Yet another question.

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Established Member
30 Apr 2021
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New Zealand
Again I need forum advice. Sorry. When I was a young man I knew everything. It's incredible how smart I was but as I age I find I don't know much about anything. It's very distressing.
I use Briwax Teak Oil on my projects and the instructions on the tin are to abrade the work with 0000 grade steel wool between coats, which I do. The instructions also tell me not to drink the product as this can cause lung damage. I'm very pleased they mentioned that because I just know I would be tempted to pour myself a shot before putting the lid back on the tin.
So I have intercoat drying problems and I have discovered that the majority of steel wools are impregnated with oil from the manufacturing process and also to inhibit corrosion in the wool. Therefore Briwax tell me to use oil free wool of which there are supposedly some. Asking the various retailers if their steel wool is oil free generally results in a blank look and a 'huh?' Even from the importers.
I like steel wool as opposed to fine sandpaper because it gets in and around all the little tricky bits. I could try degreasing the wool by soaking in a solvent but I have just discovered the existence of scotchbrite pads but not where I live. Before I order them, any users out there? Is there a 0000 steel wool equivalent, are they any good, are they a satisfactory alternative to wool, etc? No one tells you stuff like that. To retailers it's an abrasive pad, end of story.
I use Trollull 0000, considered to be the good stuff. Specifically designed for things like cutting french polish, which would be affected were there oil in it. So something like this or the above would do you fine.
The instructions also tell me not to drink the product as this can cause lung damage.
The 240v power tool instructions recommend that you don't use them underwater. I say, just as well i read the instructions before use.
There are loads of 0000 oil free wire wools on the market, as french polishers and gilders use them.

Oh, Liberon is available here. According to the importer it may contain small amounts of oil. Perhaps any metal made on a machine is inevitably going to contain traces of oil, but not enough to cause problems.
They do a specific oil free one, so I guess it's oil free but you never know.

You could also dip it in alcohol, not the gin type.
Thanks for your reply. I think I will order the Liberon wool. Unfortunately none of this sort of stuff is available in my little town and must be ordered on line so it's not possible to read all the info on the product label first. I've got lots of acetone which should be ok as a degreaser so I could give the wool a swish around in that if unsure.
My (a long time ago...) own experience is that fine steel wool is bound to leave very small - not to call them microscopic - bits of metal imbeded in the wood. Almost impossible to remove all of them effectively, even if you re-polish the wood. In time these bits will rust, which will give the finish a mottled brown appearance.
Did it once abt. 50 years ago, never again...
I also like the 3M products... clean, easy to use and long life.......various grades.....not cheap tho.......
in fact in the past when painting tractors and small commercial trucks I would use nothing else....
wet and dry is stupid much cleaning.....but ok and nec for local repairs....feather edgeing of paint finish......
I’ve not thought about what coating is on wire wool before, surely if there was any it would prone to rusting?

Have you tried using scotchbright pads instead of w/W?
This is an update on the problems I have getting Briwax Teak Oil to dry on my aeroplane models. I thought the problem might be intercoat abraiding with oil impregnated steel wool but I don't think this is the case. To recap, the oil remains sticky for days. I apply and let cure in a temperature controlled environment of 18 - 22°C.
So considering what I could be doing differently.
Each coat uses only a tiny amount of oil but takes time to apply with a 10mm artists brush due to the fiddly nature of the work. I used to brush directly from the tin but got a bit concerned that the constant exposure to air would eventually make the remaining oil in the can go off. So I have been decanting a teaspoonful onto a saucer and brushing on the model from that. Now I am thinking that with such a tiny amount of oil in a shallow container the solvents in it are evaporating away too quickly before I get to apply it, and that the oil I do apply has insufficient solvent remaining to penetrate and cure. So before I devise some other means of oiling, does this hypothesis make any sense or is it baloney and I should look for some other reason as to why the teak oil isn't curing. I've got two Mosquitos finishing and I could really do without the oiling disasters I had on the P38's.
I have no idea if it would be fine enough, but could you try the very finest nylon adrasive - eg Nyweb (I think white is the finest). Or even the white part of pads used to wash non stick pans?

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