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Thread: Traditional Danish Soap Finish

  1. #1
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    Traditional Danish Soap Finish

    Never heard of this before, maybe some of you have, a little skeptical.

    Jesus was a Woodworker

  2. #2
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    Hi Dan,

    I saw this video also. I have no experience with it, but it sure got me curious. I have to believe that it's too waxy for my taste, not to mention the foggy attribute that's described in the video. I mean, I don't doubt the ease of maintenance is great, but I can't imagine putting it on a prized handmade chair or table that will go through the wear and tear of everyday use.

    Buy like they say, I probably shouldn't knock it 'til I've tried it.

    - Hutch

  3. #3
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    i have seen it in person from christopers shop and its a smoooth finish and easily repairable,, he had it on a table and a tool box.. and it didnt look cloudy at all.
    Last edited by larry merlau; 04-19-2017 at 11:25 PM.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
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    I've been kind of looking for a project to try it on for a while but haven't really found one yet.

    The notes I have on it are basically:

    - looks pretty good on really pale wood not so much on dark

    - you need to use a HARD soap (castille ought to work). The difference appears to be largely that hard soaps are sodium hydroxide (lye) based versus potassium hydroxide (potash) based. Hard soaps are less soluble in water because the potassium ion is more hygroscopic than the sodium. The fat selection also has some impact as some oils are much harder than others.

    - requires some maintenance but the maintenance is basically "wet wipe, use more soap" which sounds pretty good if you don't mind doing it a few times a year (depending on usage).

    I'm unconvinced that all of the danish soap finishes are just soap as I've found one MSDS that referenced risk of fire from drying oils (hmm) and another (floor finish) that had at least some wax components but haven't been able to entirely reverse engineer the entire formulations. I believe that if you used the hardest soap you can find and maybe added a little beeswax or other fairly hard wax to it (maybe a hard monocrystalline would be better as they have less color) it would be a good place to start.

    Some of the pictures of it being used look really good... though....
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  5. #5
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    Hi Larry,

    It's been awhile! That is awesome that you have seen it in person. I will have to find a project that I feel comfortable trying this on. I am likely to be in the group of "I have found the finishes that I am used to, and tend to stick to them. " After years of messing around I get a little scared to move outside the box!

    - Hutch
    Last edited by Matt Hutchinson; 04-21-2017 at 12:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    hutch i didnt say i was going to use it, but i feel its worth a try to someone who does want to experiment.. lacquer is still my go to and maybe will try this water base target stuff someday..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    I hear you on that. I love me some precat lacquer!

    -Hutch

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    i have seen it in person from christopers shop and its a smoooth finish and easily repairable,, he had it on a table and a tool box.. and it didnt look cloudy at all.
    I was there and seen Larry see it. I would like to try it on a small project or something like that. Seems easy as all get out
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  9. #9
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    Dan, thanks for sharing this. Looks like a fun thing to try. Not sure I want the maintenance it seems it'll need. Might be a good finish for a box, or other natural small items. Wonder how it does on items that might be exposed to food - like a bowl or cutting board.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  10. #10
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    That was cool and one for the books.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
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    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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