Vacuum impregnating oil finishes?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Biltsharp posted 01-08-2014 04:56 PM 776 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Biltsharp's profile


1 post in 1019 days

01-08-2014 04:56 PM


First post here, I usually find an answer to my question on here already so ive yet to need to post something new.

Heres a question though; Has anyone ever tried to compress oil or other finish into wood with a vacuum chamber? I have done this with acrylic resin in stabilizing knife handles but it got me thinking about other finishing applications.

I understand that the idea is to allow what soaks in to the wood dry and then step and repeat to get that deep luster for an oil finish. I wonder how well it would work if you just saturated the wood and allowed for longer dry time.

Any input?

2 replies so far

View BArnold's profile


175 posts in 1250 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:04 PM

I’ve been waiting to see a response from someone who might have done something like you describe. Since there has been no response yet, I’ll offer my thoughts.

First, let me say that I’ve done quite a bit of work with my vacuum press, ranging from flat veneered panels to bentwood lamination. I had never considered how the system might work with any type of finish, however.

I have done quite a lot of finishing using BLO or a BLO/Naphtha blend as the initial product. In all cases on any type of wood, the oil soaks into the wood, then some gets released back to the surface. As the oil seeps to the surface, I wipe it off and continue to do so, as needed, until there is no more seepage. I can see where the use of a vacuum bag or chamber might cause the wood to hold more of the oil. My concern would be what happens when one begins to apply top coats to the piece. Will the areas that would normally seep oil back to the surface cause an issue?

Another concern with the use of a vacuum in this application would be making a total mess if one allows the item to remain in the vacuum bag until the oil cures, which could take several days. I envision a wood surface that looks quite splotchy with different densities of oil across it.

My take on this is to use a vacuum system for pressing veneer or making bentwood. Do the finishing through the normal process.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View Paul's profile


439 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 02:20 PM

Sounds like an idea that is worth a try. the vacuum sucks the air out of the voids in the wood, the air is replaced by the oil as the vacuum is released (actually as the pressure is increased). I don’t think you would need to let the finish ‘cure’ while under vacuum.
Let us know how it works out for you.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics