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Thread: For Aunt Gail

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    For Aunt Gail

    Hey, folks,

    I've likely never mentioned this, but Doorlink's aunt is an abbess. This means we don't get to see her much, as she pretty much travels around the world fairly constantly. But this weekend, sandwiched between a trip to Norway and a trip to the Philippines, she made a stop in Crozet, Virginia. We went up to see her on Saturday. To Doorlink's shock, at about 8 PM on Friday, I declined a margarita, thinking I should make something for Gail. I have a hard and fast rule about no shop time on any day I've imbibed even a drop... it keeps my fingers stuck to my hand...

    Anyway, that begs the question: what do you make for an Abbess? Especially when you're climbing in the car at the crack of dawn the next morning? Well, it turns out she spent some time at her brother's place in Vermont when she was growing up. And you may remember, last summer I brought back some chunks of Lime (AKA Linden) from that very property. So, why not?

    Here's the very beginning:

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    Roughed out the blank on the bandsaw:

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    Got the thing mounted:

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    ready for reverse chucking:

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    Starting the finish process:

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    What you see there is that night's work. I got one coat of poly on it around 11. That had soaked in completely by midnight, and so I put on another coat. Woke up at 7, and put on another. Drove for three hours, and we met her by the monastery in the mountains. While she, Doorlink, and James went for a short walk, I worked on the bowl out of the back of the car, waxing and buffing. so, it was fully presentable over lunch, and James did a great job of doing the presenting...

    To be continued...

  2. #2
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    So, all was fine. Gail used to do a little woodworking herself, and she was greatly pleased, especially given the provenance of the wood. To her, of course, working with wood is an honorable activity. She did quietly mention that when she was woodworking, she often used tung oil for a finish. Doorlink suggested that, since Gail travels light (one bag on the plane), perhaps we should mail it to her home base in Iowa. Gail agreed.

    Now, my momma didn't raise no fool, so as soon as we got back to town, James and I dashed off to woodcraft to pick up a pint of tung oil. Back onto the lathe, I sanded off the wax and the old finish, and started applying the tung oil. It makes an awfully nice finish, but take it from me: don't get any on your hands!

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    I'm thinking I should just buff it. The monastic rule tends, of course, towards simplicity, so maybe a simple burnish and buff is the best course, but I'm very open to your advice, as I've never used this finish before...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hey Bill, what a story, if I understand it very well, she's always in a hurry.
    This bowl was in my opinion like we are saying a quick turn at night time.
    Anyway the bowl looks great

  4. #4
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    Great story, and great bowl, Bill.

    On the tung oil question...did you use real (pure) tung oil, of a "tung oil finish" similar to this? Pure tung oil can take a while to cure (a week or more as I recall), but tung oil blends like the Formby's stuff cure much faster.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    It's this stuff:

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=768

    Maybe I should thin it?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Great story, GREAT bowl, boy Bill, you have come a LONG way!

    Don't know zip about Tung oil, never used it
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    As I understand it, buffing will produce a nice luster with pure tung oil, but you do want to wait until it's cured. I don't have any specifics on the cure time, but the instructions on the bottle should point you in the right direction. I checked my "Understanding Wood Finishing" book by Bob Flexner, and he mentions that pure tung oil is very slow to cure. He suggests waiting two or three days between coats, and applying five or six coats to build up a better finish. He also cautions against applying it too thickly, as it can turn white as it cures if too thick. I get the impression that it's not his favorite finish.

    You might try posting a "finishing time" question in the Finishing School area. Others will likely have suggestions regarding thinning it, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    Great bowl and great story Bill. I have found pure Tung oil takes a long time to cure so I don't use it much. A friend of mine said it must cure 2 weeks to a month before buffing. Not sure but mine took about 3 weeks before it was cured to buff after 3 coats.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Near Winchester, VA
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    I've been using tung oil almost exclusively. It takes a long time, but it does make a very nice finish. I wait a minimum of 12 hours on a really light, thinned coat and 24 hours on an unthinned coat before applying the next coat. Sand lightly with a "green" synthetic steel wool pad in between coats. Let your final coat sit for at least 48 hours before buffing. A week would be better. I always do a "tester" along with the final product. The tester will let me know if it's hard enough to sand/buff.

    The bowl looks great! Love that story. What part of VA was she in? There's a monestary up here near Berryville that I love to visit. I know she'll love that bowl. Well done!
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,832
    Fine bowl. I don't know what an 'abbess' is. But you said she travels almost constantly. My first thought would have been a pen. Easy to carry.

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