Reply by Cosmicsniper

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Posted on What is Danish Oil

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2202 posts in 3122 days

#1 posted 10-18-2012 03:02 AM

There’s a lot of mystery to Danish oil, but it is chiefly tung or linseed oil that has been polymerized for faster drying. Many Danish oils also include varnish resins to allow it to build up a thin film coat, but that varies with the product and, IME, doesn’t really happen in practice. It’s perhaps just a part of the polymerization..

Many people will opt for their own mixtures of oil/varnish blends, combining BLO or tung oil with something like a polyurethane varnish and a solvent like mineral spirits or turpentine. The ratios of the mixes vary from kettle to kettle, but Krenov was known for liking an even 1:1:1 mix of the three parts. Regardless, doing it yourself will build a better film finish than any of the danish oil products.

That said, I like Danish oil. It’s fast drying and does the job of any typical oil…I just don’t look for it to build up any type of finish.

BTW, some Danish oil brands like the Watco advertise the “varnish” nature of the product. Others like Tried and True make no mention of hardening outside the polymerization of the oil itself. But most feel the spirit of the Danish oil is as described above…an oil/varnish blend.

-- jay,

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