Oil Mixing question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Groove Theory, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Hey guys, okay, so this is more of a general woodworking question but y'all are the ones who would know best.

    I need to mix up an oil finish for a custom rocking chair I am building, I am trying to do something like a maloof style finish which is composed of 1/3 pure tung oil, 1/3 Boiled linseed oil, and 1/3 poly/urethane varnish. so I've got the pure tung, and linseed oils no problem, however I'm not sure if the urethane I have is compatible to be mixed in with them, I have some system 3 marine coating spar urethane...does anyone know if that would mix well with the tung and BLO and provide favorable results? I'm of course going to test whatever I do before I go putting it on the chair, but I wanted to know if it would even mix correctly in the first place.

    Thanks for the help!:D
  2. Wood Ascention

    Wood Ascention

    Nov 7, 2004
    1/3 tung oil
    1/3 spar varnish
    1/3 mineral spirits
    Voila, a good durable easy to apply finish. Similar to a Maloof style finish. Wipe on then wipe off as much as humanly possible...thin coats are best! three to four coats with a pad one with 0000 steel wool then one final super light coat to polish, maybe with a few drops of mineral oil on the pad.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Hi GT,

    I'm a furniture and cabinet maker who also teaches college-level woodworking (in addition to playing bass at night:D ).

    The best oil finish IME is achieved by wet-sanding 4 coats of Liberon Finishing Oil, each a day apart.

    You can certainly experiment with mixing your own (I did it for years, until manufacturers started doing it for me) with good results. Be forwarned, however, that if you're using genuine tung oil, it can take a LONG time to cure properly.

    If you're interested in the sanded-in oil finish, PM me and I'll send you a handout I prepared for distribution to students.

    Good luck,

  4. hmm...mineral spirits 'eh? would thinning it like that provide for better penetration of the oil?
  5. Liberon finishing oil? never heard of that brand before, where do you buy it at?
  6. Wood Ascention

    Wood Ascention

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mineral spirits helps the penetration of the entire solution, thinning the otherwise viscous spar varnish. Jazz dog is correct pure tung oil does take a long time to cure, but in this mixture its catalized by the spar varnish. The benifits of this mix are the increased durability of the spar varnish with the ease of an oil finish.
  7. righteous, I actually mixed up a batch today and just finished putting the first coat on, it looks incredible! however I ended up using some Olympic oil based polyurethane varnish semi-gloss instead of the spar varnish gloss.

    It's on some sweet looking black walnut, and this stuff really makes the grain pop out. it looks great, I'll have to post some pics of her when she's done, along with my bass I've been building for the last like year and a half....:D
  8. i'm really excited to see the results when mixed with the poly-varnish.
    was the tung oil you used polymerized?
  9. it's lookin' good so far, all 4 parts mixed very well with each other, I'm glad I added the mineral spirits, it felt like it got a really good penetration on the first coat. I'm looking forward how it'll turn out, I wonder if it would work well as a bass finish too? kindof like the look of an oil finish combined with a little of the protection of poly. hmm...food for thought...

    as for the tung, I don't think it was polymerized but I might be mistaken, I know it's 100% pure tung, no driers added. This is my first try at using tung oil, but this is the stuff I bought:

    I've been trying to get a Maloofian type finish, and everything I read about his mix makes special mention to get pure tung oil, it's not a very easy thing to find. I'm lucky Woodcraft caries some.
  10. Wood Ascention

    Wood Ascention

    Nov 7, 2004
    Glad your happy! This finish will deffinately bring out the depth in a nice piece of material. Diffinately a candidate for a bass finish.
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