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Old May 18, 2008, 11:44 AM   #12
FL-Flinter
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Join Date: June 24, 2007
Location: West Central Florida
Posts: 207
Mykeal is correct, the tung oil you'll get in most any store is a blended "wiping finish" and not pure tung oil. It'll dry relatively fast, considerably faster than boiled linseed but the key is to not apply it too heavy and don't rush the job. A proper oil finish, done with out-of-the-can tung oil will take no less than 5-7 days depending upon environmental conditions at the time. Do NOT attempt to rub the finish if it is not completely dry or you'll end up with a huge mess! If you attempt to force-dry wiping finish it'll usually start lifting off the wood and also make a huge mess.

As far as "large scale" goes, a production manufacturer is not going to do hand-rubbed oil finishing but for the custom builders like myself, it's entirely possible to not only do a complete long-gun stock but whole pieces of furniture too. I did custom carving on a large combination dresser & drawer cabinet then put a rubbed oil finish on the whole unit, approximately 35 sqft of surface. The oil finishes offered by production manufacturers is usually nothing more than a single coat of wiping finish topped with a wiped or sprayed wax.

To obtain a satin or flat finish with oil, you need to burnish the surface after the oil is completely cured which may take upwards of 20 days or more depending on the numder of coats, thickness of the coats, atmospheric conditions, yadda, yadda, yadda.... Key thing is, if you don't allow one single coat of oil to completely dry before appling coats over it, you'll end up with a mess too. It's not impossible to do but you need to take your time and practice on scrap wood until you get a feel for it.
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