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Thread: Tung or Danish oil?

  1. #1

    Tung or Danish oil?

    For a workbench top and handplanes... is Danish a better protector?

  2. #2
    No finish on my benchtop.

    Anyone else gone commando?
    I actually prefer mine a little roughed up, with a toothing plane.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Suffolk County, Long Island NY

    I used Watco Danish Oil, only because I had a can of it. One coat only that absorbed into the old dry wood leaving no slickness at all. Just enough to keep glue from sticking.
    Not sure which offers better protection... nor can I offer advice about wood body planes.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Portland, OR
    Depends on what you mean by "tung oil" and "danish oil"; the products you are considering may be essentially the same thing. If you mean raw tung oil, it will take a long time to dry and harden, perhaps weeks. Polymerized tung oil is the same type of finish as boiled linseed oil. But a lot of products (at least here in the US) that have "tung oil" in the name are really either oil/varnish blends or thinned, wiping varnishes. And so-called "danish oil" is also either oil/varnish or wiping varnish. Even though varnishes start with oil as a base ingredient, by the time it chemically converts to varnish it is no longer an oil. No matter what the advertising says.

    You can read more on this by Bob Flexner: Oil Finishes: Their History and Use
    Note the list of products at the end which are all wiping varnishes.

    At any rate, if you choose a varnish, it will form a film finish on the surface of the wood, however thin. A true oil finish will soak in. Film finishes offer more protection, but can be slippery.
    gentleman woodworker
    vicarious tool collector

  5. #5
    Thanks for the link it helped a lot. I have some pure Tung oil and and I don't want a film finish I guess that the way to go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I use Tried and True Danish oil. Seems to work well on my bench.
    I will re-coat about every 6 to 8 months.
    It takes about 8 to 24 hours to dry well then buff it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Calgary AB, Canada
    I have been experimenting with BLO and real turpentine mixed and other than the strong smell which takes a little bit of time to die off, I really like the results! I am still trying to get my bench done and when it's finished, this is so far the finish I think I will use...

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