine particle size and are therefore, transparent. The Titanium Oxides are also used in pharmaceutical formulations and are very expensive.

Transparent Iron Oxides are cheaper, but they are colored. However, the color can be used to enhance the surface of the timber. Since they are nearly clear, they do not obscure the grain. All UV systems protect both the coating and the surface that the coating is applied to, the substrate. However, in deciding which system to employ, one must consider the properties of the coating itself. Is it a varnish film on the surface, or a penetrating finish?

Thick finishes with UV protection (like marine varnish), do not really penetrate the wood surface deeply. Therefore, a breakdown of the coating allows deterioration of the wood surface, by allowing moisture to get under the coating. This delaminates the remainder of the finish. The penetrating oil type of finish (like Penofin) has the advantage of soaking into the wood and does not form a skin to lift. The varnish finish has certain advantages however, because the film thickness that penetrating oil finishes provide is substantially less than multiple coats of varnish.

The Oxides being inert, do not lose their effectiveness over time (vs. the chemicals), but if the surface coating deteriorates, the UV factor is decreased. So, it is a bit of a trade off, if the coating breaks down, the UV light will get through. Penetrating type coatings offer less breakdown of the surface coating, but do not provide as thick a surface film layer. So you can see that it is a long road to hoe, no matter which system you choose.

I have experimented quite a bit with blended finishes, in an attempt to strike a balance between the better overall coverage of the chemical systems and the superior long term performance of the pigmented systems. I have achieved excellent results with several protocols, but I think I could spend the rest of my life looking for the perfect UV resistant finish and probably only come close to that goal.

Since I fund experiments like these out of my back pocket, it can be a challenge to continue experimenting when the cost is so high for the stabilizers. However, it's in my nature to explore the "why" and "how" of things… It's as natural as breathing to me, so I continue experimenting… The results of my experiments over the last twelve years have allowed me to substantially improve my overall finishing protocols. My thin film polymerization testing was a real eye opener several years ago and the results of that testing have helped me for many years to produce better and longer lasting finishes on my turnings.

I try (as best as possible and within reason) to apply established scientific testing protocols when testing finishes in my studio. It has become a large part of my non-turning related testing and research and working under privacy agreements, has grown into me assisting some finish manufacturers with improving their existing products, as well as being in on the development and testing of other finishes before they are sold.

Looking back, I would have never guessed that this would be a part of my studio's work, but it's stimulating for me, as this is an area that I enjoy and have a strong passion about. If can help you again, please do not hesitate to contact me. Take care and all the best to you and yours!

P.S. It looks like I've given another $5.00 answer, when you probably only wanted the 5-cent one… Please accept my apologies in advance!

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Hello SteveRussell,

After searching with google on Tung Oil I came across this topic and your postings. I was so impressed with your knowledge that I joined this site just to get your help with a wood project. It's not furniture but a gunstock and I hope this is not an inapproiate use of this forum.

About six months ago I purchased a new Sako 85 Hunter that is purported to have an oil finished walnut stock. It's rather dark with some contrasting long darker streaks and has a matte finish, pretty nice for a production rifle. After a recent hunt I noticed that I had slightly damaged (nicked) the stock is several places, revealing considerably lighter wood. I called Sako customer service and was told to just use 100% Tung Oil on the stock. They suggested that perhaps once a year I apply a light coat of the tung oil over the entire stock.

I've visited Lowes and Home Depot but their offerings (MinWax, Forby's, etc.) were not 100% pure Tung Oil. My questions are where can I purchase a small amount? Because of the darkness of the finished stock and the lightness of the nicks do you think the stock was stained or finished with a Tung Oil that had a stain mixed with it? I don't want to completely refinish the stock, just protect the damaged exposed wood. It doesn't matter if the 'scars' remain visible (just adds character) but I'd prefer to not have very light, contrasting 'scars'.

Thanks in advance,
Timber
 

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Hello Timber,

Thanks for your kind words. You're one of the few that I did not put to sleep with this thread… :) I'm familiar with the Sako 85 Hunter (sweet rifle), you have a fine rifle. Finding "100% Pure Tung Oil" can be difficult, but here is a source that has some in a 250ml/8oz can for $8.95 USD.

Lee Valley Tung Oil

At first glance, I would think the stock was not stained prior to being oiled, especially since Sako advertises the use of "premium" Walnut Stocks. One would think that a rifle costing £1,250 would use a stock with good colour. However, I've seen this happen before with some companies.

If the Walnut came in with a lighter colour, there may have been a base stain applied to "warm" it up prior to oiling. Best bet would be to call Sako and ask them if they ever use a stain on their Walnut stocks prior to oiling. If so, find out what they used and get some of it. You can apply it with a Q-tip to the nicked areas and then after it has dried, apply your Tung oil.

If they indicate they never use a stain on their stocks, the colour difference may be from the dark oil that penetrated the surface of the wood, which darkens it visually. If this is the case, a simple reapplication of the oil may sufficiently darken the timber so the colour matches. Either way, let me know how you get on. There are numerous tricks I can give you to make those nicks nearly disappear. Take care and all the best to you and yours!

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Thanks SteveRussell. I'll give Sako a call. Hopefully they can tell me if they did use stain. The Q-tip suggestion is a good one. And thanks for the source.

From your answer it seems Tung Oil itself will impart 'color' to wood. Unless Tung Oil is quite dark Sako probably stained the Walnut first because there is considerable contrast between the stock and the knicks.

I've read that 100% Tung Oil takes time to dry. After I do a complete wipe down of the stock (once a year) how long will it be before the piece can be handled? My rifles are kept in an air conditioned space. How much do I put on?

I'll keep you posted on the process/progress.

Timber
 

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I read, I laughed, I read, I laughed, And then I realised, Steve, just how knowledgeable and versed you are on this subject. My hat comes off to you on this subject. You really made my day with your replies on this post and made it interesting for me at the same time. I feel, I have learned something with this posting. Thank You!
God bless
 

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Steve. I'm still awake. But if I'm awake at 3 o'clock some morning I might go back and review this post. LOL.

I appreciate your response to my question on UV.
 

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Hello again Timber,

Raw Tung oils take a loooooog time to dry. :-o Tack free can take 3-4 weeks in some cases, with full curing taking up to three month's to cure. Of course, when it's applied on a tiny nick, the long drying time may be a moot point.

You got me to thinking… It's been quite a while since I've had a Sako in my hands. :-( Many years ago when I was a wee lad, my next door neighbor was a custom gunsmith and I used to "hang out" at his workshop because I was interested in the shooting sports. He belonged to a private shooting range and we would go almost every day to test loads and guns he had worked on… He taught me how to shoot and how to reload over 35 different calibers, as well as how to work on rifles, pistols and shotguns.

I used to shoot a Sako when I was 11 or 12 and as I dust off the cobwebs for those sweet memories, I recall that my Sako had a very nice finish. Not too flat, not too glossy. Since you indicated that there is a marked difference in the colour of the Walnut in the nicked areas, I'm wondering if Sako used a Polymerised Tung oil (PTO), in lieu of a raw Tung oil? This might make sense as Polymerised Tung oils are very dark amber in colour, whereas raw Tung oil is quite a bit lighter in colour.

Polymerized oils are specially formulated by heating in an inert (oxygen-free) atmosphere enough to cause thermal polymerization to occur, but not enough to cause gelation. Another reason that PTO's might have been used is that they dry much faster than a raw Tung oil. Sitting around waiting for Tung oil to dry is about as fun as watching the paint dry on the wall. :-o Also, PTO's offer superior water resistance and will develop a medium to high gloss when buffed. Raw Tung oils will never develop more than a satin lustre.

My Sako had a medium gloss as I recall… So keep this in mind. You can still apply a Polymerised Tung oil with a Q-tip and it will dry much faster than a raw Tung oil. Thanks for the trip down memory lane…

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Hello Gene,

Thanks for your comments… I'm full of all kinds of worthless information. I'm one of those rare people that sleep very little (usually 2 hours per night or less), so I've got a lot of time to work and research the topics I'm interested in…

I'm glad my posts gave you a chuckle! That's much better than putting you to sleep I guess. :) Take care and if I can ever help you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Best wishes to you and yours for a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
 

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Hello Karson,

Nah… You don't want to read these posts when you can't sleep mate. It might take 2-3 minutes to put you into dreamland. Zzzzzz, Zzzzzzz, Zzzzzz:) You want to read some of my material on fungi and its effect on cellulose fibers… Now that will put you into dreamland in a nanosecond or less, guaranteed! :):) Take care and have a safe and happy holiday!

Steve Russell
EWW, WVP, EWWFS
The Woodlands, Texas
 

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Hi SteveRussel. My Sako 85 Hunter has a matte finish. When I first opened the box I could smell oil and it wasn't gun oil. I smelled the stock and it had this oily wood odor. It had a slightly oily/velvetly feel to it. My dealer and I concluded it had a traditional oil finsh, not the typical polyurethane. It was a pleasant surprise. The only other production gun I can think of that has a similar oil finsh is a Kimber 84 and 8400.

I can see where a minor touch-up on the knicks with 100% tung oil should not be a problem. But the recomendation is to wipe the entire stock down once a year. If I use it sparingly with a cloth will it still take months too dry? Again it will be stored in an air conditioned environment.

I'm hesitant to use polymerized tung oil because I'd prefer the stock to not take on a glossy look. But for practical maintenance to speed drying a slightly glossly look would be okay. Say something in the range of an 'eggshell' sheen would be fine. What do you think?

Timber
 
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