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Thread: Table top found uneven after danish oil, can I re-sand part of it?

  1. #1

    Table top found uneven after danish oil, can I re-sand part of it?

    I have a dining table (6'x34") I sanded and applied danish oil to. Next step is polyurethane but I figured I would put my level over the top to make sure my work was good.... Well I found out the outer edges of the table are high at the widths. It isn't terrible but most of the center of the table is about 1/8" lower than the outer borders. It could be that the wood itself is cupping a little but I am guessing I may have also spent more time sanding the center than the outside edges. I did measure the thickness of the outside edges and they seem about 1/16th inch thicker. It can't really be seen with the eye and probably no one would notice it but since I know it is there now it bothers me.

    My worst fear is there was still too much moisture and the wood is cupping in which case then I can take it down some but it might cup more. But if it is just uneven sanding then I was thinking of resanding just the outer border. Possible use a power planer first to get close and then sand to finish back to 320.
    So here is my main concern:
    If I re-sand just the borders and then apply more danish oil, am I going to get an uneven finish? I have never noticed danish oil to finish unevenly but I am worried having one section finished at a different time than another section could produce some sort of lighter and darker area. I am hoping the wood just soaks it up and at a certain point more doesn't change the look.

    I will post two pictures to see the work. The darker one is after more danish oil and letting it sit for a few days.
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  2. #2
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    Why the "Danish Oil" (which is a dilute varnish-oil-spirits wipe on product) and the varnish? You'll get the same look with just the poly/varnish. (Assuming it's oil based)


    That said, you'd be best to sand back the entire table surface, IMHO, before re-applying your Danish Oil to avoid your fixes being visible.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Why the "Danish Oil" (which is a dilute varnish-oil-spirits wipe on product) and the varnish? You'll get the same look with just the poly/varnish. (Assuming it's oil based)


    That said, you'd be best to sand back the entire table surface, IMHO, before re-applying your Danish Oil to avoid your fixes being visible.

    I have used Danish oil for a while because it works well, its easy to use, and I like it. I have a feeling danish oil gives better depth than the wipe on poly alone but I haven't done any test to confirm this. I am not sure if I didn't explain something but I am using danish oil and then finishing with poly. No other varnish involved.

    I guess I could try sand the whole table but I have no idea how deep the danish oil penetrated so I could risk sanding off 1/4" for all I know.

  4. #4
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    If you're using wipe on poly, it's not going to be materially different than the Danish Oil in appearance unless you're using a tined Danish Oil..."in general". You can always test that theory on some scrap of the real project material sanded to the same level so you have a valid sample to view. The penetration of the finish isn't going to be all that deep, honestly. But if you want to, you can try putting the Danish oil on just the newly sanded areas and let it cure. If it looks different, then sand back the whole surface and re-apply. Again, I'd personally sand it all back so there is a uniform surface for the finish to be applied so so there's no wonky sheen issues, etc. (I learned a hard lesson about that with a project in the past) But that's me...
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    I have a test piece going now. So far the finish doesn't look any different but I should probably wait overnight and see.

  6. #6
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    Did you finish the bottom? Finishing just one side can cause the cupping you describe, thought not certain areas being thicker. If you’re okay with the slight thickness variations, I’d recommend turning it over and finishing the bottom and see if the cup goes away. If you start using a power planer to even out the thickness, you could end up taking more off than you want which may just make the cupping even worse.

    i also agree that a Danish oil under poly can help give you a more even coloring which can reduce the number of topcoats needed to give the appearance of an even film build. I usually use Minwax antique oil because it dries much faster than Watco Danish oil (~1 day vs. 3 days).
    Last edited by Bennett Ostroff; 12-01-2019 at 10:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Bennett, Minwax Antique Oil Finish is a wiping varnish with a creative name rather than a "Danish Oil" type product. That's why it dries the way you mention...
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Minwax Antique Oil is an oil/varnish blend, not a wiping varnish. It will not dry hard if you don't wipe off all the excess.

  9. #9
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    Most commercial "wiping" varnishes are a blend of oil and varnish. Also, at least one popular home recipe for wiping varnish contains boiled linseed oil.

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