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Thread: Teak vs tung oil?

  1. #1
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    Teak vs tung oil?

    OK gang,
    stopped in at the local hardware store this AM, and 'while I was there' I thought I'd resupply the shop with a new can of Tung Oil, they had a smallish can of minwax brand, but I've used Watco in the past. Despite having 'finish hangover' whenever I did use it, I like the finish that it gave to the pieces that I used it on. One small issue however, Dwayne doesn't stock Watco Tung oil. He does carry Watco Teak oil however. I wasn't so 'curious' to just buy the can without doing a bit of research of course.

    The label says 'for darker hardwoods, mahogany, rosewood, teak et al...

    Hmmm. I mostly have lighter hardwoods, maple and cherry. I have a fair amount of chocolate and Mahagony I'm sure it would look fine on the cherry, but not sure about the maple. WIll it make the grain pop the same way that Tung oil does? agony, rosewood, teak et al...

    Hmmm. I mostly have lighter hardwoods, maple and cherry. I have a fair amount of chocolate and Mahogany that I'm going to be putting on the lathe soon, and those would probably work well, and I'm sure it would look fine on the cherry, but not sure about the maple. I also wonder if it will make the grain pop the same way that Tung oil does? Anyone ever used Teak oil? Beuhler, anyone, anyone?
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    What you are looking at is likely not pure Tung Oil. If the label says "Tung Oil Finish", or "Teak Oil Finish", it's a varnish, BLO, mineral spirits mix. With "Finish" being on the label is a tell tale. There's likely no Tung oil in it at all, but rather BLO, or Soy oil. It can be a stand alone finish, qualifying as a film finish because of the varnish resins present.

    For Tung Oil, the label should read 100% pure Tung Oil, or Polymerized Tung Oil, or China Wood Oil.




    .

  3. #3
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    Further to what Mike said, Minwax doesn't sell pure tung oil. As he said, what you're seeing is a wipe-on varnish that may or may not actually have any tung oil in it. Same story with the Watco Teak Oil finish. The operative word here is "finish". As far as I can tell, Watco doesn't sell pure teak oil.

    In general, true tung oil adds less of an amber tone than BLO or teak oil. The same holds true for the tung oil "finishes" on the market...they tend to darken the wood less than "antique oil" or "Danish oil" finishes. (All of which are just wipe-on varnishes.)

    That said, there's nothing wrong with using these types of wipe-on finishes on your turned stuff. Formby's Tung Oil finish (made by Minwax, and likely the same recipe as the Minwax brand) is the wipe-on finish I use the most for my own turned pieces, even the lighter woods.
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  4. #4
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    Ned, I make my own danish oil by mixing equal parts of BLO, poly and mineral spirits...I save glass jars (pasta sauce, pickles, etc.) and make up a few jars at a time.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Ned, I make my own danish oil by mixing equal parts of BLO, poly and mineral spirits...I save glass jars (pasta sauce, pickles, etc.) and make up a few jars at a time.
    I do the same for much of my flatwork and sometimes bowls. It makes a nice finish that dries faster than BLO on it's own, yet has enough BLO to make the grain pop if it has any figure in it. It's also what I would use on a gun stock because it usually doesn't get real glossy. It does take time and several coats though... depends on the density of the wood. Some lesser dense species will really soak it up.
    Billy B.

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  6. #6
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    I don't know it they still sell it but I have a bottle of "Tung Oil 100% Pure" that I bought from Woodcraft some years ago. Have you a Woodcraft store near? You can order it but with shipping makes it pretty expensive.
    "We the People ......"

  7. #7
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    My True value store does carry true tung oil and it is it is about $20 per qt IIFC.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    stopped out at the blue borg tonight, picked up a can each of Watco Danish Oil finish, Teak Oil Finish and a can of Zinnsser amber shellac (yes I know I can mix my own, going to try it out first...) plus a Chemical Odor Respirator/Filter... going to see if I can beat the 'finish blues' that I get... plus I have better gloves than I used to use.
    -Ned

  9. #9
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    I'm pleased to report that the mask did it's job as did the nitrile gloves, two coats of Danish oil applied, and I feel much better than I used to
    -Ned

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