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Steel wool + wax finish = grey Sludge?

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Forum topic by dalethewhale posted 03-08-2015 11:41 PM 1110 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dalethewhale

19 posts in 1284 days


03-08-2015 11:41 PM

G’day guys.

Recently I bought some 0000 steel wool and made some buffing wax ( 25% bees wax – 75% mineral oil) and as i stared to buff out my tung oil finish (4 coats) i noticed a grey sludge starting to form and sink into the pores of my timber giving it a bit of a grey tone.

I’ve seen plenty of projects on here that are oiled then finished with a bit of steel wool and wax action.

Is there something i’m missing or doing wrong?

Cheers Big Ears

Whale

-- Merrily, Merrily, Merrily.....life is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia http://facebook.com/woodbywhale


11 replies so far

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 852 days


#1 posted 03-09-2015 12:19 AM

Hi Dale,
I’m guessing based on your signature that you’re in Australia. Don’t know anything about cleaning products down under, but here in the states, some steel wool is sold with various kinds of detergent in it. The idea is that somebody who is using it to clean something greasy (rather than finishing wood) can save a step by buying steel wool that is all ready loaded and ready to go to work on a mess.

Any chance the steel wool you bought has some kind of additive for cleaning?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#2 posted 03-09-2015 12:21 AM

Sounds like oil and water got mixed up.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#3 posted 03-09-2015 12:40 AM

I’m gonna blame the mineral oil/beeswax as it is a lot softer than paste waxes and tends to go on too thick resulting in the gravy you describe. I have also switched from steel wool to grey Scotch pads as they don’t “shed” as bad as steel wool. You should be able to clean your problem up with mineral spirits.

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

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1350 days


#4 posted 03-09-2015 01:11 AM

Id grab some wet sand paper and do that instead. I only use 0000 steel wool for a dry finish.

My preferred method is let the finish coat cure and then wet sand with the wax using a high grit sand paper.

View dalethewhale's profile

dalethewhale

19 posts in 1284 days


#5 posted 03-09-2015 01:21 AM

Hey Jeff P,
It’s 0000 steel wool for furniture polishing etc ( bought it from carbatec for any aussies reading this) comes in a big fairy floss bag as opposed to the tiny little pads that already have soap in them.

gfadvm – I thought my wax being really soft and slippery would help with the shedding???

By using the steel wool and wax i am getting a much higher sheen than just the tung oil but i am also getting these undesirable side effects.

Hmmmm – Whale

-- Merrily, Merrily, Merrily.....life is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia http://facebook.com/woodbywhale

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#6 posted 03-09-2015 01:30 AM

I think your mixture is being applied too thick and not “flashing off” like paste wax does. Leave a gob of paste wax on your bench and it will be dried hard tomorrow. I think your mix will leave a gooey lump. This goo will trap debris from the steel wool rather than allowing it to be wiped off. Hope this makes sense.

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

View Oughtsix's profile

Oughtsix

42 posts in 635 days


#7 posted 03-10-2015 05:34 PM

I prefer to use white Scotchbright pads for finishes. White Scotchbright pads are about equivalent to 1000 grit paper.

3M Scotch Brite Nylon Pads:
7445 – White pad, called Light Duty Cleansing – (1000) 1200-1500 grit
7448 – Light Grey, called Ultra Fine Hand – (600-800) 800 grit.
6448 – Green (?), called Light Duty Hand Pad – (600) 600 grit
7447 – Maroon pad, called General Purpose Hand – (320-400) 320 grit
6444 – Brown pad, called Extra Duty Hand – (280-320) 240 grit
7446 – Dark Grey pad, called Blending Pad (180-220) 150 grit
7440 – Tan pad, called Heavy Duty Hand Pad – (120-150) 60(?)
Blue Scotch-Brite is considered to be about 1000 grit.
(The value inside the parentheses is directly from 3M.)
3M Chart
Less Aggressive————> More Aggressive
7445 7448 6448 7447 6444 7446 7440
Finer Finish————> Coarser Finish

View dalethewhale's profile

dalethewhale

19 posts in 1284 days


#8 posted 03-12-2015 02:28 AM

Gfadvm – i’ll get some paste wax and compare,

Oughtsix _ i may hunt down some whit scotch pads.

Thanks boys
whale

-- Merrily, Merrily, Merrily.....life is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia http://facebook.com/woodbywhale

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

183 posts in 670 days


#9 posted 03-12-2015 05:58 AM

Are you sure your steel wool doesn’t have an oil in it to prevent rust? Sounds like it might and the mineral spirits are mixing that in too.

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1036 days


#10 posted 03-12-2015 01:44 PM

I’m with Shadowrider rinse it of in soapy water (dawn)before you use it.but not more than you’ll use that day or the rest will rust.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#11 posted 03-12-2015 02:05 PM

Hello bronze wool

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