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Shellac OVER tung oil; what I learned

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Forum topic by jklingel posted 12-12-2020 05:29 AM 1034 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jklingel

194 posts in 2170 days


12-12-2020 05:29 AM

For others new to using tung oil and shellac on the same wood, I learned something today. In a different thread I got a response that tung oil may look dry on the outside, but it probably is not inside until 6 weeks or so. I think that may be right. I just grabbed three bowls I’ve made and decided to put shellac and wax over the tung oil to shine it a bit. All 3 bowls have had nothing but tung oil on them prior to today. I shellaced the insides of all three bowls (approx 1 1/2 lb cut, + or -) and used paste wax on the outsides. Two bowls were made sometime in October, and one got its second coat of tung on 12/5/20. Shellac and paste wax worked fine on the older bowls, giving just a tad of shine. The recent bowl started bleeding oil after about 1/2 hr or so; just a light sprinkle, but all over on the inside and outside. About every 1/2 to 2 hours, I pass by the bowl and wipe off more oil. I have been doing this for 5 or 6 hours now, getting less and less oil over time. I never expected this, but it keeps on bleeding ever so slightly. I gather that the shellac and wax are penetrating the wood and displacing oil. The wood is African mahogany, walnut, red grandis and white oak. Lesson learned: Let it dry a good month before you do this again.


20 replies so far

View paulLumberJock's profile

paulLumberJock

60 posts in 211 days


#1 posted 12-12-2020 07:01 AM

good tip, I Did not know that. Thanks for sharing.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2946 posts in 3147 days


#2 posted 12-12-2020 01:09 PM

Cannot understand why you persist in using Tung oil & shellac combination to finish your bowls or any other wood working project!

Best Tung Oil: Reviews 2020:
https://takebacktheland.org/best-tung-oil-revies/

Flexner on oil finishes, history and use:
https://www.Popularwoodworking.com/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use/

A wiping varnish or oil varnish blend will give more sheen than most pure Tung oil applications. Think if look at that 2020 review article can tell you what can expect from each brand of pure Tung oil. I include most of Sutherland & Wells Tung oils not mentioned in tat article either oil varnish bland or wiping varnish. Flexner’s article nice to know info!

-- Bill

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Rich

6567 posts in 1602 days


#3 posted 12-12-2020 02:11 PM


Best Tung Oil: Reviews 2020:
https://takebacktheland.org/best-tung-oil-revies/

- Wildwood

Misspelled link. Should be: https://takebacktheland.org/best-tung-oil-reviews/

Regarding anyone’s insistence on trying something—that’s how you learn. I for one, appreciate the OP’s update on this. While I never plan to use shellac over tung oil, I found his result to be something I would not have expected, and I learned something from it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Lazyman

6657 posts in 2400 days


#4 posted 12-12-2020 03:06 PM

Interesting. I wonder if how you told me you apply the oil is a factor that may have contributed to the bleed out?
From from your other thread:


Lazy: This is my procedure for applying the tung oil to bowls; no problem drying. I lather it on heavily, periodically lifting what has run down the sides back up over them, not adding more, during the day. The next day, I give them another coat of fresh stuff, though there is some leftover oil still on the bowl. I repeat wiping up the slough during the day a few times. The third day I wipe them down with dry shop towels, re-wiping a few times that day to pick up the bleed-out. After the bowls sit in the house a few days, getting wiped off maybe once/twice per day, they are dry. The brand is Hope.

- jklingel

Most drying oils I have used say to apply enough oil (may have to add more as it soaks in) until it stays or looks wet for at least 20 minutes and then let it soak for up to an hour at which point you should wipe them down to remove excess oil from the surface. Thinning my be necessary for dense hardwoods if the application doesn’t seem to soak in much. You can then apply additional coats on subsequent days wiping off excess oil after letting it soak in for a an hour or so. I wonder if leaving them wet so long slows down the oxidation process for any oil that has gone more deeply into the grain? Just a theory.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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OSU55

2740 posts in 3002 days


#5 posted 12-12-2020 05:53 PM

I definitely agree that experimentation is how you learn. It’s even more helpful when there is a knowledge base to guide the experiments. Glad the OP followed up with this. His results are what I would have expected using an oil that takes a very long time to cure. Personally I don’t know why people want to use tung oil ( not the varnish which doesnt have tung oil). I think it had it’s place in history, as did blo, but I don’t find much use for either with the interior and exterior varnishes available today. The varnishes can give a lot of different looks depending on the sheen used and the application method, including an “oiled” look, and dry/cure far quicker than the oils.

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SMP

3454 posts in 918 days


#6 posted 12-12-2020 06:12 PM



A wiping varnish or oil varnish blend will give more sheen than most pure Tung oil applications.

- Wildwood

You say that like its a good thing. Sometimes I use pure tung oil because i like the look. Personally I hate sheen and the most sheen i can stand is Arm r Seal satin when i need the protection.

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jklingel

194 posts in 2170 days


#7 posted 12-12-2020 08:04 PM

(1) Wild: I insist primarily because I want something a tad different than pure tung oil sometimes, and because I have part of a quart and a brand new, $35 quart sitting on my table. Plus, I am just getting started w/ shellac and want to see what it does. So far, I like the stuff. Happy, crabass? Just kidding. I know whence you cometh, and understand perfectly. If you think you have trouble figuring me out, think what I put my parents through! Thanks for the links. I will peruse them ASAP. If wiping varnish is something like Arm-R-Seal which has nasty sounding stuff in it, I will avoid it until I can verify that it is food safe. I’d be happy to use anything that works; I am not married to any particular goop. (2) Rich: Thanks for link fix, as well. (3) Lazy: My oil bottle says what you said, but I figured that if an ounce is good, then a pound is 16x better. I read of one guy here who apparently dumps his stuff into a vat of oil and lets it sit until it is “full”. That lead me to believe waiting more than the directions say is OK. Until the too-soon shellac, what I did seemed to work. (4) OSU: I will dig into the wiping varnishes. I like a bit of shine, but my wife hates it, so there are different taste buds out there. Again, if they don’t have nasties in them, fine with me. I just want something that is easy to apply, is food safe, and works…. once I am done w/ the tung oil I have…. Cheers, and thanks EVERYONE for the feedback. This beats the tar out of going on your oddy-knocky.

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SMP

3454 posts in 918 days


#8 posted 12-12-2020 09:34 PM

So I have been trying to use as few chemicals as possible for various reasons. So in my research and trial and error etc i have found that the best wax out there for this is Christopher Pourny wax. I found it at Rockler and was able to read the ingredients there. Its all natural, smells good, and gives a nice sheen that you can buff more if you want a higher sheen. So if you want more sheen than tung oil you may want to try this over it. I see they also have on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Christophe-Pourny-Studio-Clear-Paste/dp/B018TRB2DY

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jacww

75 posts in 2021 days


#9 posted 12-12-2020 11:01 PM

As with most things, Christopher Schwarz has his own perspective on finishing. This blog post starts out about why he isn’t writing a book about finishing and ends being about finishes that do and do not want to KILL you.

For those that don’t understand our interest in shellac, hardening oils, and other esoteric finishes we value our health and don’t want to spend lots of cash on a SAFE spray booth and PPE for lacquer and other finishes. Although the old finishes may not offer the best protection from abuse, they can be very easy to repair. I KNOW, some old finishes are deadly too. I don’t go there either.

I have successfully used BLO, Tung oil, and shellac successfully on various projects this year (not all at once). They take patience but can look great. I am a hobbyist and retired I can afford to spend the necessary time to use the traditional oils, etc. I understand that for a production shop these finishes may not be profitable.

The blog post is here. It is sure to ruffle some feathers.

In my opinion, this is one of Christopher’s best posts in a long time.

TonyC

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OSU55

2740 posts in 3002 days


#10 posted 12-13-2020 12:12 AM

These blog entries may be of interest. So the finishes discussed are all food safe when cured. I can understand someone not wanting to deal with voc’s – they can be unpleasant and harmful. I have yet to evaluate any of the no/low voc finishes except Mahoney’s walnut oil. I have minimal need for that type finish – only for utility type turnings where utensils are to be used. These need a soft finish that doesnt show scratches as badly.

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jklingel

194 posts in 2170 days


#11 posted 12-13-2020 06:05 AM

One last question here: What, exactly, do I go buy that is a good, ready-to-use wiping varnish, or should I make my own? Recipe? If it is food safe when dry, non-to-mildly-hazardous and easy to apply, and easy for non-woodworkers to fix or maintain, then I will give it a shot. Too many constraints? Then I’ll just stick with tung oil for the folks that get a bowl from me; there are not many.

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SMP

3454 posts in 918 days


#12 posted 12-13-2020 06:24 AM



One last question here: What, exactly, do I go buy that is a good, ready-to-use wiping varnish, or should I make my own? Recipe? If it is food safe when dry, non-to-mildly-hazardous and easy to apply, and easy for non-woodworkers to fix or maintain, then I will give it a shot. Too many constraints? Then I ll just stick with tung oil for the folks that get a bowl from me; there are not many.

- jklingel

Probably the best match to what you listed is Tried and True Varnish oil, its pymerized linseed oil and pine resin. Personally I boil my own raw linseed (flax) oil and add beeswax or natural turpentine. But if you don’t want the hassle and just want an off the shelf then these are a great option, I think Rockler carries most of them, possibly Woodcraft?

https://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/products/

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Wildwood

2946 posts in 3147 days


#13 posted 12-13-2020 09:37 AM

Rick, cannot thank you enough for correcting link posted!

You’ll notice Sutherland & Wells did not make the make the list in article as stated earlier! While their product contain some Tung oil percentage of other chemicals make up most other products. Lot of times manufacturers consider hot pressing nut or seeds think that’s the polymerization process. Well just read product’s SDS might see not really polymerized!

What you need to know about the polymerization process: “Polymerized Oil is created by heating raw drying or semi drying oils in the absence of oxygen to about 300°C (572°F) over the course of several days. During this process, a polymerization reaction occurs, which increases the oil’s viscosity and decreases the drying time.

Not knocking Sutherland & Wells products they have a lot of satisfied users. Think if read Bob Flexner’s article below might find less expensive alternatives that works just as well.

If you want to find food safe finishing materials read product labels and or products MSDS or SDS! I always refer back & link article by Jonathan Binzen, Fine Woodworking #129-Mar/Apr 1998.

https://www.finewoodworking.com/2006/08/01/food-safe-finishes

-- Bill

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Wildwood

2946 posts in 3147 days


#14 posted 12-13-2020 09:50 AM

On food safe items only use laxative grade mineral oil and pay $2 a bottle from Walmarts! On bowls give folk a bottle so can reapply as required. On things like honey dippers just use MO and tell them where to buy their own. Avoid baby oil or industrial minearl oils!.

Binzen’s said in his article he likes and agrees with mixture of MO & Bees wax lot better!

When first started turning guru’s at the time cited CFR’ for reason for using any film finish you wanted. In Binzen’s article cannot get officals from government nor industry to tell which ones are or are not!

-- Bill

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OSU55

2740 posts in 3002 days


#15 posted 12-13-2020 01:18 PM



One last question here: What, exactly, do I go buy that is a good, ready-to-use wiping varnish, or should I make my own? Recipe? If it is food safe when dry, non-to-mildly-hazardous and easy to apply, and easy for non-woodworkers to fix or maintain, then I will give it a shot. Too many constraints? Then I ll just stick with tung oil for the folks that get a bowl from me; there are not many.

- jklingel

If utensils will be used, a soft finish like Mahoneys or Dr’s woodshop walnut oil or one of the no voc oil/wax finishes like Tried and true. If no utensils will touch the surface, Minwax poly thinned 1:1 with ms. Read the blog posted about application – depends on the look you want.

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