Reply by hObOmOnk

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Posted on "Tung Oil Finish" Maintenance

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1381 posts in 4330 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 02:30 PM


I may be the only LumberJock with a Analytical Gas Chromatograph, but no table saw.
You would be surprised what is NOT in wood finishing products sold in the USA.
Our product labeling laws are confusing, deceptive and insulting.
Arm yourself with knowledge. It’s buyer beware.

“Polyurethane” is another labeling term that doesn’t tell the real contents of a product.
Generally, the term “Polyurethane” means that some actual polyurethane resin was used in the manufacture of the product but the amount and the proportions to other ingredients is not revealed. The cheaper brands of poly are high diluted with other (cheap) resins and drying oils (cheap). This is where brand names become important. Products from Waterlox, Epiphanes, General Finishes, Zar and others are gourmet quality compared to the fast food blandness of the MinWhacks of the world.

IMNSHO, in most cases tung oil is a better ingredient than a stand alone finishing product Varnishes made by cooking together tung oil with phenolic resins makes one helluva spar varnish (long oil) and a hardwood flooring varnish (medium oil) that is museum quality. It really boils down to using good finishing products with good ingredients and good techniques.

The marriage of pure tung oil and walnut produces a hand-rubbed finish like no other. I refinish walnut gun stocks with Polymerized Tung Oil (PTO) and they are beautiful and easy to repair. I’ve got some PTO finished crotch walnut table tops, plaques, frames and art objects that are spectacular. I love crotch walnut and tung oil, esp. PTO. While tung oil looks okay on pine, its not the best finishing choice for that wood, IMNSHO.

Another factor is the design and intended use of the wood project. If I’m making a Nakashima-style coffee table out of highly figured crotch walnut, then a hand-rubbed PTO finish is in order. If I’m making a coffee table that will be exposed to grandkids and beer-swilling in-laws, then polyurethane it must be. :)

D.R. Goodwood…

-- 温故知新

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