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Another Doubt About Tung Oils Finish


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One -DEAD- givaway is that they -never- mention having to thin it out first.

We also don't mention thinning paints/lacquers for use in spray guns in every post. Does that mean you use whatever you buy... straight out of the can? Probably not.

And if you asked them what thins tung oil, they never know.

I use Mineral Spirits, but I hate really thin "tung oil"... like Fornbeys.

Can I tell you what IS in Gillespie's "tung oil"? No... but it's not because I haven't searched. However, I do know that it is fairly thick and very beautiful. When I have a piece of wood that has great "fiddleback" ripple in it, I pull out the can of Gillespie's... because experience has shown me what it can do to enhance the natural character of the wood.

But, when it's time to something different, I can whip out the spray gun.

D~s

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...it is a combination product,it has hardeners...

That's interesting, because the 5 year old can (which I've used occasionally the entire time) doesn't look/act like a can of finish that has hardening agents in it. Do you know where I might look for more info? (Google hasn't found anything, and the can doesn't have a company address.)

BTW: I'm NOT trying to argue; this stuff is thick enough that I really thought that it was 70-90% pure, with some added drying/curing agents and/or mineral spirits. If I was wrong, I would like to find out what IS in the Gillespie's tung oil.

D~s

Edited by Dugz Ink
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I understand there's no arguments here, actually this is a good conversation about tung oils so far (I think)

And I use Tru-Oil myself (polymerized tung oil) for certain applications.

I wasn't putting tung oil down at all really, I just wanted to clear the air about it being 'superior' was all.

And I understand to some folks, it IS superior for them, and that's great, but, once again, I know a lot of people read these threads and don't post, I just wanted -them- to be fully informed about the subject so they can make a more responsible decision for themselves.

We also don't mention thinning paints/lacquers for use in spray guns in every post. Does that mean you use whatever you buy... straight out of the can? Probably not.

C'mon now... B) let's be realistic here. Out of ALL the conversations I've read on tung oil, the word 'thinner' NEVER EVER gets mentioned, you know it, and I know it, and I know that unless it is, you're not talking about REAL 100% tung, but enough of that, that's a side issue. It just lets me know that 99.9% of the time when someone says pure tung oil, they've been duped by the can or bottle they bought and they don't actually have real tung oil on hand, but one of the many variants out there.

And BTW, when talking about shooting finish, the word thinner DOES get mentioned pretty regularly.

The book I recommend everyone buy who wants to understand finishing:

'Understanding Wood Finishes' by Bob Flexner.

It's mostly all in there, easy to understand, -exceptionally- well laid out and explained.

So sure, Tung Oil finish is as viable as any other, it's pretty, deep luster, all that, but it's not what I would call 'superior'. That was my only real point. :D

I completely agree with Frank, I am a big believer in UNDERSTANDING what you have at your disposal, which means you have a decent cache of different finishes to choose from, and you understand what they're good for and what they're not good for.

I also use several different types of finishes, I've got a fresh batch of shellac here that's been dewaxing for 2 weeks readying for the spalted guitars coming up.

-And I shoot lacquer (normally).

-And I use catalyzed lacquer for oily woods and some other things.

-And I use Tru-Oil on occasion because it's my favorite product for an oil application.

-And I use CA (superglue) as a finishing agent too

And I agree with Frank again, I was a bit over-the-top about 'graduating' to gunned-on finishing, wipe-ons are as viable as anything else.

OK OK, my personal favoritism finally reared it's head there for a second :D

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be careful using a can that old dug...you might want to buy some fresh.almost everything has a shelf life of less than 5 years

i am only basing what i said about gillespies from memory of a can of it i read the label of about a year ago at wal mart...actually,i have never found a can of pure tung oil in a real store...only on the internet so far...and you REALLY have to dig deep to find the true ingredients

i am not sure why they hide it so much.

what you say is interesting drak...even my "100% pure tung oil" is already thinned.any clue on if the thinner is a petroleum distillate?

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Most people who buy this stuff from the Home Depot shelves are your Sunday Joe's refurbishing some antique chair or something like that, they don't need to know what's in there most of the time, and they're not filling pores and tinting and dying, so they are fine with it right out the tap, they just want to buy a brush and a can of some easy-to-apply clear finish goop that looks reighteously beautiful right out of the can and keep the wife happy with the new project they did (for their wife ...of course :D )

Guitar builders are putting stuff underneath -and- over top of finishes, so the reactions of different products are very important to them, thus the need to:

understand exactly what's in what you bought

how will it adhere/react to what's underneath of it

how will it adhere/react to what's over top of it

how will it buff out

how does it sand

what is the best application technique

how long will it last

how much abuse will it take

And yes, petroleum distillates are the thinners/driers in your tung oil 'product' :D

As to -exactly- what they put in there, ratios and amounts, it's anyone's guess if they didn't spell it out in the ingredients for you.

A lot of tung oil products actually contain a rather small amount of real 'tung' oil.

OK.

The words 'Tung Oil' sells product, it's a popular term these days.

The words 'Pure', and '100%', sell even more product.

A picture on the front of a gorgeous antique chair all gussied up sells too!

These companies are out to make profit, and the shelves are PACKED with different, but similar, products to yours.

And YOURS -has- to stand out if you want to sell enough product to be in 'the black' with it.

You do the math. :DB)

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Drak, I think you need to write us an article on oil finishing. :D I never realized that my "pure" tung oil wasn't completely pure. It is about the thickness of karo corn syrup. How pure would you think that is?

Any good resources online about using Tung Oil?

Edited by javacody
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Hmm... that kind of helps me to understand what I'm using... but this Gillespie's stuff can darken up the wood... darker than the "polimerized" tung oil pix... but not as much as the "pure" tung oil or the boiled linseed oil... but I guess they could be mixing the two together. (I also have a can of boiled linseed oil; now I wonder if that's "pure".)

Thanks, though; it is a very good refernce.

D~s

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I just double checked my can of Tung, it's Behlens, and it says no driers or thinners added. It is thick as syrup. I'm not sure what you don't like about it Drak, but it works fine for me?

Great Article Lex! Thanks.

Is it safe to try and polymerize Tung myself? How would I cook it without oxygen? In a vacuum of some sort?

Edited by javacody
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Show me a few pics of the guitars you've Tung Oiled, let's have a clear close-up look-see and let everyone form their own opinions. Democracy at it's finest.

Yes, Behlens is one of the actual 100% pure Tung Oil products.

I still don't like it, but that's just me. I'm glad it works for you tho. I've said a million times we all have our own ways and methods to get to where we want to get to, so that's OK by me.

I'd like to see some pics of what it can do tho, so show me the money shots! :D

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I wish I had a digital camera. :D Dang kids want to eat all the time and the extra money goes for guitar stuff.

The tung oil doesn't really look like much. It's a very satiny, flat appearance that doesn't look too much different from natural wood, only 5 shades darker.

I did do a birdseye maple neck in pure tung, but I stained it with tea and sealed it first with egg white (a Violin makers trick), which helped to build up the tung oil and keep it from seeping into the wood. I also did a strat body (without the egg white) and it didn't build nearly as much. Plus, the alder seemed to soak it up quite a bit more than the hard maple. I dyed the wood yellow first, and after I applied about 8 coats of tung, I waxed it with paste wax. I think it looks very good, but I love to see the grain.

I'm getting ready to do another body in tung and red dye. I'll try to borrow a digital camera after I've finished it.

The one complaint I do have about oil finishes is that the end grain literally drinks it up. The end grain soaked up the oil on my strat body, and the body literally "sweated" out oil for hours afterwards. I learned to be more careful on the end grain after that.

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FYI (if it's pertinent to the discussion?)... I found this last nite:

Lizzy Daymont's Carvin Kit, Purple Tung-Oiled

He says it's an Ash body...but I didn't know Carvin were offering those....

...and as it follows:

Woodburst.Com

New to me (I'm newbie).

Oooops, yeah. I just saw that Carvin now offers Swamp Ash bodies; My Bad.

(made mine 4 years ago, only Alder then)

whatever,

rick

><>

Edited by rick_here
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Is it safe to try and polymerize Tung myself? How would I cook it without oxygen? In a vacuum of some sort?

I'm not sure, but you could just buy pre-polimerized oil.

Show me a few pics of the guitars you've Tung Oiled, let's have a clear close-up look-see and let everyone form their own opinions. Democracy at it's finest.

Here, just the headstock is painted.

Here, this one was played for a few years buy the owner before I could get it back for these pics, a good example of how oil wears. The body of this is a Danish Oil.

Here, the body is lacquered.

All these.

All these instruments are finished with THIS and THIS, except where otherwise noted.

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Huh? I believe that once you apply tung oil, it polyermizes as it dries. How is using pre-polymerized Tung Oil that much different from Fresh Tung oil?

This is a great conversation by the way, I've learned quite a bit!

Edited by javacody
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Huh? I believe that once you apply tung oil, it polyermizes as it dries. How is using pre-polymerized Tung Oil that much different from Fresh Tung oil?

This is a great conversation by the way, I've learned quite a bit!

you bring it up to 500 degrees in an oygen free environment to polymerize it...

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