Formby's Tung Oil on pine

19 posts in this topic

Posted

I love the feel of Formby's tung oil, but it hides too much of the grain.

I have used spar varnish and boiled linseed oil recently and the grain did better with those.

Could those be used with tung oil as the top coat on pine?

Formby's tung oil on top of spar varnish or on top of linseed oil?

Thanks,

Mike

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Posted

Someone better at finishing than me will probably come along with a better answer but I would think that an oil based finish would pool on top of a hard poly finish.  I would think that an oil finish is intended to enter the grain of the wood.

 

Like I said, however, I'd wait for an answer from someone more qualified than myself.  I've had good success with finishing but can't say my experiences are a great wealth of information.

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Posted

From the Formby's website: "Not recommended for use over existing finishes other than penetrating oils (e.g. Tung Oil)." So over blo would be OK, not over varnish.

Actually, if I recall, there's no tung oil in the Formby's product. If you Google the MSDS you'll find that it's 78% mineral spirits. It's basically a vegetable oil/varnish finish with not a lot of either. If you want a tung oil finish you have to buy something that labels itself as "pure" tung oil, you can get it at Rockler or Behlen also markets it. Here's a good read on the subject: "tung oil question" Have no idea why "it hides too much of the grain" unless the amount of thinner in the product lets it penetrate too much compared to pure blo or varnish.


A good oil/varnish finish isn't hard to conjure up on your own, my base recipe is equal parts Behlens tung oil, Pratt and Lambert #38 varnish and naptha. I play with the recipe depending on how fast I want it to dry(the naptha), or whether I want a film finish or not(the varnish) or how hard I want to rub(the tung oil). I use naptha because it dries faster than mineral spirits, doesn't contain as many petroleum byproducts and doesn't smell as bad. And the base ingredients are a lot cheaper than Watco or Formby's or any of the other "oil finishes" you can buy pre-mixed.

Or if you want a decent wiping finish that actually contains some amount of finish try the General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. Even then you'll find the product contains up to 70% mineral spirits, their MSDS lists a widely varying range of solvents and resins so it's hard to tell exactly what you're getting. Look hard at that MSDS and do some Googling on the ingredients and you find that they could be selling you as little as 20% of the product(resin) that actually stays on your project.

No truth in advertising in the wood finishes market: call it what you want, put as little real finish into it as you can possibly get away with, hype it to the high heavens and sell it for all you can get. Not a bad business model if you own the company, sucks if you just want to finish your project and actually believe what's on the label of something you're about to pay $20/quart for. Sucks to be a consumer nowadays, caveat emptor and all that

OK, rant over, soapbox stowed away. Sorry if I rained on your parade.

Anyway, HTH.
Bill

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Posted

Oil should never hide the grain. It should only enhance it. Unless you've tinted it. However Formby's is not even a tung oil. It's just a varnish blend with a tad of oil branded as 'Tung Oil'.

I'd like to see a photo of the finish on a sample please.

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Posted

I figured that about Formby's tung oil.

I don't know how top send pics.

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Posted

More Reply Options > Under Attacments > Choose File and then find the photo.

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Posted

post-14020-0-77232800-1373303179_thumb.p

 

Oh, that was simple

The photo on the left started with spar varnish/naphtha, 75/25

The right one is all Formby's tung oil only.

Stain is liquid in denatured alcohol.

The areas are just inches apart.

 

I lose lots of grain.

I know the Formby's isn't "real" tung oil, but the varnish seems to bring out more grain than tung oil.

Isn't varnish a non-penetrating product?

 

Thanks,

Mike

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Posted

What are you sanding at? 

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Posted

Oil does generally enhance grain, but I think in this case it is just causing the dye job to look muddy.  I don't think oil finishes are recommended over dye.  You want a film finish which will protect it more thoroughly.  If you don't put a film over the dye (by film, I mean either varnish, lacquer or shellac), the dye will eventually rub off.    The 75/25 varnish/thinner blend should work do a fine job protecting the dye. 

 

I suppose you could "soften" the feel of the varnish a bit by rubbing out with very fine steel wool and wax after it cures.  That will give you more a satin/rubbed look and will feel better to the touch.

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Posted

I am sanding at 400/0000 wool.

What wax is recommended?

Thanks.

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Posted

You'll probably get the clear grain back if you varnish the right hand side sample. Worth a try.

 

Tung oil does seem to be a generic label in the finishing world, but you can get pure tung oils, sometimes called Wood oil (well it is here in Italy anyway).

 

Tung or BLO should enhance the grain, though it will also darken the wood somewhat. After applying the oil, the surface can look a little muddy though. To get the 'clear' effect you need a very smooth film surface on top of the oil. Or you can mix the two together as BuilderBill suggests, and it's fun making your own brew! To finish off though, I'd just use varnish without the oil, since it's no longer going to penetrate.

 

Keep experimenting, I don't think you're very far off the finish you're looking for.

 

John

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Posted

Here is where I am leaning toward.

Boiled linseed oil on bare wood then two tests on top of that.

One will be Formby's tung oil, the other with spar varnish.

Formby's does state to only use on top of penetrating oils.

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Posted

You might as well sample the Formby and spar varnish on bare wood as well.    They both have a high oil content (that is one thing that differentiates spar varnish from regular varnish, it has more oil).  You might like the look and be able to skip a step. 

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Posted

Thank you all for the help.

The big issue I have is the availability of oils.

In Los Angeles County, they have stripped the whole finishing industry of any useful products because of their VOC limitations.

It's all water based and very inferior.

The only way I have access to plenty of Spar varnish, is because my work place has lots of it.

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Posted

The only way I have access to plenty of Spar varnish, is because my work place has lots of it.

What brand of Spar Varnish will you be using?

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Posted

I love the feel of Formby's tung oil, but it hides too much of the grain.

I have used spar varnish and boiled linseed oil recently and the grain did better with those.

Could those be used with tung oil as the top coat on pine?

Formby's tung oil on top of spar varnish or on top of linseed oil?

Thanks,

Mike

Note: The actual product name is "Formby's Tung Oil Finish", and not "Tung Oil."

This product DOES contain Tung Oil, despite the Internet Echoes that say otherwise.

 

Specifically, Formby's Tung Oil Finish is a wiping varnish made with real Tung Oil/Alkyd varnish that has been diluted with solvents to a wiping varnish consistency.

Again, this product is NOT a type of Tung Oil, but it IS a Tung Oil Varnish. 

 

For absolute proof ask the company that makes it, not Netties that echo non-facts.

 

(I knew Homer Formby and I'm a chemist with experience in the wood finishing products industry.)

 

Blessings.

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Posted

I am using McCloskey's Man-O-War spar varnish.

Of the test pieces, the best have been 75/25% soar varnish/naphtha with several coats of Formby's tung oil on top of that.

I used Tung Oil only and that is nice.

Formby's recommends only a few coats, but I need more protection then that.

Tru-Oil can have multiple coats and why Formby's can't is odd.

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Posted

Thanks, but I have tried that and it is ver soft.

The oil based was the best.

I did try a new test.

This is my last test before I pick one.

It is Boiled Linseed Oil with a Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane (waterbased)

After a day of the oil drying in the sun, I have given it two coats.

On the test piece, one is oiled and the other isn't.

Hmm, so far so good.

Who knows?

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