Have you used Tried and True Varnish Oil? (that's a brand name)

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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 01-02-2013 04:57 PM 3455 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2845 days

01-02-2013 04:57 PM

I was leafing through some old FWW and found a piece by Chris Becksvoort in which he says he has gone to this exclusively and he explains why. (#152, p. 74)

I had not heard of it. It’s sold by Rockler and Woodcraft and others.

I have just completed a project and I used wiping varnish comprised of Sherwin Wms’ Satin polyurethane (NOT fast drying) and mineral spirits and I’m very pleased with the results. I think the cooler weather (never over 33o F. during the day) really helped slow the cure so it flattened really well. I varied the recipe by intuition, depending on where it was in the sequence.

Still, I’m curious about Tried and True.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

7 replies so far

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2920 days

#1 posted 01-02-2013 05:26 PM

I have used the Tried and True brand of oils and finishes for some years now. Lee Valley is the supplier in our area.

I recently noticed that Marc (of Wood Whisperer fame) used the Varnish Oil to seal his newly built Roubo workbench.

Lee, I would recommend them, I have had great success with their products.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2792 days

#2 posted 01-02-2013 11:25 PM

When we did a complete re-build of our house in Canada in 2004 / 5, I built this kitchen island. The top is walnut with Tried & True varnish oil. We used it because it is a food grade (no toxins) finish and we use the top for food preparation. My wife loves it. The finish gets deeper and glows a little more with each annual re-coat. The downside is that after the re-coat it takes about three days to a week to fully dry. The upside is that all the year’s marks and scratches go away.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2845 days

#3 posted 01-03-2013 12:00 AM

Thank you, Paul and Randy. On your mutual recommendation, I ordered a can o’ the stuff today.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 12:13 AM

i used some on a table

the only problem i found
was that the rosewood
(first time i ever used it)
kept spiting the tried and true
back out for months

but i suspect all oily wood will do this
still have the can
just haven’t used it again yet

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3888 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 03:07 AM

Don Kondra has a recipe I really like……….tried it, loved it.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2492 days

#6 posted 01-11-2013 05:12 PM

Unless a project is intricate, needs a bulletproof coating or unless I’m feeling really lazy, T+T with varnish is the only finish I use anymore.
It gives me warmth, lustre and a reasonable build with 4-6 very thin coats. I have little trouble with drying time in a warm environment and I put my container on top of an electric coffee cup warming pad to keep it hot, thin and ready to work.
Thin is key for sure. Also, ring porous woods will give bleed-back unless first sealed with wiping varnish or shellac so I always take that step.
What’s not to like? So easily renewable, sweet smelling and drinkable if you run out of beer. It never looks or feels plastic’y.
Best examples on my posted work would include a chest of drawers, my 33 cabinet, and my coffee table.
Becksvoort was my inspiration for the switch and I would encourage others to read his piece.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View DouginVa's profile


490 posts in 2267 days

#7 posted 01-11-2013 05:43 PM

I used it on some small products. While I liked the end result, it seemed to take forever to cure. The instructions emphasize applying very thin coats, which is what I thought what I was doing. I dunno, maybe it was the humidity in our area (Washington, D.C. area) that contributed to the time it took to cure.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

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