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Old December 6, 2019, 11:31 PM   #1
The Rattler
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Sanding In Pure Tung Oil

I am finishing an American Walnut gunstock with Pure 100% Tung Oil. I’ve refinished 7 stocks, 2 of which were with Pure Tung Oil. With this 3d Pure Tung Oil stock, I would like to use the “sanding In” method of application. I have used this method on other finishes, but not with Tung Oil. I will apply between 8 or 12 coats over the same number of weeks.

With my previous pure tung oil finishes, rubbing vigorously after letting the tung oil sit for 15-20 minutes worked just fine. With my 2 “sanding In” projects, using Pilkington’s on one and Minwax Antique Oil on the other, I let them sit for the time per the instructions, and then rubbed the slurry in a circular fashion with non-absorbent paper.

I tried that technique with pure tung oil and the circular rubbing with non absorbent paper failed to produce a non-wet surface. For fear of the surfacing being tacky, I went ahead and rubbed it “dry” with a rag. However, won’t rubbing remove the material in the pores from using the non-absorbant paper? Should I have simply rubbed the non-absorbent for a longer period of time?

1. Is there any reason not to “sand in” with Pure Tung Oil?
2. If it’s ok, how long do you let the finish “dry” before you start “sanding In?”
3. Can you keep it from producing a tacky finish?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old December 7, 2019, 03:06 AM   #2
Scorch
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No reason not to sand in pure tung oil. It just takes longer to dry than blended finishes.

I apply the first coat, let it dry about a week. Then use 400 or 600 grit wet/dry paper to wet sand the next 2 coats of oil (following the grain, not circling). Wipe off the excess each time so the finish does not get sticky. After this dries about a week, sand smooth, the wood will be filled. To complete the finish, apply thin coats of oil on top of the filled wood by putting a dab in your hand and spreading it over the entire stock.
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Old December 7, 2019, 05:48 PM   #3
The Rattler
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Sanding In Tung Oil

Thank you for this reply. I now have the confidence to proceed. It’s a big help!
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Old December 7, 2019, 07:24 PM   #4
olddav
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The stocks I finished I sanded in a mixture of mineral spirits and tung oil (50/50). Waited 24 hours between coats. Takes 10 to 15 coats to completely seal the wood.
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Old December 8, 2019, 02:50 PM   #5
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Sand In Tung Oil

Old Dave, Did you sand in every one of your 10-15 coats?
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Old December 15, 2019, 10:44 AM   #6
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I realize that I’m a bit late with my response but yes you sand in every coat.
Start with a 320 grit then 400 till grain is filled. Continue with 600 grit and finish with 1000 or 1200 grit. If the finish is too dull for your taste, then add a few coats of Tru-oil.
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Last edited by olddav; December 15, 2019 at 10:54 AM.
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Old December 15, 2019, 01:07 PM   #7
Don Fischer
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Last couple stock's I did I sanded in Tru Oil. Used 400 grit Wet/dry sand paper in circular motion. To clean off I simply used a rag and wiped across the grain. I like what come's out. In the past I applied Tru Oil with my finger's and when done, to get rid of the shine I rubbed the stock out with more Tru Oil using a piece of 0000 steel wool. Gave a nice satin finish.
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