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  1. #1
    John (Guest)
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    wet sanding Tung Oil coats

    Hi, I'm going to finish a piece with Minwax's Tung Oil finish which is 34% Tung Oil and 66% thinners and other top secret additives and hardeners (for which Minwax would have to kill me if I found out the contents <grin>).

    If I wet-sand between coats (600-grit) do I actually use the Tung Oil product as the liquid when "wet" sanding or does the term "wet sanding" always imply water?

    thanks,
    John Morga

  2. #2
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    RE: wet sanding Tung Oil coats

    John,
    It means wet sand the tung oil mix itself. Not water. By the way, would you please post back on how this works out. I have heard rave reviews on wetsanding a finishing mix of varnish/oil/turpentine, and based on that I suspect you may get really great results. Wiley Horne

  3. #3
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    I better qualify my answer

    John,
    Let me add a little bit to the above--in other words, hem and haw--to make sure I'm not leading you astray. In the post above, I was referring to a finish method reported back by an acquaintance who recently attended Ernie Conover's school, and the method was to apply a varnish/oil/turpentine mix, sand it in wet at 320; apply again, and sand at 600; do it again and sand at 1000 or go to 0000 steel wool. This guy was raving about the results. I think the same approach would work for your finish.
    However, the term 'wet sanding' also is used in the context of rubbing out a gloss finish. This normally means rubbing out a film finish like shellac, lacquer, or a short-oil varnish--finishes that make a glossy shell. Here the rubbing out can be dry, or it can be done with water, soapy water, mineral spirits (for shellac). Oils and oil/varnish mixes are too soft to be rubbed out in the same way.
    So I think the answer to your question is what I originally said--sand the wet finish itself. However, if the tung oil finish you're using is high in varnish and tends to form a hard, glossy, varnishy surface, it could be wet sanded between coats with water or some other appropriate lubricant. Wiley Horne




  4. #4
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    RE: wet sanding Tung Oil coats

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Sep-06-01 AT 09:09PM (CDT)[/font][p]Hi, John:

    Mr. Horne is absolutely correct; "wet sanding" is very typically referred to as the process of sanding with a lubricant to improve the quality of the final product.

    Wet sanding can be done a couple of ways; you can sand using the finishing product, which is what Mr. Horne refers to when using oil or even varnish finishes. You can wet sand a hardened, cured finish to improve gloss, lower high spots, and do mild cutting through to even out the surface. Or, you can use the solvent of a finish to improve the performance of the sandpaper on your finished product. FWIW, others with more knowledge can probably add to the list, but those are the major uses of wet sanding as a term that I have encountered.

    Wet sanding allows the abrasive material to cut the surface without clogging; the particulate matter generated is congealed into a gelatinous paste that can be wiped off after sanding. With oils and oil/polymer or resin mixes, the finishing product (i.e., the oils) act as lubricants to help the paper move more easily and give much better results. The surface will be "baby's bottom" smooth and very, very pleasant to touch. It will help the oils penetrate better and gives the wood a wonderfully warm glow and tactile effect.

    Better finishers will offer you more, and I look forward to hearing from them!

    Good luck with your project, and God bless! :)

    Josh

  5. #5
    John (Guest)
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    RE: wet sanding Tung Oil coats

    Hey - thanks for your replies everyone!

    I'm finishing an electric solid-body bass guitar that's Ash, Maple and Ebony with a Quilt Maple top. I can't wait to start finishing this bass. It's my first project so I didn't tackle the shaping - I have a luthier doing that. I've done lots of woodworking for construction / home improvements, framing, made a few custom entry doors, some pretty wood gates, even installed a 900 sq/ft parque oak floor with lots of curves and rounded sections. But I wouldn't consider myself in a league with luthiers, millworkers and furniture makers.

    I do keep hearing (in other woodworking newgroups) how great an oil/thinner/varnish finish turns out. I found out (in an instrument-makers newsgroup) that the Tung Oil product is actually this combination. Besides the Tung Oil, the other 66% is a combo of mineral spirits and some kind of varnish. By the way, the MINWAX Antique Oil is the same as the Tung Oil product except the Antique Oil has 34% Linseed Alkalyd Resin instead of the Tung Oil. The balance of the other 66% ingredients are exactly the same. (I called Minwax in New Jersey)

    Also, Minwax markets the Tung Oil product to be a finishing product and markets the Linseed product to be a wood care or maintenance product.

    John


  6. #6
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    RE: wet sanding Tung Oil coats

    John,
    Thanks for doing the great detective work on these patented finishes! It's really useful information. Wiley

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