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Thread: Tung Oil Finish

  1. #1
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    Tung Oil Finish

    I read in one of the posts in this section where someone put 2 to 3 coats of rub on poly on top of 6 coats of tung oil - My question is why?

    I am under the impression that tung oil will build up and create a hard, glossy finish. Will the poly enhance the appearance?

    Also has any one used Hope's 100% Tung Oil? The can says it wipes on like an oil and drys like a varnish It has the texure of Karo Syrup!The directions say to apply a lite coat with a rag and immediately wipe off the excess with a dry clean cloth. Check frequently for seepage and continue to wipe dry.Lighty rub with fine steel wool between coats. Do not put more product on than the wood will absorb.

    It's very fast drying and is doing a beautiful job. I'm using it on canary wood and juniper. The problem is I can't remember where I bought it and can't find anyone who sells it. I've written a letter to the company in Missouri for a list of vendors.

    Thanks for any input I can get

    Jiggs Elphison

  2. #2
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    Tung Oil Finish

    I was under the impression that "100% tung oil" dried slowly, whereas "Tung oil FINISH" which is altogether different, dries faster. But, to my knowledge (which may be limited on this subject) this finish has NO Tung oil. (or maybe minimal amount)

    I agree that from what I have read, pure Tung oil can produce a beautiful and durable finish without the need of overcoating.

    Since I have not yet used pure Tung oil, I can't say what the differences are. We should hear from some of the more knowledgable members soon.

    I'm interested.

    Aloha, Tony
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  3. #3
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    I finished an antique style muzzle loading musket (Brown Bess for the purists amongst us) with pure Tung oil in 1976. The stock is walnut. Don't remember if it dried slow or fast or what the brand was but I made sure it was the pure stuff. To this day, the finish is there much like it was 32 years ago. Very durable and moisture resistant. And, this boomer has been used extensively in bad weather conditions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Brown Bess and skull.jpg  

  4. #4
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    The reason many ad poly over it is to increase its durabilty. Tung oil soaks into the wood, poly on the other hand sits on top of the wood and adda extra level of pertection.

  5. #5
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    tung oil

    I really appreciate everyone's comments, but now I'm more confused.

    If Tung creates a hard surface finish, how does the poly penetrate that finish?

    Would it not just sit on top and be more subject to wear?

    Jiggs Elphison

  6. #6
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    Tung oil is soft and sit in the wood like stain. Tung oil "Finish" has a blend of oils and poly in it and will make a hard finish. Poly will stick to anything if the surface is prepped by a ligth sanding.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggs Elphison View Post
    The problem is I can't remember where I bought it and can't find anyone who sells it. I've written a letter to the company in Missouri for a list of vendors.
    A couple of place to buy it:

    Down to Earth Products
    Home Green Home
    The Old Fashion Milk Paint Company
    eBay



  8. #8
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    Tung Oil

    Thank you Frank for the leads to where I can purchase it - I "surfed" the net and came up empty handed.

    Now that the product is available to see (at least the advertisement) can someone please tell me is it 100% tung oil or is a wiping varnish.

    I apologize for dragging this post out so much, but not being the brightest light in my shop, I'm trying to learn, (or get brighter) and I can think of no better venue but here.

    Again I thank all contributors.

    Jiggs Elphison

  9. #9
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    Jiggs you are most welcome, happy to help.

    As I was looking for sources for Hope's I saw references to a couple of different brands of 100% Tung Oil. I'll continue looking in a little bit, but you may be able to find those discussions. My understanding is Hope's 100% Tung Oil is exactly that, nothing else in the bottle.

    Lots of folks like it but say it is hard to find.

    I think I read that Hope's makes something called Tung Oil Finish which does have other things in the bottle.

    Also there are several supplies of 100% Tung Oil, including Rockler, WoodCraft, and others.

    I need to run to my dinner, but if you find more, please post it.

    Before I go, I want you to get away from apologizing for "...dragging this post out so much..." We all learn from every post (I learned from you enough to get interested in helping you find Hope's) and what we put in this post may help a Family member in the future.

    TUNG OIL HISTORY: Pure Tung Oil was and is one of the first truely "Green" finishes. It is all natural and contains zero VOC's. Pure Tung oil (China wood oil) is an all natural finishing product that provides a tough, flexible and highly water-resistant coating. It is classed as a drying oil along with linseed, poppy seed, safflower seed, walnut, soybean, oiticica and a few other oils. Although it is relatively new to the Western world, tung oil also known as chinawood oil has been known for centuries to the Chinese, and until this century, China was the main source for the oil. It comes from the seed of the tung trees, Aleurites fordii and Aleurites montana, deciduous trees that are very susceptible to frost damage. This vulnerability has restricted the cultivation of the tung trees to China and South America. Tung oil (china wood oil) received wide application in China: in the building trades as a treatment for both stone and wooden structures; in marine trades as a preservative and water repellant on wooden boats. It is said to have been introduced to the West by Marco Polo. From the 13th to the 19th century, tung oil had only limited use in the West. More recently, tung oil has gained favor over linseed oil for wood finishing because it is faster drying and does not darken as much with age.
    Last edited by Frank Townend; 02-07-2009 at 12:49 AM.



  10. #10
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    Tung Oil

    Thank you Frank your kind words and encouragement.

    During my searching for information, I ran across this article and found it to be very informative. It's a little lengthy but I think worth looking at. Unfortunately Hope's 100% Tung Oil is missing!

    http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/finishing.htm

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