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Thread: Tung Oil finishing question

  1. #1
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    Tung Oil finishing question

    I am in the final stages of some boxes for x-mas gifts and have put the first coat of tung oil on some curlie maple, wow that sure pops the figure. Now to my question, I will be putting on 2 to 3 coats of tung oil, should I be rubbing the wood with OOOO steel wool between coats or just wipe with a clean cloth?

    Thanks in advance.

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    I am in the final stages of some boxes for x-mas gifts and have put the first coat of tung oil on some curlie maple, wow that sure pops the figure. Now to my question, I will be putting on 2 to 3 coats of tung oil, should I be rubbing the wood with OOOO steel wool between coats or just wipe with a clean cloth?

    Thanks in advance.

    Tom
    I'never used steel wool between coats of tung oil, and I think it would make a mess, but my experience with it is rather recent, I wip it with a clean cloth.

    One thing I discovered was that the smoother the finish before the first coat the better, it seems obvious but we always tend to oversee obvious things
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  3. #3
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    I agree with toni that the smoother the surface, the better the finish,

    I just finished last night my 6th coat of rub on minwax poly, over 4 rub on coats of tung oil.

    although the box I made is not perfect, some of my own fault, some wood imperfections, the finish is as smooth as a babys skin. best finish I got in the few projects Ive done with smooth finishes.
    I let the tung oil dry at least 2 days minimum at room temps, then very lightly sanded it with scotchbrite finishing pad.
    I sanded in between each coat of tung, but I used mahogany.
    but the surface came out beautiful, better than the box itself.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Toni and Allen sounds like a light sanding between coats no steel wool. I had already sanded to 220 as you both have sugested. Nice and smooth. Just really want the curlie to pop. Will post pics when done.

    Tom

  5. #5
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    tom are these boxes oak? if so stay away from them with steel wool.. steel schards and oak make blue black stains... use synthetic scrub pads..or wet dry paper..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    on curly walnut and curly cherry I sand to 320 for oil finish.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Larry, I didnt know that the steel wool would stain that would have made me grumble a bit. 2 are curlie maple and walnut, 1 is cherry and curlie maple (both are the stuff you wide belt sanded for me) and 2 are qtr sawn red oak

    Tom

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    on curly walnut and curly cherry I sand to 320 for oil finish.
    Thanks Al, I will do that next time as I only have up to 220 grit at this time

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Tom, are you using real tung oil, or a "tung oil finish" like Formby's or Minwax? The real tung oil takes quite a bit longer to cure. (Although in either case, the steps suggested by others here should produce nice results.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  10. #10
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    Wow Vaughn, I guess I didnt know there are different versions. Ran down to the shop (not a pretty sight) and I have "Minwax tung oil finish". That is all my local borg had. I guess my question now is, what is the difference?

    Tom

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