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"Tung oil" finish. When to quit.

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Forum topic by SuburbanDon posted 07-21-2012 05:44 PM 7596 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SuburbanDon

486 posts in 1691 days


07-21-2012 05:44 PM

Hi,

I’ve been applying Formby’s ‘Tung Oil’ finish to unstained cherry. Sanding with very fine paper between coats. Following Bob Flexners advice. Most of it looks pretty good and shiny but parts don’t. Any ideas on how to proceed or should I just get while the gettin’ is good ?

Thanks, Don

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---


11 replies so far

View Alster's profile

Alster

90 posts in 1911 days


#1 posted 07-21-2012 05:55 PM

Keep going until it is all uniform. I used (which is really wiping varnish and not Tung oil) on a cherry table, and it took many coats until I reached the point where the finish was even. I think it is just so thin that it soaks into the wood very readily. Don’t give up!

View DeputyDawg's profile

DeputyDawg

187 posts in 2662 days


#2 posted 07-21-2012 06:36 PM

Years ago I refinished a gun stock and it took 22 coats sanding with 0000 steel wool. It turned out beautiful and the depth of the finish was remarkable. Thought I was going to go nuts but it was worth it

-- DeputyDawg

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SuburbanDon

486 posts in 1691 days


#3 posted 07-21-2012 06:48 PM

Ok thanks. I will hang in there. The finish is not that important for this project but I’m trying to step up my finishing skills.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11665 posts in 2385 days


#4 posted 07-21-2012 06:52 PM

Was Bob using real Tung Oil , or Formby’s ?
Does their label say to sand between each application ?
Are you sanding because of dust nibs , etc. in the finish ?
Formby’s is 70% Mineral Spirits and the balance is modified soya and tung oil with Alkyd Resin.
Not much room in there for Tung Oil. It’s actually known as a wiping varnish and will take many , many coats to build up evenly.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3507 posts in 2657 days


#5 posted 07-21-2012 07:19 PM

Formby’s is a tung oil varnish. Great finish, but needs lots of coats to really look good. Keep workin’ on it. You’ll be pleased. I used it on a walking stick. Took about 2 months of multiple coats ( maybe 10), but the results were very good.
By the way, I had lots of time.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View SuburbanDon's profile

SuburbanDon

486 posts in 1691 days


#6 posted 07-21-2012 07:51 PM

Their label says to use 0000 steel wool after each application. I tried that but somehow prefer to sand to 400 grit.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11665 posts in 2385 days


#7 posted 07-22-2012 02:23 AM

The 4 ought steel wool just scratches the surface enough to make the next coating adhere better, whereas the 400 grit is actually removing the last coating, making more coatings necessary to build up the sheen, and more work for you in the end : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2097 posts in 885 days


#8 posted 07-23-2012 09:18 PM

I would base the number of coats on how good it looks and how heavily it will be used. More coats for heavy use items obviously.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 961 days


#9 posted 07-23-2012 09:32 PM

Depending on the quality of the sandpaper and steel wool being compared, 0000 is equivalent to 600-800 grit sandpaper (some say even as high as 2000 grit).

They don’t “cut” in the same fashion though and the results will vary because of this. I’d say if you must keep using sandpaper, to at least step up to 600 grit.

And yes, sometimes it does take a lot of coats to get an even looking finish.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11282 posts in 1387 days


#10 posted 07-24-2012 01:47 AM

Don, I don’t know how similar MinWax Tung Oil Finish is to what you are using, but I have great success applying Tung Oil Finish with a cotton cloth and then continuing to rub until it is dry to the touch.Repeat once a day for 3 applications. I have not done any sanding or steel wooling with this method and get a very nice end result. I apply Renissance Wax with a white Scotch pad after the finish is cured to give it that silky/ touchable feel. I’ve posted several projects finished this way you can look at.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View SuburbanDon's profile

SuburbanDon

486 posts in 1691 days


#11 posted 07-24-2012 01:04 PM

Thanks for all of the advice. Since I’m out of work, I’m going to do some practicing on scrap instead of a project. Most of this project looks very good and I’m going to stop because it will mostly be hidden (it is a stand for a round shadow box). I’ll post a picture soon.

Thanks again.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

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