what's the dif btwn tung, linseed and teak OILs?

bullheimerApril 15, 2008

as far as the hardness, color, touch-up ability,

hardness/sandability? clearness/staining? and anything else you can think of one might need to know?

ability to varnish over them? can you put over varnish? what they feel like compared to plastic like varnishes? anything you have experienced, feel free to share.

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There isn't a simple and clean answer to this one.

"Teak oil" is just oil that's being marketed for use on teak. According to Flexner's Understanding Wood Finishing, "teak oil," may be straight mineral oil, or a mix of mineral oil and wax, or a mixture of linseed oil and varnish, none of which have properties that make them especially suited to use on teak. In other words, it's strictly a marketing term.

Real tung oil has particular properties, but most of what's sold as "tung oil" contains little or no real tung oil. Different brands contain different mixtures of stuff and therefore have different properties.

Can you say what you intend to use this for, and why you're homed in on oil finishes in particular?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 7:41AM
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yes, but when you say mineral oil, i guess you are not talking about mineral spirits, but the oil you put on your skin if you have a tick?

anyway. my understanding is that around 1905 when this house i live in was built, that it was popular to wipe down the wood with linseed oil and then wax it.

if that is what happened here, i want to try and fix all the scratches and scuff marks as best i can. i have had a hard time finding anything that hides the scratches completely. pls don't ask why? i want to do this. i am not one for patina.

how does one tell which oil was used. a friend of mine uses tung oil on his wood table he built. it dries very hard.

how do i get the wax off easily? what size grit do i use to scuff up the oil (if it is oil) and how would i tell which kind of oil was used, and does it even matter? thx.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:33PM
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There is a big difference between Teak Oil and Teak Oil Finish. Teak oil will take a long time to polymerize (cure/dry). Teak Oil Finish had driers added that speeds up the process.

The same is true for raw linseed oil and boiled linseed oil.

Mineral oil will not harden/cure.

Also see my post under "what was this varnish/shellac/lacquer?" topic.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Not much to add here except that there is little appearance difference between tung oil and boiled linseed oil. There is a slight chemical bonding difference, not enough to care about. There is a huge difference in chance of successful application. Tung oil is more difficult to get right, takes longer, and is more expensive.

Oil finishes are soft finishes. If they are allowed to build up they are very soft and rubbery. So you do not want to put oil over varnish. You can, however put varnish over oil.

I'll bet your friend that uses "Tung Oil" that dries hard is being mislead -- all but a few things labeled Tung Oil [Finish] are either thinned varnishes or thinned varnish and linseed oil. Most have not a drop of pure tung oil in them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oil Finishes

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 5:54PM
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i would have to say that since i can see a few places on the door trim where people had writen things on paper and i can read them in the wood, that it must have been oil.

if in fact it was linseed oil that was waxed, what would be the best way to refinish them? ie remove the wax, then what? lightly sand first then re-oil? or just throw new oil on? i don't want to just wax cause of the scratches i want to remove. the one place where i used oil based varnish was like plastic and too shiney, until i wiped it down with 0000 wool. i didnt sand thru the oil finish, should i sand it down to bare wood and start from scratch? i have one room solid paneling, it would take forever.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Dalys SeaFin Teak OIl uses:
finishing teak decks
polishig varnished surfaces
finishing hardwood rails
Hatch covers
bright work????
rovides Non-slip deck finish???
(? added my me)
exterior doors

low sheen finish for all wood surfaces
May be applied over Stained or varnished surfaces

using this crap almost seems like shellac when it says you can use over metal. wierd

it does not list "indredients" so can't say what it is unless they squeezed a teak tree. ??

i think... that since i found two cans of this stuff in the house when i moved in... and...that i can apply it over varnish... that i will try in on all kinds of stuff and just see what happens. it says on non stained wood to sand when it's still WET after 15 minutes with 400 grit. doesn't say anything about removing wax. anybody know what gets rid of wax? should i wipe it down with acetone?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 11:09PM
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Take a look at the msds below. This product is about 2/3 mineral spirits. This is "paint thinner" that will evaporate away. I do not know of any oil finish that is thinned with mineral spirits. And there is no "oil" listed in the MSDS. My guess is it's a highly thinned varnish.

So your question could boil down to:
Can I put varnish over varnish? Well, yes.

The litmus test is to put a quarter-sized puddle of this on a piece of glass or sample sized piece of Formica. Let it sit for a couple of days.
- If it dries hard and smooth, it is varnish and thinner
- If it dries soft and wrinkled, it is oil.
- If it dries hard in the center and wrinkled around the edges, it is an oil-varnish blend. The more oil, the more wrinkles.

Teak oil is no more squeezed from teak wood than baby oil is squeezed from babies. It is purely a marketing term and can be whatever contents the marketing department wants to use.

Naphtha or mineral spirits will remove wax, use lots of clean cloths to prevent just smearing it around.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSDS

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:31AM
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well, still haven't much hope in finding an actual oil. i spoze this test of yours is a fore-gone conclusion. thanks for the msds, i called them up and they really couldnt tell me what the other 1/3 was. mostly varnish and it took forever to get salesman, never did get one, then he wanted me to wait all day to talk to a chemist so i just said thanks and hung up.
you shouldn't tell lies about stuff tho uncle bobs nephew, cause everybody know that baby oil does come from baby's. and fresh-squeezed baby's are best.

anyway back on track, what is linseed oil made of then? or rather, what was 1905 linseed oil made of? same damned thing? then they waxed it. the salesman virtually said waxing (daly's website recommended only carnuba) was the Kiss of Death, requiring almost a complete sand down with 220 cause nothing would stick to it. he didn't think mineral spirits would do it, but he seemed to me to be about as dumb as a box of rocks.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Linseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the flax plant (whose fiber is used to make linen). Always has been, for 103+ years. You want "Boiled Linseed Oil". It is not boiled (yet another lie), but had polymerizing catalysts added. Raw Linseed oil dries very, very slowly. Just about any decent paint store or department will have Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO). I can highly recommend Bob Flexner's book, "Understanding Wood FInishes" (2d ed., if you can find it) or the article linked above. This should give you a good understanding of oil finishes.

Tung Oil is from the nut of the Tung tree, indigenous to China. In order to find this you have to look for two things:
1) A label that says something like 100% tung oil
2) Complete absence of a thinner on the label or MSDS, generally listed as Mineral Spirits, White Spirit, Stoddard Solvent, Light Aromatic Hydrocarbon, OMS, CAS 8052-41-3, Petroleum Distillates, or the latest obfuscation, "Aliphatic Hydrocarbons."

It's not that 95% of the things labelled "Tung Oil Finish" aren't bad products, you are just being lied to and you are not getting what you think you are getting. I just have a problem with that. Due to the fiber identification act, it's illegal to say something like "Scottish Shetland Wool Sweater" just because it looks like one but happens to be made of acrylic. Not so with finishes.

Sanding is the worst way to remove a finish, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness. Some varnishes, polyurethane in particular, will not stick well to a waxed surface.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Do yourself a favor and google sutherlandwelles
or do the obvious and add the 3 w's and a dot before the above and another dot and then com. Their site is great and their Tung oil finishes are the best I have ever used.
Done right their finish is hard, dry and waterproof. I speak from experience as I have been using it for years and would use no other. It is costly, but I work on small projects and it goes a long way. Also check out their varnish before you buy something. It is also a good hard finish.
NOTE; I have nothing to do with this company other than using their product.
NOTE NOTE: I have been using a pint of this for the last 3 years and still have good useable product in the can BECAUSE I REMOVE ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT EACH TIME and I THEN DROP MARBLES into the can to elimate any air.

Good Luck

1eyedJack and the Dawg

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:03PM
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"It is not boiled (yet another lie), but had polymerizing catalysts added."

The 'boiling' description refers to a process that injects air into the raw oil and makes the tanks appear to be 'boiling'.
This partially polymerizes the linseed oil and speeds up final hardening, though driers are sometimes added (Japan drier, cobalt driers, etc.) to further speed hardening.

Linseed oil actually makes a rather poor finish compared to more modern products.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:36AM
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