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What do you use to apply Tung Oil?

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Forum topic by Triman posted 01-12-2009 09:04 PM 3482 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Triman

50 posts in 2278 days


01-12-2009 09:04 PM

I’m currently using cheesecloth to apply tung oil to some boxes. I then use clean cheesecloth to wipe off the excess and buff. Do you recommend anything that might be better? Also, if cheesecloth is what you use, do you have a good source for bulk? Those little bags at the hardware store start to add up!

-- Bruce, San Jose, Ca www.spotofwood.com


17 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2914 days


#1 posted 01-12-2009 09:12 PM

I use my tung.

(Well, somebody was going to say it!)

Old socks…tee shirts….terry shop towels that Sam’s sells in bulk….even blue paper shop towels. I have not found the choice to be critical when applying oil finishes.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sIKE's profile

sIKE

1271 posts in 2450 days


#2 posted 01-12-2009 09:57 PM

As long as it doesn’t leave lint…..

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View PetVet's profile

PetVet

329 posts in 2184 days


#3 posted 01-12-2009 09:59 PM

I go to the dollar general store and buy infant socks, usually 3 pair for $1. Stuff them with cotton or cheesecloth or whatever and you have a great “rubber” for applying finishes. Don’t get loose knit cotton though, too much lint.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7744 posts in 2344 days


#4 posted 01-12-2009 10:20 PM

Tung oil is very forgiving. I usually use T-Shirt material but any
clean cotton rag will do fine. Socks work well too. Many-times
washed t-shirts don’t give off much lint, so they are
preferable.

Don’t neglect to spread your used rags out to dry. If you
don’t they will catch on fire.

I used some mattress foam once and the foam chunks started
smoking as they dried out. I doused them in water I think,
but it could have been bad news.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2424 days


#5 posted 01-12-2009 10:31 PM

papertowels to wipe on and old tshirts to wipe off. Make sure the shirsts are washed but dried without fabric softener. That can leave a residue that will affect finishes.

View PKP's profile

PKP

94 posts in 2143 days


#6 posted 01-12-2009 11:54 PM

Triiman I use tung oil exculisly on all my boxes, I use lint free t-shirts, you can by a bag of them at home depot in paint supplies area. But the key for me is cut the concentration with mineral spirits. I usally put 3:1 then coat it 2 to 3X Next day i buff with 0000# steel wool , then do a 2:1, couple coats dry and buff, 1;1 couple coats, then pure tung oil final coat. It also depends on type of wood as to how many coats, one thing to watch for is weeping wood, after you have applied the coating go back in an little while to see if you see any small dots appearing on the surface and buff with clean rag. I had this only happen a couple of times with some exotic wood. I also sometimes buff with carnuba wax , but again it depends on the type of wood. Then later I use lemon oii to spruce up the boxes from time to time about every 6 months.

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2824 days


#7 posted 01-12-2009 11:58 PM

Bruce:

I’ve put the word out to my family, friends and customers to save old tee shirts and cotton bed sheets for my finishing.

Why buy when you can reuse/re-purpose?

I’m a chemist (clinical and finishing products) by training, so I make or blend all of my own finishes.
I buy tung oil wholesale in minimum quantities of 5 gallons.
I just bought 70 pounds of bees wax from a beekeeper.

I also exchange supplies and materials with others artisans in a guild.

-- 温故知新

View mmh's profile

mmh

3444 posts in 2418 days


#8 posted 01-13-2009 12:07 AM

I use high quality paper towels such as Bounty. They don’t leave lint like cheap paper towels. You could ask your co-workers for their old cotton t-shirts or go to the local thrift shop and buy some. Or better yet, post on your local freecycle board http://www.freecycle.org/ (you need to register first.)

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2410 days


#9 posted 01-13-2009 05:47 AM

I use any cotton material that is lint free.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View jim1953's profile

jim1953

2676 posts in 2538 days


#10 posted 01-13-2009 06:08 AM

Old tee Shirts work great

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 2509 days


#11 posted 01-13-2009 06:17 AM

Paint shops sell bags o rags, and I use those

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks, http://uppercutwoodworks.com/

View mmh's profile

mmh

3444 posts in 2418 days


#12 posted 01-13-2009 08:33 AM

Don’t kiss Charlie. His tongue is tungged.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View LeeinEdmonton's profile

LeeinEdmonton

253 posts in 2277 days


#13 posted 01-15-2009 05:45 AM

I went through all of the above & finally settled on Blue Shop towels. They are not embossed hence no streaks & do not leave lint. They are economical & eliminate the need for a bag of rags.

Lee

-- Lee

View drbob's profile

drbob

31 posts in 2112 days


#14 posted 01-18-2009 03:18 AM

Just about anything that is lint free and clean.

-- drbob at http://www.Woodworkingtipsandtools.com

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

223 posts in 1640 days


#15 posted 05-04-2010 11:18 PM

While this is an old post, the info is yet relevant. So here goes:

I use a brush to apply my tung oil. I’m going to wipe the surface down anyway and it makes it easy to always find my “applicator.” When I putting down a penetrating coat of thinned oil, this seems to work better for me and I seem to waste less oil. In the end, it’s all fair game – if it’ll get the product on the surface, it’s good enough.

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