Shellac Finishing Question
for David Knipfer

March 22, 2004

abaum,   03-22-2004   05:35 PM

I am trying your finishing process on the box I am working on and am trying to keep it very simple.   After shellacing,   can I use either Watco's Natural or pure tung oil?   Or do I need to mix them with something?

daveknipfer, 03-22-2004 10:06 PM
Howdy Adam ...

First,   I wish I could have known you a few years ago .....   my address then was at   W. Bentrup Street in Chandler   and we could have shared a few saw dust stories together.

To your question ......   any oil finish that you like will work over the shellac.

That said .....   I caution you about using pure tung oil by itself.

You will not make a mistake by using pure tung oil .....   but you will need the paitence of a Saint to allow it to cure between coats.

Being a natural oil ....   tung oil is very slow to cure ....   lets say 5 days to a week .....   that between coats!!

Sooooo ....

You have two options amigo ...

1.   Use a commercial pre-mixed oil such as the Watco you mentioned.   I used Watco Natural as my standard oil finish for years and those projects are still glowing like new.

Wipe on a heavy coat ......   wipe it off .....   and repeat every 24 hours until you like the sheen on your box.

....   or   ......

2.   Mix your own oil finish.   The one I use today is the finish made popular by Sam Maloof .....
Equal parts Pure Tung Oil,   Boiled Linseed Oil,   and Polyurethane.

Mix these together .....   shake them up ...   and you have a fine home made oil finish.

Take your choice ....   the Watco is more convienent but the Maloof recipe is less expensive.

Let me know if any of that is confusing.


abaum, 03-27-2004 10:46 AM
Dave..   I'm using Watco's Natural..   keeps it real simple.   I applied a coat,   waited 24 hrs and then applied a second coat.   Should I do some light sanding between coats?   If so,   what grit?


Joe Lyddon, 03-27-2004 03:09 PM
Originally posted by daveknipfer:
Mix your own oil finish.   The one I use today is the finish made popular by Sam Maloof ..... Equal parts pure tung oil, boiled linseed oil, and polyurethane.

David,   is there a good place to buy all three ingredients at the same time?

I'd like to try mixing my own when my Sam Maloof Oil/Poly is gone...

Thank you,

daveknipfer, 03-28-2004 05:13 PM
Well Joe .....   I've been busy painting my basement ......   but I am stopping by just to answer these questions.

Adam ......   no need to sand between oil coats unless you need the practice sanding.

The first coat of any finish raises the grain of the timber .....   and if you buffed that initial shellac coat hard with #0000 steel wool then your project should feel like silk .....   and will remain that way through all your oil coats.

Note... That this advice does not apply to all finishes .....   some like straight poly require sanding between coats to ensure mechanical bonding .....   But you will be just fine not sanding between coats with that Watco.

Joe .....   NO.

The BLO and Poly are everyday items that you can buy at any hardware store or Big Box.

Pure Tung Oil is harder to come by.   You DO NOT want to buy "Tung Oil Finish" from the Big Box ....   this is tung oil mixed with thinners to make it easier to apply and WILL NOT work in this mixture.

I buy my pure tung oil from Lee Valley
.....   they have a lot of great stuff and I order a new can whenever I order a new tool.


This site is maintained by:
Good-Lyddon Data Systems

Copyright © 2004-2010 Joe Lyddon,