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Thread: Questions about an oil finish

  1. #1
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    Questions about an oil finish

    I would like to start using a finish that will give me a more natural, soft finish. I have been using lacquer. I use Mahoney's walnut oil sometimes, but wonder if there is something better for longevity. I just finished a group of pizza cutter handles, and finished them with MWO because they will be in near contact with food. The darker handles got really dark, and the finish is a little dead. My questions are:

    If you use walnut oil, do you buff afterward? If so, how long to your wait after oiling?
    I have tried to find a recipe for Keith burns 10 min finish. Does anyone have it, and how durable is it?
    Do you have a different oil or oil finish combo that you like better than walnut oil?
    Any other thoughts on oil finishes?

    TIA
    Brian

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  2. #2
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    You could try Watco Butcher Block Oil and Finish. It is quite a bit slower than 10 minutes. I wait 8 hours between coats and 24 hours before buffing.

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    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 02-22-2024 at 5:41 PM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
    A bit more prep time, I purchase a good quality gloss poly pint or quart, and good quality mineral spirits that is more refined. Start with a small quantity of a 50-50 mix. Wearing disposable gloves, I wipe on the thinned poly with a 2" to 3" square of new T shirt material, using a folded clean panel of paper towel to hold the item being finished. After wiping on a wet coat all all surfaces, I wipe them "dry" with another clean panel of paper towel, and let the item dry on a nail board. If the thinned poly gets tacky before wiping is completed, increase slightly the percentage of mineral spirits. I have been using this to finish wooden bowls for several years without problems. Depending on the amount of poly in the mix, it can take 4 or 5 applications, one per day, to build to a satin/semi-gloss finish.

  4. #4
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    Brian -- I have buffed items finished with walnut oil after it has cured. How long you need wait depends on a number of factors -- type of wood, environmental factors (temperature, humidity, amount of air movement), how the finish was applied, etc. For treen items, such as pizza cutter handles, I often wet sand with walnut oil as the lubricant. Once I've sanded through the grits (120, 240, 320), I don't apply any additional finish. Applied in like that, I'd wait two to three weeks before buffing. (Which is the same time I'd allow for a lacquer finish.) But, that's in my shop in relatively dry Arizona. Your mileage will definitely vary.

    Note: I really like walnut oil for treen items because its so easy to reapply. It's much more durable than a mineral oil-based finish, which is what most 'butcher block oil' finishes are. It's not as durable as a film finish, like lacquer or poly. But, it doesn't show minor scratches as much as those finishes do. And, of course, its easier to repair a walnut oil finish than any of the film finishes. (This is an advantage of oil finishes over film finishes.)

    HTH
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  5. #5
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    On smaller items like handles, pens, and boxes I do a vacuum applied poly finish. I place the item in a can of finish weighted down so that it is fully submerged. I then put the can into my vacuum chamber and pull a vacuum on it. It will bubble a lot as it pulls the air out of the wood so you have watch and not overflow the can as you pull the vacuum. When get to full vacuum for my setup I close the valve and seal off the vessel and let it sit until I no longer see any bubbles coming off the wood. I release the vacuum and take the can out of the chamber and remove the items out of the finish. I dry the excess finish off the items with rags or paper towels and then let them dry overnight to24 hours. I the buff them with the Beal system (rouge, white diamond, wax) this gives me a soft finish that will not wear off as it is deep into the wood. I did ale this way that carried everyday and heavily used for 12 years and it look the same as the day I made it. Seems to work for me bud does require a vacuum pump. For a chamber I used a gallon pickle jar for years. It is also a good finish for something that will be exposed to water (washing) a lot.
    Last edited by Sparky Paessler; 02-25-2024 at 8:43 AM.
    Sparky Paessler

  6. #6
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    Just knock down the gloss of the film finish to almost dead flat sheen and it will give you the natural look you want, with lots of longevity.

  7. #7
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    For kitchen things that are going to be handled, like pizza cutters, I use the standard mix of mineral oil and beeswax. Could be any wax I suppose. I just assume that any finish will wear off from contact.
    < insert spurious quote here >

  8. #8
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    I would love to be able to measure how much of a cured film finish you pick up on your hands after cutting 10 pizzas at one cutting session.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    Sparky,

    This sounds like a durable finish, but unfortunately I don't have a vacuum chamber .....yet. I want to get one, for other reasons, so I'll have to file this procedure away for when that time comes.
    Brian

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  10. #10
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    I did use the walnut oil, and gave it a few days to dry, then buffed it. It mostly worked. I got the sheen I was looking for on most woods, but not so much on the more oily woods, especially red eucalyptus. The claro walnut and big leaf maple burl were beautiful. Now, to see how durable the finish is.
    Brian

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coshocton Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Brown View Post
    I would like to start using a finish that will give me a more natural, soft finish. I have been using lacquer. I use Mahoney's walnut oil sometimes, but wonder if there is something better for longevity. I just finished a group of pizza cutter handles, and finished them with MWO because they will be in near contact with food. The darker handles got really dark, and the finish is a little dead. My questions are:

    If you use walnut oil, do you buff afterward? If so, how long to your wait after oiling?
    I have tried to find a recipe for Keith burns 10 min finish. Does anyone have it, and how durable is it?
    Do you have a different oil or oil finish combo that you like better than walnut oil?
    Any other thoughts on oil finishes?

    TIA
    Brian while I unfortunately no longer have my woodturning shop, your post caught my attention and I would like to offer my favorite finished that I used for small turnings small bowls, boxes, Christmas ornaments etc.
    I learned this from watching Captain Eddies videos. I believe he called it OB shine juice.
    1/3rd denatured alcohol, 1/3rd boiled linseed oil, and 1/3rd white shellac.
    Apply with a soft cloth on the lathe using as many coats as will give you the finish you desire. Takes some time but the finish is a soft shine that is very durable.
    I kept a mixture in a 1 pint squirt bottle and made sure I shook it well before and during use.

  12. #12
    I like Minwax Oil finish and endorse it just like Homer Formby Shine without glare ! Softness that is strong !

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