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Forum topic by jhager posted 01-01-2012 09:39 PM 929 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3085 days

01-01-2012 09:39 PM

Greetings, Lumberjocks!

I’m a newbie to the woodworking world, slowly working my way through projects and trying to absorb all the knowledge I can (and put it to use!).

I have recently completed one of my first “major” projects (i.e., beyond making my first cutting board, simple joinery test projects, etc.). It is a low bench for my wife. I am pretty happy with the outcome, all things considered, and now just need to get it actually finished, so that it looks the way she wants it to. I have sanded it down and stained it, and have applied 2-3 coats of Tung Oil to it. I want to get the bench to a decent gloss, and have noticed that when I buff it with 0000 steel wool, it dulls down a bit. I understand that the next step would be to apply a wax or polyurethane coating to get the finish I want.

So….I turn to those in the know to set the record straight. After my last coat of Tung Oil dries, I plan on buffing with the 0000 steel wool, and then applying a wax coat to the piece. Is this correct, and if so, what would you recommend as far as the best product to go over Tung Oil (Formby’s)?

Also, if I’m way off base, here….please tell me. As I said, I’m pretty new to woodworking, and am muddling my way through all the various articles, suggestions, and so on that are out there. I’d rather just know what actually works, even if what I’ve been doing has been wrong. ;)

Thanks in advance!

-- Woodworking newbie, artisan in training.....

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2840 days

#1 posted 01-01-2012 09:52 PM

Oil and wax is a very traditional finish that does look good. However it is not as durable as a film-forming finish such as lacquer or polyurethane. For this project I would wax it (see my review of Howard’s Walnut Wax).

I use oil based stain and sprayed lacquer on all of my projects. With gravity feed HVLP spray guns available from woodcraft for $30, it is easy for anyone to start spraying.

Good luck!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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5 posts in 3085 days

#2 posted 01-02-2012 12:05 AM

Thanks for the response and advice. I will take a look for the Howard’s wax next time I am out and about. I read the review as well as a couple of others, and it sounds like that will do the trick. I’ll also be adding that to my list of tips and tricks, and let you know how it turns out!

-- Woodworking newbie, artisan in training.....

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2594 days

#3 posted 01-02-2012 12:16 AM

Try using the 0000 steel wool to apply the wax or the last coat of tung oil.

I will use either oil …... BLO or tung oil as a finish or I sometimes use poly. They give a different finish, so it depends on the look your going for. Either will work, and the only way to really know is to see it applied.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Daver725's profile


13 posts in 2363 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 03:56 AM

I have had good luck with tung oil and boling ally wax, or sometimes called butchers paste. You can always put a fresh coat of wax on in once in a while when it needs it. I’ve used it on a table and it’s held up great to the kids for 5 years now.

-- Insanity, doing the same same thing over and expecting different results.

View jhager's profile


5 posts in 3085 days

#5 posted 01-16-2012 04:57 AM

Thanks to all for the advice! I wound up using 0000 steel wool after my last round of tung oil to smooth things out, and then applied Howard’s wax as the final coat. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I think my wife was, too…..since she asked me to make a companion bench to the one I just finished!

It’s on my “New Year’s Resolution List” to do at least two more projects this year (seeing as how that bench took me quite a while to actually complete!), so it looks like I’ve found project #1!

Thanks again to everyone for the tips—more things for my skills toolbox!

-- Woodworking newbie, artisan in training.....

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