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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of making a futon (red oak) and trying to decide how to finish it. I'm thinking of a tung oil finish (the minwax variety, not real tung oil) but I'm wondering if I can just do a few coats of that, and just leave it. Will the oil rub off on the futon mattress, or will it be ok in a week or two after the oil cures? If I do need a topfinish on it, what would be the best choice? I don't want to use poly, but I really want something I can wipe on...is johnson's wax a good choice? If the wax finish gets scratched up, can I just reapply wax to fix it?

Thanks for any thoughts,

JC
 

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Red oak is like a bunch of soda straws,any oil in the wood will work its way to the surface and if not wiped off will dry to become a shiny spot that really stands out. Oil and wax offer about the same amount of protection -Zero. The only thing you gain with wax is a regular maintenance routine. My suggestion would be to use a wipe on varnish. You can make your own or try waterlox original sealer, which is their regular varnish thinned with mineral spirits. If you have trouble finding the waterlox you can use formbys tung oil finish (that contains no tung oil and is a thin wiping varnish).
Regards
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
THanks Jerry, I was thinking I'd go with the tung oil finish. How does that stand up to abuse on its own? Is it going to show every little scratch?
I finished a bookcase a while back with the tung oil finish, but I then added a couple coats of wipe on poly afterwards...I don't want to do the poly this time. Just hoping the tung oil finish will be durable enough...

JC
 

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As i said all the tung oil finishes are either wipimg varnishes or oil,varnish,solvent mixes,and none of them contain any tung oil.Forby's is a thin wiping varnish. While wiping varnishes are almost mistake proof they do require many more coats to get good protection,usually three coats wipe on equals one brushed coat. If you apply 6-9 coats that will offer excellent protection. Just be sure to give the varnish time to cure before you put any thing on it. You can save money and get a better product by mixing your own. Call it Jacs hand rubbed tung oil finish.

Regards
Jerry
 

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JAC, A durable finish without the plastic look of poly is easy. Visit your local store for a can of Watco Danish oil. It's super easy to apply, leaves a great hand rubbed appearance, and the oil penetrates deep into the wood and hardens it. In the event of damage, it is simple to get a perfect repair match. This product comes in clear and tinted shades for about $10 a quart. Test it out on a small project and let us know what you think. I use this product on a regular basis and find it a great value.
 

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I agree with Mike. I built a tool box out of Red Oak and used Watco Danish Oil. It was perfect for what I wanted- the wood to be accented and not covered up. You can buy it at any home centre store. Be sure to get a couple of tack cloths and finish applicator pads. Do not saturate the wood. Use light coats and build up to the amount of lustre that you want. -Derek
 

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Randy,
The Watco is a penetrating oil- it comes in various shades. I chose the natural colour because it enhances the wood as I described. The Red Oak is perfect using the natural finish. I have a couple of pictures of my toolbox in another thread. I also believe the oil will provide protection to the wood for years to come. -Derek
 

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Danish oil is a mixture of linseed oil,varnish&solvent ,usually 1/3rd each. The oil will give a close to the wood ,matte finish with no abrasion, chemical or any other significant protection, the only real protection is derived from the varnish. As far as the oil (of any kind) hardening the wood that is pure Madison Avenue. As Bob Flexner says finishing is a simple craft. it amounts to transfering liquid from a can to wood.

REgards
Jerry
 

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Finishing a project seems to be the least desired process. I find Jerry's postings very helpful. He seems to take the time to understand the processes. The current edition of "Wood" has an entire section on understanding, mixing and applying different types of finishes. There are many pictures that show the results using different woods and what steps to take. -Derek
 

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fibertech said:
Randy,
The Watco is a penetrating oil- it comes in various shades. I chose the natural colour because it enhances the wood as I described. The Red Oak is perfect using the natural finish. I have a couple of pictures of my toolbox in another thread. I also believe the oil will provide protection to the wood for years to come. -Derek

Thank you Derek and all.

I hate finishing but am learning to take my time with it and learning to use different finishes since this is what makes your work look good and stand out or look like junk. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the advice gents. I'm definitely going to try the Danish Oil. I actually
had thought of using that, but have no experience with it...whereas I know I like
what the tung oil looks like.

I'm with Randy, finishing the project is the least fun part, but one of the most important. Need to get better with it...and the whole woodworking thing in general :)

Thanks,

JC
 
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