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Danish oil + poly dry time

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Forum topic by Frankfort posted 04-19-2021 02:27 AM 363 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Frankfort

32 posts in 45 days


04-19-2021 02:27 AM

ok so I got my hickory shelves cut out which means I’m able to start my testing.

Pretty much decided on the danish oil, it’s just a question of whether or not I’m going to use a top coat.

I’m told to wait 72 hours to be sure the oil is dry. What happens if you don’t wait long enough?

I’m asking because this is only a test piece and it’s very dry in my basement.

But if its gonna look all jacked up then that sorta defeats the purpose.

The 2 in the pic are both Danish. The other one is tung. I never thought I’d stray from the tung but I give the danish a slight edge on this wood:


20 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7678 posts in 1655 days


#1 posted 04-19-2021 04:27 AM

Watco Danish oil spec sheet.

Lee Valley pure tung oil spec sheet.

If you used another brand of Tung, or Danish oil, it would benefit you to find the spec sheet for it, and follow directions. Both “Danish oil” and “Tung oil” have different “makers” results, and everything else associated with them can vary depending on source.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1755 posts in 1260 days


#2 posted 04-19-2021 10:04 AM

If you are referring to the watco brand danish oil, I’d suggest switching to something else. It’s not a good product. Takes forever to dry.

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Frankfort

32 posts in 45 days


#3 posted 04-19-2021 01:22 PM


Watco Danish oil spec sheet.

Lee Valley pure tung oil spec sheet.

If you used another brand of Tung, or Danish oil, it would benefit you to find the spec sheet for it, and follow directions. Both “Danish oil” and “Tung oil” have different “makers” results, and everything else associated with them can vary depending on source.

- therealSteveN

Thanks!

Any idea what happens if you don’t wait the full 72 hours? What sort of problems would you run into?

I mean these are just test pieces, I wouldn’t be thinking of cutting corners on the shelves themselves.


If you are referring to the watco brand danish oil, I’d suggest switching to something else. It’s not a good product. Takes forever to dry.

- CWWoodworking

Yes, it is watco. How come it isn’t good?

I sure like how it looks so far.

The tung is Rockler.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

482 posts in 678 days


#4 posted 04-19-2021 01:54 PM

If you don’t wait long enough, depending on the top coat, it can get cloudy, or delaminate, or turn gummy after. a few months or a few years. Or, nothing could happen and it could cure perfectly.

For a test piece, it’s tough. For a new process not only should you be looking at visual results, but also seeing how the things you’re using work together and how to apply them, etc.

I did a test piece myself over the weekend. I have some thin epoxy and wanted to see if I could put grain filler and shellac under it. I followed the directions and treated it just like I would the finished piece. I let things dry/cure the length of time that was recommended, etc. But, I really was trying to test a new (to me) process…. I needed to know how the epoxy would adhere to the shellac and grain filler (it adhered quite well, for the record). I’ll probably leave ti for a week and see how it behaves before attempting my final piece.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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CanofWorms2

15 posts in 1443 days


#5 posted 04-19-2021 03:54 PM

I’ve done this before on a Walnut cabinet.
I let it dry three days and then I put on three coats of wipe on satin poly (which is probably thinner than one coat of brush on). It looks great and has held up well.
That being said… you can add a few drops of Japan Dryer to anything oil based. (I’m not sure if it actually speeds up the danish oil, but in my mind it did)
I would run a fan over it for at least two days before applying the poly.
But that just me.

As far as Watco, I’ve never had a problem with it. The first coat almost always wipes on and just get sucked in. The second coat I wipe on and wipe off after about 20 minutes.
As far as Big box polyurethane.
I avoid varathane (home cheapo) like the plague and go with minwax (Low’s).

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4449 posts in 3429 days


#6 posted 04-19-2021 04:09 PM

Watco has worked for me as long as I give it time (72 hours) to dry and make sure the surface is wiped dry after applying the Watco and any shiny spots are also wiped dry while it is drying. My go-to finish is Arm-R-Seal on top of Watco. It looks great and it is very durable. I’ve used it for years (10+).

IMO – whatever approach you take on finishing, take a little extra time to make sure things are dry before moving to the next coat. It saves time in the long run. If you get impatient, you will likely wind up having a sticky finish that won’t dry and you will have to start over including sanding everything down to raw wood again.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View SMP's profile

SMP

3975 posts in 987 days


#7 posted 04-19-2021 04:17 PM

Are you asking what happens if you don’t wait 72 hours before top coating? If so, the main concern is that the solvent in the top coat will melt, etch, etc into the other finish and then when you brush/wipe it you can cause streaks or lines etc.

If you mean waiting before putting into service then the main concern is dents, dings, scratches or things sticking to the finish that you set down on.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5122 posts in 2304 days


#8 posted 04-19-2021 04:28 PM

I have used Watco for many years and have had no issues.
However, use a fresh can. Stuff that has been sitting half full on a shelf for several years can be “iffy”.

I’ll apply a wet coat, let sit for 15-30 minutes then wipe “dry” with paper towels. A second coat is applied in the same fashion.
I’ll rewipe after several hours and continue to periodically check for wet areas or “seepage” as the oil seeps from wood pores (red oak is enough of a pain with this that I avoid it). I’ve had no problems with hickory.

BTW, that is some nice dark hickory you have!

My work area is very dry, usually in the 15-20% range.

I find that if the shop temps stay in the 70’s, three days is fine, otherwise I’ll leave it for a week (especially since I usually only work on weekends).

Before top coating, I’ll inspect for any wet/shiny spots (usually wood pores) and remove these with some 0000 steel wool.

Top coat as usual at that point.

View metolius's profile

metolius

391 posts in 1812 days


#9 posted 04-19-2021 04:45 PM

I haven’t had issues with watco+poly without negligence. A persistent gumminess from not fully drying watco is the risk.

+1 on brushing it up with 0000 steel wool before poly. To help the wool get what my eyes miss, I might add a little bit of of mineral spirits to it. Don’t let anything be shiny from watco before next step.

-- derek / oregon

View Frankfort's profile

Frankfort

32 posts in 45 days


#10 posted 04-19-2021 07:51 PM


If you don t wait long enough, depending on the top coat, it can get cloudy, or delaminate, or turn gummy after. a few months or a few years. Or, nothing could happen and it could cure perfectly.

For a test piece, it s tough. For a new process not only should you be looking at visual results, but also seeing how the things you re using work together and how to apply them, etc.

I did a test piece myself over the weekend. I have some thin epoxy and wanted to see if I could put grain filler and shellac under it.

- Axis39

I gotcha. Yea, I have 2 test pieces so I’ll do one now and one properly. I definitely won’t cut corners like that on the actual project.

And yea, there was another guy on here who said shellac makes a good primer for about any finish.


I ve done this before on a Walnut cabinet.
I let it dry three days and then I put on three coats of wipe on satin poly (which is probably thinner than one coat of brush on). It looks great and has held up well.
That being said… you can add a few drops of Japan Dryer to anything oil based. (I m not sure if it actually speeds up the danish oil, but in my mind it did)
I would run a fan over it for at least two days before applying the poly.
But that just me.

I avoid varathane (home cheapo) like the plague and go with minwax (Low s).

- CanofWorms2

Yea, its sooooo dry in Ohio right now I haven’t needed to air anything out.

Gotcha. Yea, I’ve been using minwax products often, although I did mix pure tung with the minwax tung to give it more of a Formby’s tung texture (they took Formby’s off the shelf here and the minwax brand is like water).


Watco has worked for me as long as I give it time (72 hours) to dry and make sure the surface is wiped dry after applying the Watco and any shiny spots are also wiped dry while it is drying. My go-to finish is Arm-R-Seal on top of Watco. It looks great and it is very durable. I ve used it for years (10+).

IMO – whatever approach you take on finishing, take a little extra time to make sure things are dry before moving to the next coat. It saves time in the long run. If you get impatient, you will likely wind up having a sticky finish that won t dry and you will have to start over including sanding everything down to raw wood again.

- EarlS

I’m going to have to order Arm-r-seal, can’t find it anywhere here.


Are you asking what happens if you don’t wait 72 hours before top coating? If so, the main concern is that the solvent in the top coat will melt, etch, etc into the other finish and then when you brush/wipe it you can cause streaks or lines etc.

If you mean waiting before putting into service then the main concern is dents, dings, scratches or things sticking to the finish that you set down on.

- SMP

Gotcha, thx. Yea, just curious if it caused short term cosmetic problems or long term functionality problems.

BTW, that is some nice dark hickory you have!

My work area is very dry, usually in the 15-20% range.

I find that if the shop temps stay in the 70 s, three days is fine, otherwise I ll leave it for a week (especially since I usually only work on weekends).

- splintergroup

Thanks! I picked those pieces because they were heartwood with sapwood, I thought it looked cool.

That sounds good (my “shop” is in the 20s range and warm too). So I’m confident that’ll at least bring me to by-the-books dry times, if not speed things up.


I haven t had issues with watco+poly without negligence. A persistent gumminess from not fully drying watco is the risk.

+1 on brushing it up with 0000 steel wool before poly. To help the wool get what my eyes miss, I might add a little bit of of mineral spirits to it. Don t let anything be shiny from watco before next step.

- metolius

Thanks. Yea it seems to be a tough product to mess up. Curious what issues the other poster had with it. It seems very beginner friendly and looks really nice on my test pieces.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4449 posts in 3429 days


#11 posted 04-19-2021 10:51 PM

Rockler sells Arm-R-Seal.

Minwax polyurethane is decent, but I’ve never had any luck with varathane, which is what the local HD sells these days. Arm-R-Seal is worth the extra cost.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1755 posts in 1260 days


#12 posted 04-20-2021 01:28 AM

My dislike for the product is the dry time. It’s too long for no reason.

Some products have long dry times for specific reasons. That is not the case with watco. It’s just formulated poorly.

For a wipe on finish, arm a seal is good, minwax wipe on poly is decent.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6990 posts in 2469 days


#13 posted 04-20-2021 02:02 AM

I assume that you are using an oil based poly and not water based? If applying a WB top coat, 72 hours is probably not enough. Also, if you are using the natural Watco Danish oil and not one of their stained Danish Oils, IMO you can save a step. An oil based poly will give you a similar look without the long cure time. Also, Watco DO has varnish in it which is not needed if you are going to be topping it with poly anyway.

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

View Frankfort's profile

Frankfort

32 posts in 45 days


#14 posted 04-20-2021 04:51 AM



Rockler sells Arm-R-Seal.

Minwax polyurethane is decent, but I ve never had any luck with varathane, which is what the local HD sells these days. Arm-R-Seal is worth the extra cost.

- EarlS

What’s varathane, is that another name for the polyurethane?

The clear satin poly and various oils are about the only finishes rookie-friendly enough for me.


My dislike for the product is the dry time. It’s too long for no reason.

Some products have long dry times for specific reasons. That is not the case with watco. It’s just formulated poorly.

For a wipe on finish, arm a seal is good, minwax wipe on poly is decent.

- CWWoodworking

I see. Yea I do see what you’re saying on the dry time. My first test piece below, the middle one in that picture, I added the poly top coat after about 14 hours and I could see swirls where I wiped it on. I was able to get it out with coats 2 & 3.

For the next test piece, the one on the right, I’ll wait the recommended 72 hours. For the project itself I’ll probably wait a week to be safe.

I do like the look of it though. The only one that had me a little undecided was the linseed oil (left), which I thought looked good too.

What do you think?


I assume that you are using an oil based poly and not water based? If applying a WB top coat, 72 hours is probably not enough. Also, if you are using the natural Watco Danish oil and not one of their stained Danish Oils, IMO you can save a step. An oil based poly will give you a similar look without the long cure time. Also, Watco DO has varnish in it which is not needed if you are going to be topping it with poly anyway.

- Lazyman

Yea, oil based wipe on poly, minwax clear satin. And yes, natural Watco.

What do you mean “save a step”? You mean mix the 2 and apply so the oil dries faster?

View Frankfort's profile

Frankfort

32 posts in 45 days


#15 posted 04-20-2021 04:58 AM

These are all of them, hopefully this makes sense based on your view because the picture got rotated when I posted it so:

Top left a botched piece
Top right is danish oil only
Mid left is untouched hickory
Mid right is danish with 3 coats of poly.
Bot left is tung mixed with minwax tung
Bot right is linseed

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

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