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Finishing soft maple with tung oil or...

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Forum topic by ohirony posted 03-29-2016 02:58 PM 469 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ohirony

5 posts in 252 days


03-29-2016 02:58 PM

SO i am wrapping up a build of ten soft maple tables for a friends restaurant. Id like to use a quality finish for the best results. With all the research ive done ive come to realize soft maple is best done in a natural finish which i am ok with. Ive also come to realize a polymerized tung oil system would produce great results.
Here is my question, with the cost of a quality tung oil system can be on the high end, do i need to finish both sides (top and bottom) of the tables with said tung oil. Or can i use a cheaper sealer for the bottom of the tables.
Also if anyone has input on tung oil or any alternatives specific to a soft maple finish please feel free to add any other options.


10 replies so far

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cdaniels

1311 posts in 964 days


#1 posted 03-29-2016 03:32 PM

I use tung oil on my woodturning but when it comes to soft maple you really need to put a topcoat on for durability. tung oil is hard to beat when it comes to protecting the wood because it adheres to the wood fibers and sinks in the wood but I would get some General Finishes ArmRSeal and do a few coats on the top once the tung oil dries. IN MY OPINION it is the best topcoat to use. Also you should coat all sides in tung oil, you wouldn’t want moisture or anything ruining the work you did on the table because the bottom got messed up right?

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

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ohirony

5 posts in 252 days


#2 posted 03-29-2016 03:36 PM

ive been looking at the Sutherland Welles Murdoch’s Uralkyd coupled with their Murdochs hard sealer…but what im asking is, cant i use a cheaper polyurethane for the bottom instead of having to use twice as much tung oil system?

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OSU55

1056 posts in 1452 days


#3 posted 03-29-2016 04:43 PM

Yes you could use poly to seal the bottom. I encourage you to read this http://http://lumberjocks.com/OSU55/blog and the article links in it.

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 677 days


#4 posted 03-29-2016 05:02 PM

Being that these are going into the hellscape that is the restaurant industry I would prize durability over everything else. To answer your question more clearly, I have always held onto the tenet that whatever you do to one side, you should do to the other when it comes to finishing. Not sure how much of this is legend and how much is real, but I’ve read several times that mismatching your sealant, or failing to seal one half, allows uneven moisture distribution and leads to cupping. That might all be hokum, but I tend to believe it and deploy it every time I finish anything.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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ohirony

5 posts in 252 days


#5 posted 03-29-2016 05:04 PM

so in that can could you recomend a quality cheaper finishing system

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1452 days


#6 posted 03-29-2016 07:31 PM

Do you have a spray system? There are some very good WB finishes for table top app, but need to be sprayed for larger surfaces – they can be brushed but more work to level out. For wipe or brush, OB poly.

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ohirony

5 posts in 252 days


#7 posted 03-29-2016 07:33 PM

no spray system…i am considering a “minwax tung oil finish” topped with General Finish’s Arm-R-Seal..any thoughts here?

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ohirony

5 posts in 252 days


#8 posted 03-29-2016 07:36 PM

id like to give the wood a nice amber color and then have a nice protective coat..suggestions?

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Aj2

690 posts in 1261 days


#9 posted 03-29-2016 07:41 PM

Be sure to test out your finish on some scraps most oils on Maple will turn it yellow.
I don’t particularly like the look.
Tables for restaurants really need a high solids finish.Or they will not withstand the cleaning.They will get sticky.
Conversion varnish is what you should be looking at.They will need to be sprayed.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1452 days


#10 posted 03-29-2016 07:42 PM

Read the blog I linked to above – it covers using oil based dyes mixed into a varnish, like Arm-R-Seal, to get most any color you want. Also discusses using the dye portion of OB stains to do the same.

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