Tung Oil

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Mikegtr

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New to Tung Oil:

a) Which make of Tung Oil have you used and you liked the finish?--as there are various choices of make.
b) Did you apply the Tung Oil with a brush or cloth?
c) What make / type of brush? What type of rag?
d) If you applied several diluted coats did you rub down between coats? If so did you use wet & dry paper paper? Grade?or 0000 steel wool?

Many thanks--look forward to your answers.
 
Depends on how much you need, it does go a long way, last I bought was from here -
https://tungoil.co.uk/product-category/tung-oil/
b) I usually thin ~50% with white spirits and apply 2-3 thin coats 1st allowing sufficient time for it to go off inbetween - as in overnight, and then one or two undiluted applied with a rag. You can apply either with a brush or cloth - whatever suits the size or shape of the object. Any lint free cloth will do and tung oil doesn't attack many plastics so synthetic or natural bristle brushes are fine. Probably you'll find it best to apply undiluted finishing coats with a cloth since it is quite viscous and so difficult to apply thinly by brush. if you apply it too thickly it will take forever to go off and likely give a poorer finish too.
d) I never rub down between coats, I guess it depends on the wood type as to whether the initial coats raise the grain, I've mainly used it on exterior woodwork, window frames, cills etc in either Iroko or Sapele and they don't require sanding between coats yet give a smooth to the touch finish.
Be careful if you use cloth rubbers to apply it, Tung oil dries by oxidation and there have been many instances of bin ( or worse ) fires where scrumpled up cloths have generated enough heat to self-ignite, best advice is to run them under a tap to soak them before binning them.
 
imageel: Thanks for the reply. I had already done a bit of research. I had planed to thin 50% with white spirit. To use on banjo necks and banjo resonators, so I do not need a big amount. I probably would put on 2 or 3 top coats first--then rub down very lightly. Then add more thin coats to build up to a really good solid shiny finish. I had intended to use the brush.

To rub down between coats would you use wet & dry paper 'wet' as not being as aggressive as using it dry?
Regarding the brush to use: synthetic or animal hair?
 
can highly recommend bestwood pure tung oil, as @imageel posted in the link, I normally use 0000 steel wool in between coats a very light rub and apply with kitchen towel, thinning the pure oil out with white spirit is best.
 
I have seen it reccommended used neat, but in tiny quantities, literally a drop on a cloth burnished on and several coats this way. I think it was in Finewooding.
 
I have done a bit of research on Tung Oil. There appears to be two types of Tung oil--pure Tung oil and polymerized Tung oil. The one I am looking for is the polymerized type as it produces a hard gloss clear finished. I have done a web search and cannot find a UK supplier of polymerized tung oil--pure tung oil yes. Anybody know of a supplier of the polymerized tung oil in theUK?
 
I use Tung Oil in a mixture that I refer to as Mike's Magic Mix (named after the ex-member of this forum that told me about it).

Equal parts (by volume) of pure Tung oil (I've used a few different brands but not found a significant difference), white spirit and satin varnish (of a type that cleans up with white spirit - I usually use this stuff). I tend to mix it in an old white spirit bottle as it has a seal that should cope with white spirit!

Wipe on with whatever (I usually use foam brushes), leave for 10 minutes, then wipe off the excess (I use "elephant bog roll" style paper towels) and leave the paper towels to dry before disposing of them. Leave for 24 hours, then rub down with a fine abrasive (I usually use a scotchbrite style pad). Then repeat for a few coats.

I love the fact it's extremely easy to apply (you don't have to worry about brush marks or anything like that, nor do you have to worry about leaving the Tung oil for weeks to dry). It looks gorgeous and is hard wearing (I've used it on desks and coffee tables and it has survived a heck of a lot of abuse).
 
I have done a bit of research on Tung Oil. There appears to be two types of Tung oil--pure Tung oil and polymerized Tung oil. The one I am looking for is the polymerized type as it produces a hard gloss clear finished. I have done a web search and cannot find a UK supplier of polymerized tung oil--pure tung oil yes. Anybody know of a supplier of the polymerized tung oil in theUK?
From my understanding "polymerised tung oil" is in fact partially pre-polymerised tung oil (due to heat treatment).
If the oil is partially polymerised (the short molecules link together chemically to make longer molecules) it would inevitably mean that it will be harder for the "oil" to penetrate in to the wood. This might explain why the polymerised version produces a higher sheen; as it just forms a very thin layer on the surface of the wood. The more satin effect of normal pure tung oil results from the light being able to penetrate a bit deeper in to the wood surface due to the presence of the tung oil (even after it has eventually fully polymerised).
If this is the effect that you're looking for then fine, but you may also like to consider alternative varnish like finishes which may be easier and quicker, more durable and possibly cheaper.
This leads on to those products that like "traditional" tung oil finishes are not pure. If the product you are using contains solvents added to help the oil penetrate the wood then it begs the question, "Why bother using partially polymerised tung oil?" as the polymerised oil is still not going to penetrate far in to the wood. Remember, the more polymerised the oil is the longer the molecules will be and so the less it will penetrate the wood.
If someone (perhaps the manufacturer?) could explain any specific advantages to using pre-polymerised oil in mixed products, then I'd be happy to hear them.
When making a decision on which finish to use, you need to consider many factors such as, ease of use/application, durability, surface finish (satin/gloss), price etc.
Finishing and finishes turns out to be a complicated subject, but if you find something you like and works well; stick with it :giggle:
 
Thanks for the link but, sadly, this link gives:
"We’re glad you’re enjoying Popular Woodworking! Create a free account to read this article and others like it."

Free account? Sure, provided you tell us your personal details. I don't trust sites that won't even let you read an article before giving them your email address. I've had sites sell my email address despite claiming that they won't. Not sure if this is true of "Popular Woodworking" but "Once bitten, twice shy!"
 
I use Tung Oil in a mixture that I refer to as Mike's Magic Mix (named after the ex-member of this forum that told me about it).

Equal parts (by volume) of pure Tung oil (I've used a few different brands but not found a significant difference), white spirit and satin varnish (of a type that cleans up with white spirit - I usually use this stuff). I tend to mix it in an old white spirit bottle as it has a seal that should cope with white spirit!

Wipe on with whatever (I usually use foam brushes), leave for 10 minutes, then wipe off the excess (I use "elephant bog roll" style paper towels) and leave the paper towels to dry before disposing of them. Leave for 24 hours, then rub down with a fine abrasive (I usually use a scotchbrite style pad). Then repeat for a few coats.

I love the fact it's extremely easy to apply (you don't have to worry about brush marks or anything like that, nor do you have to worry about leaving the Tung oil for weeks to dry). It looks gorgeous and is hard wearing (I've used it on desks and coffee tables and it has survived a heck of a lot of abuse).
I’ve made up a batch of this mix and used it on one of my cookie cut tables …..it is very very good and gives a fantastic finish
 
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