Tung Oil vs. Polyurethane. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Tung Oil vs. Polyurethane.

What are your thoughts on using Tung oil vs. Poly? I have recently started using TO and love how easy it is to apply. On a couple of picture frames for the garage I just used 1 coat of TO and it seems to do the job once it dries.

But Poly after 3 coats I know that the wood is protected. From what I understand is TO was used on very old ships to preserve the wood as it soaks INTO the wood and Poly sits on top.

I just hate all the waiting involved with Poly. I've tried multiple coats of TO and the second coat just seems to sit there and not soak in anymore. The TO really makes the grain stand out which I love.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 09:28 PM
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Good question. I'm curious to hear what others say. Like you I've just started tinkering with TO after using Poly for years (Apply coat. Wait. Lightly sand. Repeat. Yarrgh.)

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post #3 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 11:05 PM
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Also on this topic can someone tell me if tung oil can "expire" I found a old can of it - would like to try it.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fudwrecker View Post
Also on this topic can someone tell me if tung oil can "expire" I found a old can of it - would like to try it.
100% tung oil will last a long time.
if your talking about any tung oil you purchase that does not say 100% on the can/jar/bottle, is not a tung oil. as a matter of fact, most of them dont even have any tung oil in them. most of them are a form of a danish oil.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwendt1978 View Post
What are your thoughts on using Tung oil vs. Poly? I have recently started using TO and love how easy it is to apply. On a couple of picture frames for the garage I just used 1 coat of TO and it seems to do the job once it dries.

But Poly after 3 coats I know that the wood is protected. From what I understand is TO was used on very old ships to preserve the wood as it soaks INTO the wood and Poly sits on top.

I just hate all the waiting involved with Poly. I've tried multiple coats of TO and the second coat just seems to sit there and not soak in anymore. The TO really makes the grain stand out which I love.

two completely dif finishes, it all depends on what the pc is used for.
100% (true tung oil ) takes a very long time for recoat and even longer for cure. the poly is 1/4 of the cure time, though i prefure a varnish
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwendt1978 View Post
What are your thoughts on using Tung oil vs. Poly? I have recently started using TO and love how easy it is to apply. On a couple of picture frames for the garage I just used 1 coat of TO and it seems to do the job once it dries.

But Poly after 3 coats I know that the wood is protected. From what I understand is TO was used on very old ships to preserve the wood as it soaks INTO the wood and Poly sits on top.

I just hate all the waiting involved with Poly. I've tried multiple coats of TO and the second coat just seems to sit there and not soak in anymore. The TO really makes the grain stand out which I love.
Your message made me curious so I did a little researching and came up with the following:

Tung oil does not "expire," but it can thicken somwhat over a long period of time. You can thin it with thinner but then you will have "Danish Oil," which is nothing more than thinned Tung Oil. Marine Tung Oil is a special mixture of TO that withstands water and prohibits rot.

This is what I found on search and am now going to use more Tung Oil and less Poly. Thanks for asking the question.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 05:45 AM
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100% tung oil will last a long time.
if your talking about any tung oil you purchase that does not say 100% on the can/jar/bottle, is not a tung oil. as a matter of fact, most of them dont even have any tung oil in them. most of them are a form of a danish oil.
+1. It should have 100% Pure Tung Oil on the label.








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post #8 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammered Toes View Post
Tung oil does not "expire," but it can thicken somwhat over a long period of time. You can thin it with thinner but then you will have "Danish Oil," which is nothing more than thinned Tung Oil. Marine Tung Oil is a special mixture of TO that withstands water and prohibits rot.

This is what I found on search and am now going to use more Tung Oil and less Poly. Thanks for asking the question.

If you thin 100% Pure Tung Oil, with mineral spirits, or any thinner for that matter, all you would have is thinned Tung oil. You would not have "Danish Oil", as Danish Oil is usually a mix of BLO (boiled Linseed oil), varnish, and mineral spirits. To create a "Danish Oil" with 100% Pure Tung Oil, you would have to mix the Tung oil, varnish, and mineral spirits.








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post #9 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dwendt1978 View Post
What are your thoughts on using Tung oil vs. Poly? I have recently started using TO and love how easy it is to apply. On a couple of picture frames for the garage I just used 1 coat of TO and it seems to do the job once it dries.

But Poly after 3 coats I know that the wood is protected. From what I understand is TO was used on very old ships to preserve the wood as it soaks INTO the wood and Poly sits on top.

I just hate all the waiting involved with Poly. I've tried multiple coats of TO and the second coat just seems to sit there and not soak in anymore. The TO really makes the grain stand out which I love.
Using a straight oil finish (either BLO or Tung oil), is of little protection to the wood. You could conceivably create a fairly non porous finish by umpteen applications of the oil after each application has dried. What you will have is wood that is just soaked to the gills and won't take anymore oil.

Using a film finish provides a layer of protection. The first application of an oil base polyurethane just doesn't sit on top of the wood. Proof of that is if you had to sand it all off. You would find out that it does penetrate into the wood fibers. A better application of an oil base varnish or oil base polyurethane would be to thin it 30% or more for the first coat or two, and then reduce the thinned ratio to full strength for the last ones. This would provide a better surface.

A light sanding with 320x in between applications gives a good surface for the next coat. I would recommend using a silicone carbide sandpaper intended for dry use, called "fre cut", or "no fil". It's a light gray color.








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post #10 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 09:06 AM
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I started using Tung oil at the time I built a custom bar/room for a restaurant some years back. Here is my source for stains and Tung Oil and you will not be disappointed with the quality.

http://www.sutherlandwelles.com/

also, danish oil can be made from either tung oil or linseed oil.
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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So is TO something most of you would avoid using? I figured for projects like picture frames, TO would work pretty good for something that doesn't require ALOT of protection. For trim and furniture I'd still use Poly because of it always getting touched and handled.

My picture frames I'm just using my brad nailer to nail them to the wall of the garage and calling it good. But then again from being a garage/woodshop, all the dust too?!?!

On a side note for poly I've switched from semi-gloss to clear satin because it leaves it with a WOOD finish and not looking like it has a plastic coating on it.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammered Toes View Post
Your message made me curious so I did a little researching and came up with the following:

Tung oil does not "expire," but it can thicken somwhat over a long period of time. You can thin it with thinner but then you will have "Danish Oil," which is nothing more than thinned Tung Oil. Marine Tung Oil is a special mixture of TO that withstands water and prohibits rot.

This is what I found on search and am now going to use more Tung Oil and less Poly. Thanks for asking the question.
thinning a tung does not make it a danish oil. do a bit more research b4 making incorrect statements. most danish oils also does not have real tung oil in it. most of todays danish oil consist of blo-thinner ( ms ) and a varnish. though danish oil can be made with tung oil its not common in stor bought danish.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 11:09 AM
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in high school i made a bar, and did a coat of tong oil, this was followed by 10? coats of poly on the top and 3 or so on the sides. looks great and has withstood many a party
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 11:12 AM
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[QUOTE=cabinetman;197317]If you thin 100% Pure Tung Oil, with mineral spirits, or any thinner for that matter, all you would have is thinned Tung oil. You would not have "Danish Oil", as Danish Oil is usually a mix of BLO (boiled Linseed oil), varnish, and mineral spirits. To create a "Danish Oil" with 100% Pure Tung Oil, you would have to mix the Tung oil, varnish, and mineral spirits.


+1 i didnt read all the post. this is a true.

i allways use a satin for im not a fan of a glossy finish on wood, it hides/deflects the grain.

watco makes a good danish oil, though i like to mix my own so i can adjust the mix for conditions.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 07:24 PM
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thinning a tung does not make it a danish oil. do a bit more research b4 making incorrect statements. most danish oils also does not have real tung oil in it. most of todays danish oil consist of blo-thinner ( ms ) and a varnish. though danish oil can be made with tung oil its not common in stor bought danish.
I believe I said last night that I did not know about Tung Oil but I researched it. I just now researched another website besides the two I searched last night. Go to popularwoodworking.com and read what Bob Flexner has to say about Tung Oil. According to him, anything added to Tung Oil makes it something else. Also according to him, there are companies out there that are adding several different oils, thinners and what have you and giving it an exotic name. But, according to him, it is not Tung Oil.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hammered Toes View Post
I believe I said last night that I did not know about Tung Oil but I researched it. I just now researched another website besides the two I searched last night. Go to popularwoodworking.com and read what Bob Flexner has to say about Tung Oil. According to him, anything added to Tung Oil makes it something else. Also according to him, there are companies out there that are adding several different oils, thinners and what have you and giving it an exotic name. But, according to him, it is not Tung Oil.
I have several of flexner's books. havent looked at them in many yrs. i dont thing he said/meant anything mixed with tung oil makes it something else. if you thin with ms, napthia, or other kind of thinners, your just getting a thinner tung oil. thats it, theres no other name for it.

all we are saying is unless it says 100% on the can its not tung oil. and most of the stor bought tung oils sold have no tung oil in them. they are basicly a varnish wipe, or danish oil
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