Anyone familiar with Japan drier?

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Forum topic by SST posted 11-07-2009 05:21 PM 40811 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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790 posts in 5250 days

11-07-2009 05:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishes

Has anyone in the LJ world used Japan drier? Any experiences good or bad? While I’ve read several articles in which it’s used as an additive to speed drying, they don’t say how much faster stuff dries. They are even a bit vague on the ratios.

Also, while it says on the can to use w/ oil based paints, is it more universal? I know water based stuff is out, but are all other varnishes ok, or some not?

Specifically, I’m wondering if it can be added to boiled linseed oil to speed curing time, or even oil based stains, I suppose. Any best ratios for specific uses?

C’mon, Lumberjocks, fill me with knowledge! -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

8 replies so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4728 days

#1 posted 11-07-2009 05:22 PM

Never heard of that.

View jcsterling's profile


476 posts in 4640 days

#2 posted 11-07-2009 05:32 PM

I use about a cap full of japan drier when mixing BLO , turp , and varnish. Be sure to dispose of oily rags quicker than usual because the faster drying means it can generate more heat quicker thus potentially spontaneously combusting.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5250 days

#3 posted 11-07-2009 05:43 PM

Interesting point on the rags, and one that can’t be stressed too much in the shop. I read an article, I think in FWW mag that did some temperature tests of linseed oil rags & while I know they’re an issue if you don’t hang them up to dry properly, & can combust, I was blown away by how fast the temp increases if left bunched up unattended. If Japan drier increases the speed…wow. Take some along when you’re camping in case your matches get wet.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 5182 days

#4 posted 11-07-2009 06:20 PM

Note: BLO and most oil-based varnishes already contain metal drying agents.

DO NOT use Japan Drier with these products. It may be a waste of time or it can even cause the curing process to fail.

Japan Drier is meant to be used with raw oils, like raw linseed oil or tung oil. It has a dramatic effect with linseed oil but very little effect with tung oil.

It has little effect with respect to spontaneous combustion.

I’m a chemist with consulting experience in the wood finishing products and paints industry.

-- 温故知新

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4632 days

#5 posted 11-07-2009 06:28 PM

Blo is not boiled it is linseed oil with dryers to help it dry quicker.


View RBWoodworker's profile


442 posts in 4407 days

#6 posted 11-07-2009 08:55 PM

I will tell you all this much….

A few years back.. while working for my cousin..we used to stain out cabinets with a wipe on minwax stain or a lacquer based stain..I don’t remember which one he used at the time.. but my cousin, not thinking..left the rags in the shop..bunched up..pulled the work truck into the shop at the end of the day and left..only to get a call in the dead of the night saaying his shop was on fire!!..yes..that’s right.. the rags combusted and caught fire.. and within an hour..totally consumed the truck.. boring machine, edgebander and a few other machines and tools and the roof..the cause.. chemical combustion! he had no isurance.. no money saved for this disaster.. his machines were lost.. and the machines that the fire didn’t consume.. the water from the fire dept. hoses finished off.. it was a total lost.. it took me, moving all my machines from my shop at my house, into the adjoining buildings of his shop to keep the business afloat and moving forward..he never recovered from this disaster and my machines are still there being used and I don’t even work for him, but have full access to the shop to make my furniture..

SO.. please.. It would kill me to see another fellow woodworker go thru this ordeal, please discard your used oiley rags and solvent based rags in a sealed container of water..or.. completely lay them flat and hang them outside where they cannot catch anything on fire..

-- Randall Child

View Karson's profile


35271 posts in 5455 days

#7 posted 11-07-2009 09:22 PM

I make what I call my home made danish Oil. 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Varnish and 1/3 Mineral Spirits.

I then add 1/2 cap of Japan Drier.

I make sure I use it all up because it doesn’t keep after the Japan Drier is added.

I put it on my Maple Hall table.

Click for details

The oil was dry overnight. The next day I lightly sanded it with 400 grit and then paste wax. It shines with a nice semi gloss shine.

Japan dries is very easy. I used 1/3 cup of each of the parts so I used 1 cup of finish with the 1/2 cap of drier.

-- 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 tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 3525 days

#8 posted 10-07-2011 07:45 AM

I use Japan Drier when I mix my stains. Used to use Minwax for years,then it got to the point that the colors were inconsistant and I started mixing my own. I mix two basic colors red and brown. I generally use a mayonaise jar or one about that size. I use artists oil colors,burnt sienna for the red and burnt umber and vandyke brown for the brown. About the size of a couple of marbles of color,about 2 inches of turp, just a dash of linseed oil,and japan drier.Maybe a bit less than a capful. It almost acts like paint, but the thing that I really,really like is that I can recolor a brush full to match a lighter or darker color for touch up. And the first coat will dry(generally) in 6-8 hours. Then the best part-after drying -with a little steel wool I can rub off the excess,create highlights,or if I don’t like it I can wash it with turp almost to bare wood and start over.
Sorry that my mixing amounts sounds a bit vague but I have been mixing it like that for a while now. Also when I starts to run low you can add the existing amount and it doesnt seem to bother. When I’m satisfied with the color I will spray a sealer coat which works better than brushing cause with a brush seems to make the color run. I use laquer or shelaq as a sealer. This process will be repeated two or three times to get the color I want.
Hope this might help.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

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