View Full Version : oil vs H2O
I've always been a hard core "oil based" or I should say solvent based finish user. In my old age I've become aware and to some degree concerned for our environment. Not a tree hugger but I'll pick up trash along a hiking trail, respect whats natural and living. Blah, blah, blah I'm sure you see the picture and where this is going.
Well I generaly spray my finishes, primarily laquer. I know this is not good for our surroundings. I have not used waterbased products primarily because from what I've seen they don't seem to cut the mustard. They don't build as fast and I wonder about their longevity. Granted water based anything sounds like easier repairability.
There was a posting awhile back regarding adhesives for laminates, I believe a water based or odor free product was used with poor results. One of my thoughts I kept to myself was if its odorless, whats missing? Hence if laquer is water based (it is avail.)vice the "norm" is it still realy laquer. Same for urethanes. Or perhaps the "norm" has changed and passed me by.
I'm also aware that some places have ordances banninng anything but waterbased product uses, like the house paint that don't stay on the house anymore.
02-16-2001, 08:21 PM
Stupid computer, I was 3/4 through a reply to this post when everything went away. I guess I will try to do it again. And it was my best prose ever....
I am an old stand by kind of a finisher as well. I don't use any of the water based finishes. I remember an article in a recent Fine Woodworking that discussed the quality of the "new" commercial grade water finishes and the input was they were as good or better. I haven't tried them yet as I have an inventory to eat through first.
But, I also would like to do more for the environment than I do now and I am more of a tree hugger than you are Glen.
I will try to find the article and post the brands they recommend.
That would be appreciated. I'll try a few gallons of the water based laquer before I order a drum. Which makes me wonder about shelf life. I use a vacume siphon so I have a good seal, but I'm wondering about smaller quantities. Wonder if H2O versions can be colorized.
Roger S. Dillman
02-16-2001, 10:52 PM
the water based finishes are completely different than the old,solvent-based products. Hardwood floors have been finished with warwe-based poly for many years now. Not only is it easier to apply,but also dries quicker and with no odor,to be able to do multible coats in one day. Welcome to the 21st Century.
Dave in Cairns
02-17-2001, 02:28 AM
LAST EDITED ON Feb-17-01 AT 02:48AM (CDT)[p]Glen , don't be confused about water based finishes being solvent free. The solvent in water based polyurethane is not water but glycolether. My opinion is that oils are better for timber than water.
Your logic seems sound.
Have any of the water based finishes you've used stood the test of time? Solvent based laquer dries pretty darn fast for succesive coats. I also wonder if these water based finishes have the same properties after curing, ie; water spots, or alcohol damage stc.
All the same I'm going to try the water based laquer.....I think.
Thanx for the input.
02-18-2001, 09:08 AM
W/b finishes have more solids than a common lacquer and will build faster(fewer coats). Dry times can be just as fast as a lacquer if that is what you want. Some do 'burn in' and touch up like lacuers and will far outlast traditional solvent products. They can be tinted with dyes or pigments for toning purposes. All have some form of an alcohol and can have many other solvents. An MSDS sheet will help you understand more of what is in the product and your exposure limits. There are pro/cons to every finish- solvent or w/b.Start evaluating for yourself- only you can answer if its for you.
Dave in Cairns
02-18-2001, 09:26 AM
Dave , I'm really interested in you qualifying your quote below. Considering W/based finishes have hardly any history compared to oil based finishes , this must be only your opinion , surely?
>do 'burn in' and touch
>up like lacuers and will
>far outlast traditional solvent products.
02-19-2001, 08:21 AM
No opinions. I have been involved with w/b for many years. They are not as new as you think. Only a few have burn-in features but is not a necessity if applied correctly. Excellent for production work. Acrylics tend to oulast most solvents- they are UV stable. But lets face it- most finishes get replaced for other reasons and not because it reached the end of its lifespan.
11-04-2001, 09:14 PM
Several years ago I decided to try a water-based finish mainly because the smell of solvents bothered my wife (and me too). In addition I was really tired of the time it took for oil based finishes to dry and the clean-up mess.
Not that it really matters what I used it on, but one quilt chest I built that is now at a home on the Oregon coast has survived very well through two winters in a moist and at times unheated environment and shows no signs of degradation or failure. The unit I built was of birch plywood, high dollar stuff to start with, and it received three coats. I didn't use any sanding sealer, but did sand between each finish.
I used Flecto Varathane Elite, Diamond Finish, Clear Gloss. I've done two more chests since, the same way, because I was happy with the finish results.
It says low odor, water clean-up, drys in 2 hours, and I'm happy to say it meets its claim. Also, the fast drying time reduces the amount of dust every finishing project seems to collect. It's not even tacky after about half an hour, dry to the touch and sandable withing two hours. Some day I'll be brave enough to try sanding the same day.