Interesting find: compressed gas dusters work well as bloxygen replacement

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Forum topic by bobasaurus posted 09-25-2013 09:53 PM 4035 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bobasaurus's profile


3449 posts in 3182 days

09-25-2013 09:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bloxygen finish preserver preserving duster gas duster air duster

I’ve been using bloxygen to preserve my finishes for some time, especially Waterlox which badly crusts unless you bloxygen it or squeeze out all air. When my can ran out, I researched it and found a few mentions of using compressed gas duster cans as a replacement. So I bought some cans of Dust-Off from Amazon and tried using them. For about a month now I’ve been spraying the Dust-Off into my finishes instead of bloxygen, and even the Waterlox stays perfectly liquid and usable. Doing some research, I compared the normalized vapor density of gasses involved:

Normal Air: 1 [normalized scale]
Argon Gas (bloxygen): 1.38
Tetrafluoroethane (gas duster): 3.18

So the gas duster’s spray is much denser/heavier than even the bloxygen, making it really effective at displacing all oxygen in a finish can. I’ve heard that argon is less reactive than other substances, but after trying the gas duster in waterlox, wipe-on poly, danish oil, and spar urethane, I can report that it works perfectly with no skinning or change in quality of the finish. So for oil finishes, the gas duster is a perfect bloxygen replacement. I can get the gas duster cans for $5-$6 each online, as opposed to $13 for the bloxygen, and they seem to last much longer (maybe several times longer). I also use them for removing dust before finishing, so win-win.

I have not tried this with any water-based, lacquer-based, or alcohol-based finishes… I’d be curious to hear other people’s experiences and results.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

5 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1954 days

#1 posted 09-25-2013 09:56 PM

That’s a great tip Allen! I can go months between using finishes so this will come in really handy.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3328 days

#2 posted 09-25-2013 11:04 PM

I like the Waterlox finish and buy it in the quart size. About two thirds of the way through the quart I have to start breaking through the gum to get to the expensive stuff beneath. This last time….. I bought a couple of empty pint sized paint cans and poured the Waterlox into those. Snapped on the top and I keep them upside down…. that way… whatever skimming takes place, takes place on the bottom. When I am ready to use it I just flip it upright and it is pure and clear.

As for the ‘duster’ air. I have one of those inflatable sanding drums from Guinevere and instead of buying their pump (which I have read that it is not so great) I use the air ‘straw’ and give a short burst into the opening and good to go.

Also.. since I don’t have a shop vac…. (or shop) I use the canned air to clean out the dust from my bandsaw. I know that isn’t exactly what your post is about …. but I figured I would toss it in there.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View bobasaurus's profile


3449 posts in 3182 days

#3 posted 09-25-2013 11:11 PM

Spoon, that’s a neat trick with the upside-down jars. The gas duster is cheap enough that I’ll keep using it, though. I make folding knives sometimes and it’s useful to blow out the abrasive dust before opening/closing the blade… all kinds of uses.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Randy_ATX's profile


878 posts in 2440 days

#4 posted 09-25-2013 11:15 PM

Thanks for the tip.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View BloxygenBoy's profile


9 posts in 3514 days

#5 posted 11-01-2013 02:21 PM

We’ve completely updated our website and commented on some of these alternate methods. We also included a link to which explains how reactive that chemical is. We cannot recommend Difluoroethane, Propane, CO2, or other gases. Nitrogen and Argon are both good and Argon is 25% heavier than air. Thanks and be careful.

-- Use Bloxygen's gas to preserve finish leftovers in their original containers.

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