How to Freshen Bee Hive Treated with Tung Oil - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-26-2018, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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How to Freshen Bee Hive Treated with Tung Oil

Last year I treated my cedar bee hive with 3 coats of tung oil. After a year in the elements, the sides look okay but the roof is very gray. I need to refinish it to protect the wood as well as to make it look better.

Do I need to strip the tung oil off? If so, what do I use?

After that, what would be the best option to use to finish it? A stain with a sealer? Or paint? Or just tung oil again?

I don't know anything about woodworking, so I'm sure this is probably an elementary question, but I found too many answers in an internet search so I would appreciate advice for this particular project. I'm not trying to win a woodworking contest, I just want my bee hive to not be an eyesore in the landscape.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-26-2018, 08:56 PM
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Without a picture it's difficult to say. Gray suggests the finish is in the beginning stages of coming off. Is it tung oil or tung oil finish. 100% tung oil should have held up better than that. Tung oil finish is a mixture of tung oil and linseed oil which is an inferior finish compared to 100% tung oil.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-26-2018, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your quick reply! It is Formby's Tung Oil Finish (low gloss).

I will take pictures tomorrow and upload.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture of the side and front of the bee hive.
(Apologies for the sideways view, I can't figure out how to turn it.)
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the roof of the bee hive.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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This is the bottom board/entry.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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This shows wear for less than one year. It's all been in the barn since the fall and obviously needs to be cleaned up, but it seems like it shouldn't look that bad so soon. I followed the directions on the tung oil container.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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I added some pictures.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-28-2018, 11:44 AM
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Hello Paws,

Odd this post would come in today...we discussed planes this morning about pulling out all the hive boxes that are in one of the old barns here we need to restore.

I haven't kept bees in decades, but grew up around them as part of daily chores and still have a number of friends that could be called serious apiarists.

As to finishes, the style of box you have should of held on better with pure tung oil finish than it appears it did. It is one of the challenges with most finishes that claim to be one thing are actually adulterated with all manner of industrial and/or petroleum based materials.

For Bees, I (et al) always recommend traditional and/or natural pure finishes. Food grade if possible. The one I know that has had the most success is a blend of Tung, Flax, Citrus oil blended with Pine Rosin and Beeswax with a safe UV stabilizer to arrest the graying you have experienced. It can be gotten at Heritage Natural Finishes, or you can get pure Tung Oil from them as well...Your choice.

Good luck!

j

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post #10 of 15 Old 03-01-2018, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Jay, thanks for the info.

I searched the website for a finish with your description but did not find one that included that combination of oils.

Once I find the right finish, do I need to use anything to remove the original finish, or do I simply sand it down and start applying the new one?
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-01-2018, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paws View Post
Jay, thanks for the info.

I searched the website for a finish with your description but did not find one that included that combination of oils.

Once I find the right finish, do I need to use anything to remove the original finish, or do I simply sand it down and start applying the new one?
Hello Paws,

There is a link in my post...click on the red print for Heritage Natural Finishes...or...

Search "Heritage Natural Finishes" they have the material your looking for...

I'm not sure if you would really need to sand it or not, being what it is and all that? Where the Tung Oil is good the new finish will soak in over it. For a really good job sanding and taking the old finish off is always best...

Good Luck!

j

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Last edited by Jay C. White Cloud; 03-01-2018 at 08:55 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-02-2018, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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That is the link I clicked on, but it takes me to a page with all their products and I cannot determine which one includes the ingredients you were recommending. The one you describe sounds like a combination of all their other finishes, but I can't find the specific one you think would be best to try.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-02-2018, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paws View Post
That is the link I clicked on, but it takes me to a page with all their products and I cannot determine which one includes the ingredients you were recommending. The one you describe sounds like a combination of all their other finishes, but I can't find the specific one you think would be best to try.
Autumn is the owner and dear friend, she would be glad to chat about what I have recommended for you and anyone there can give advice as well. Below is a direct link to the material I think is best suited to your needs, but feel free to ask more question if you have other thoughts, needs or wants...

1 gallon of Exterior Grade Finish

Note: because of the materials employed in these products the are more expensive than more industrialized and petrochemical enhanced versions...

Good luck, and let me know if I can help further...

j

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post #14 of 15 Old 03-03-2018, 03:16 PM
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Im pretty sure the Formbys Tung Oil Finish is an interior finish.

It looks like the roof gets a LOT of sun. The sun will break down any clear finish. (More accurately, its breaking down the surface of the wood making the finish come loose) If you can keep it in the shade, that might help a lot, but almost any finish is going to need to be reapplied periodically.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-05-2018, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your help.

I will try to post more pictures when I finish the project.
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