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Tung Oil

29783 Views 46 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  AlizaRGE
I was reading my buddy's blog (Sarge), and some of your comments, as a result Sarge and I started talking about his favorite finish "Tung Oil" which brought up the questions…what is tung oil,(all products called tung oil aren't really tung oil? That lead to how do you use it? when do you use it? why use it/why not? We thought this would ne a good place to see what everyones experience has been and comments about anything "tung oil " related
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Hello Timber,

Apologies for the late reply… I had thought this thread had ended. Pure Tung oil applied in thin layers will dry much faster than if it were applied thickly, but it will still take a wee bit of time to dry. One trick you can use is to slightly warm the oil before application. This will make the application easier and it will also help it to dry faster. Use a Q-tip and do not apply too much. A few light coats are much better than one heavy application. Happy holidays!

Steve Russell
The Woodlands, Texas
I'll keep this going. I use tung oil all the time, and it does take forever to dry IF you use just tung oil. A professional furniture maker who learned under Sam Maloof told me to do it this way. Mix equal parts 100% pure raw tung oil/ boiled linseed oil/ and Gloss Polyuerathan. Both the Poly and boiled linseed oil have dryers in them and will help the tung oil to plasticize. But it takes several usually 5 but as many as 7 or 8 coats to build enough for what i call the wow factor. After the last coat dries, I usually will put on a coat of wax to give a little luster. Check out my walnut and quilted maple tray for a view of it, also the mahogany jewelry box. The Gloss poly will not make the finish glossy, I assume because both oils dry as a satin or matte sheen.
this is my favorite finish and on most projects that i make for just us i use it.
How long do you let each coat dry?
depends on the weather. right now it's in the 50's here so it may take up to 48 hours, that is bring it inside my house too. In warmer weather, spring and summer. It can take as little as 12 hours but usually 24 is a good time to wait. Also i've noticed that after you build several coats that the subsequent coats that you put on dry alot faster. not sure why. also i usually sand the wood to at least 320, but most of the time 400. then i rub the surface with 0000 steel wool, just to burnish and push the fibers back down and smooth everthing out. and then rub with steel wool between coats.
Steve, it is great to have you on board her on Lumberjocks. I got a real education this morning. I was a Physics major and did not do well in Chemistry but I love to learn the chemical make up of products. it helps a lot in decision making for finishes.
I was disappointed when I Googled Tung Oil and got this entry on Sawmill Creek which said that the Formby's Tung oil that I just used last night has NO tun oil n it!! Also it says it is an interior finish and Tung Oil used on ships to waterproof has to be an exterior finish. right. So should I get Pure Tung Oil and then use Poly over it for durability?

Also, for cutting boards, have you ever heard of Behandla salad bowl finish made in Slovenia? If so, what do you think of it?

Thanks, Jim
I would love some advice for finishing an old kitchen hutch we have had for many years. It had some clumpy black wax on that we've been taking off with mineral spirits, but we've decided to go back to the actual wood and refinish. My question is what will give the wood a satin (less shiny) and clean finish that I can wipe down easily? I don't like polyurethane, and the countertop of the piece will come in contact with food from time to time, so I want it to be safe and wipeable with a sponge. I would like a finish I don't have to re-apply periodically.

Thanks for any advice and help.

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