Danish oil recipe?

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Forum topic by Kaleb the Swede posted 01-13-2014 06:02 PM 7653 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kaleb the Swede

1833 posts in 1969 days

01-13-2014 06:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question finishing

I love Danish oil. The simplicity of it and how it makes the wood look is for me, the perfect finish. I have used deftoil and watco, but deftoil being my favorite. The only way to get these for me is to order them online for 20 dollars a quart.

I have looked online and found a varying degree of recipes but they are always from nameless people I don’t know. I mean I know all of you 80000 lumberjocks, we are practically neighbors now. I was wondering if anyone has made a reliable danish oil recipe, or am I just peeing up a rope?

I know that many of you have great ideas on finishes but I am looking for specifically danish oil recipe.

Thanks in advance,

The Swede

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

14 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2306 posts in 2134 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 06:23 PM

I prefer to make my own wiping varnish these days and stopped making my own oil varnish.

Oil varnish nothing more than one part resin (varnish or poly) one part solvent (mineral spirits, naphtha) and one part BLO or favorite drying oil (Tung, linseed, or walnut).

I use a one quart kitchen measuring cup and ounce scale to get proportions right. I stir not shake as add ingredients, once mixed just pour into a jar with cap.

Paint stores sell disposalable mixing cups for not much money.

-- Bill

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1833 posts in 1969 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 06:26 PM

So its just one for one kind of thing? That simple? Wow. I’ll have to give it a go

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2493 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 06:41 PM

Yep, one third each of varnish/MS/BLO gives you what you want.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1833 posts in 1969 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 07:09 PM

Thanks guys, Ill try it later today

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2606 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 07:36 PM

I am currently reading Thos Moser Artistry in Wood and he talks about how all they use is BLO heated to 130 degrees to help penetrate. coat with this a total of 3 times and then coat with bowling alley wax. This is on my list of finishes to try once my shop warms up

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4931 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 01-13-2014 07:42 PM

Woodendeavor, ya wouldn’t (woodn’t) see me heating BLO. My luck would have me burning the shop/house.
Now about the bowling alley wax…...What is it and where can ya get it?


View ScaleShipWright's profile


253 posts in 1885 days

#7 posted 01-13-2014 08:29 PM

I have read somewhere that Danish oil can be anything containing oil, varnish/resin and solvent; any brand has its own recipe, that can include a mix of different oils.

-- God exists... But relax, He's not you!

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2606 days

#8 posted 01-13-2014 09:14 PM

Bill White, I have not done the research on the wax yet. I picked up the book at my local library and am about half way through it now. If you can find it at your local library it is a very interesting read.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1833 posts in 1969 days

#9 posted 01-14-2014 12:30 AM

Thanks again guys. Did a test with some poly, mineral spirits, and boiled linseed oil. Looks pretty good right now, See what happens later, thanks again.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2487 days

#10 posted 01-14-2014 12:46 AM

To get Danish oil don’t you need to render out some Danes?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 2692 days

#11 posted 01-14-2014 01:05 AM

Butchers Bowling Alley Wax used to be my favorite but it’s not made any more. I heard some of the former employees have the recipe and are selling it though.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#12 posted 01-14-2014 01:13 AM

Bill White—I think you are looking for Staples 211 Carnauba Paste Wax

I buy it from Carl Jacobson ( )

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kelly's profile


2030 posts in 2944 days

#13 posted 01-14-2014 01:28 AM

Generally, if it will mix, it’s fair game.

As you’ve now figured out, most of what you are paying for in, your wiping finish, is thinner. As such, you can make a lot of wiping finish for the same money you pay for a quart.

When making your own, think about picking up some turpentine too. It’s characteristics can, in some instances, become part of your final product, rather than just gassing off completely.

Do a little research and have some fun. There’s a lot to learn, but picking up a little here and a little there, you’ll start taking a lot for granted. For example, when you buy things like “tung oil finish,” you are likely getting a boiled linseed oil finish and it’s just another wiping finish. To get tung oil, you have to buy stuff that says “pure” or “100%.”

Then there is the matter of “teak oil finish. How many teak trees do you suppose have to be squeezed to get an inexpensive bottle of the stuff? Of course, teak oil isn’t from squished teak trees. It’s just another wiping finish made using thinner, resin and polymerized flax (linseed) oil.

Others indicated your homemade mix is a one to one ratio. That’s true for this purpose, but not for other applications. More thinner can carry finish into wood. Less finish builds more. If you were needing a more flexible finish, you would increase the polymerized oil. This kind of finish (more oil), is called a long oil finish and can be more reliable on exterior applications, where humidity changes can cause flexing of the wood and a more ridged, or brittle, finish might crack.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2690 days

#14 posted 01-14-2014 02:12 AM

I have used a lot of the home made “Danish” using the 1/1/1 ratio BUT I discovered that Spar Urethane/MS in a 2-3/1 ratio gives the same result. You can also add some stain to achieve a particular color. I used this method on all the woodwork in my daughters clinic. It is much quicker than other methods (stain, wait to dry, poly, repeat…)

Apparently Spar Urethane (MinWax) contains “long oils” as well as the resins, etc.

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

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