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Watco danish oil?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ArpeggiFish, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. ArpeggiFish


    Feb 24, 2008

    Why for the oil are their colours? If i pick say natural oil colour and put it on a walnut body, what will the colour be?


  2. Mmm, nice. Danish oil does darken the wood a little, but not much.
  3. ArpeggiFish


    Feb 24, 2008
    would it look the same if i got a dark walnut danish oil?
  4. It would look a little bit darker.
  5. The Watco Danish oil does color a little. Just kinda adds a nice "warm" hue to the wood.
  6. It's a great finish for Walnut; check out my walnut-capped gecko bass here:
    that's Danish oil finished but I used a clear one, which still adds a little touch of yellow and darkens the walnut a little.
  7. ArpeggiFish


    Feb 24, 2008
    WOW that looks great, but I can't find a clear watco danish oil
  8. Maybe a different retailer then, but I do remember watco in particular, and Rustins, being highly recommended. They are not all the same, they are proprietory blends.
  9. ArpeggiFish


    Feb 24, 2008
    where did you get it?
  10. DIY store such as Homebase or B&Q. Nothing special.
  11. looks good, what is the base body made up of? ash or alder? do you have more pics... sorry to derail the thread :meh:
  12. It's Alder, with a figured walnut cap and headstock laminate. Beautiful birds eye maple neck.
  13. that alder is very light, long time ago, I finished an alder body with tung oil, and it turned a very light brown :meh:
  14. DonnBialik


    Jan 20, 2011
    I'm a professional furniture maker by trade. Watco and Danish oils are all essentially variations on what we call 3 part oil finishes. They are made up of equal parts of either Boiled Linseed Oil (Slightly darker, more amber hue is created using this oil) or 100% pure Tung Oil (a more neutral hue is created with this oil), varnish of some sorts (I usually use marine spar varnish or some sort of spar varnish), and mineral spirits. It's that easy. mix it yourself. Minwax Antique Oil finish (aka Red Can) is another off the shelf product, though its not avail here in CA.

    Now, one thing people get a bit wrong is not letting your first coat of oil finish to really be drank up by the wood. Literally douse it in oil finish. Slop it on, especially on end grain. You'll see patches that drink it up pretty quickly and you should reapply more until the piece stops accepting finish. Then rub it all off completely. Let that sit for a day, or longer if you have the time. Letting the first coat get a good cure is very important. In an ideal world, you'd let the first coat completely offgas before reapplying coats (that's about a month). But at least a day is fine. The second coat gets slopped on again, as it might still drink up a little extra finish. Wipe off again. But the 3rd-7th coats just get rubbed on and off right away. This isn't a fast process but those very thin coats build up to a great finish.

    Then after you've let the finish completely offgas, after a month or so has gone by (yes, you can play your bass during that time), you can go back and rubout the finish using a 50/50 mix of mineral oil (get it at CVS or the like) and mineral spirits. Dip a 2000 grit sandpaper in the mix and rub the whole piece down with it. The oil/thinner mix helps create a slurry that really evens out the finish. After completely wiping that off, take some nice carnauba wax and wax the hell out of that thing.

    Now you have a pro finish.

    * a side note. You can adjust the 3 part oil finish to a 4 part and after your first coat dries, the subsequent coats will dry in 2-3 hours. So you can get 7 coats in 2-3 days depending on how diligent you are. And until you take the time to build up a 7+ coat oil finish you'll never know what you're missing. Recipe below:

    5 parts BLO or Tung Oil
    5 parts Varnish
    3 parts Japan Drier (get it at Home Depot for $7 a can which will last you a long time)
    2-3 parts Pure Spirits of Gum Turpentine or Naptha (even faster drying)

    Since you're adding dryer to this, only mix up what you'll use for the project as it has a shelf life of about a month before drying up. Regular 3 part oil finishes will keep much longer.

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