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Finishing a Violin in "the white" w/Tung Oil


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Bad news of sorts.

The "100% pure tung (china oil) oil I received from Leevalley apparently has had the UV catalyst properties removed. The first coat allowed to dry for 12 overnight showed no hardening change after 1 hour in the sun, a 2nd hour with same results. After 48 hours it still was still soft enough to load up 220 sandpaper. When I tried the white steel wool synthetic pads equal to 0000 it picked up slivers at 48 hours.

At 60 hours I was able to get a second coat which was exposed to the sun for one hour, 9 hours later it could take another coat if I did not sand. There are still pores to be filled so I may apply the 3rd when the sun is up enough to warm the box.

I might try mixing 25% Minwax tung which has driers and photo non reactive to see if that has any effect on another side. Also note the odor is not the same as what was used on my boat.

I will write the supplier and see what they can suggest. Previous applications of Minwax yielded a high gloss rather than the satin which I found more desirable.




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  • 8 years later...

This is an very old old topic I know, but I was repairing and finishing a old very beat up violin and wondered about using Tung Oil.

Thanks for the comments.

Years ago I refinished a number of things in Tung oil and remembered a few things.  One is, that linseed oil or boiled linseed are not like Tung oil at all.  Tung oil completely dries and hardens to a fine and durable finish, linseed does not, but is better to use outdoors as it flexes in the cold, humid, or rainy weather.  Tung is beautiful on tables and furniture and doesn't produce water spots. This is true, I know.

I might also note that that "pure tung oil" is not always pure tung oil, some people who sell it don't even know, I did quite a bit of searching to be sure I got the real thing. 

Edited by Highball
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