Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Pros and cons of different thinnners for oil varnish


Wood Butcher
 Share

Recommended Posts

Both mineral spirits and fresh turpentine, added alone to a cooked varnish, may cause the resin component to precipitate and separate from the oil-solvent mixture. An easy way to tell is when a varnish which is smeared on a piece of glass is clear, but after the addition of solvent, becomes milky and less transparent.

Sometimes, using oxidized turpentine instead of fresh, or combining other solvents like xylene with the mineral spirits before adding, will prevent this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike Molnar sent me some Rosemary oil and Lavender oil (both from Woodfinishing Enterprises), and I did a few evaporation tests along with some other solvents.   I started by putting a drop of each solvent on a ceramic plate.  Results so far:

Gamsol - lowest viscosity, spread out quickly and quite far.  Evaporated completely in 1 hour, no residue.

Rosemary oil (WFE) - spread nearly as well as Gamsol, but dried more slowly.  Even after 1 day, there was a thin, oily/greasy film.  After 2 days it seemed to be all dry.

D-limonene - spread pretty well, dried to a hard film in 1 hour where it had spread thinly, but not in some of the beads at the edges.  After 4 hours, it was all dry.

Lamp oil - spread slowly.  Didn't seem to evaporate much in the first few hours.  After 1 day, a thin, oily/greasy film was left.  After 2 days, it was dry.

Lavender oil (WFE) - more viscous than the previous ones, spread slightly.  Still very wet after 1 hour, but in 4 hours dried leaving a hard film.

Lavender oil (internet inexpensive) - by far the most viscous, minimal spreading.  No apparent change after 2 days.  (I had previously tested this, and it didn't dry after a month).

 

So, yes... source matters a lot especially for organic solvents like this.  And this is only evaporation and residue testing, not considering how well it solves in varnish or wets onto previously dried varnish coatings.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Mike Molnar sent me some Rosemary oil and Lavender oil (both from Woodfinishing Enterprises), and I did a few evaporation tests along with some other solvents.   I started by putting a drop of each solvent on a ceramic plate.  Results so far:

Gamsol - lowest viscosity, spread out quickly and quite far.  Evaporated completely in 1 hour, no residue.

Rosemary oil (WFE) - spread nearly as well as Gamsol, but dried more slowly.  Even after 1 day, there was a thin, oily/greasy film.  After 2 days it seemed to be all dry.

D-limonene - spread pretty well, dried to a hard film in 1 hour where it had spread thinly, but not in some of the beads at the edges.  After 4 hours, it was all dry.

Lamp oil - spread slowly.  Didn't seem to evaporate much in the first few hours.  After 1 day, a thin, oily/greasy film was left.  After 2 days, it was dry.

Lavender oil (WFE) - more viscous than the previous ones, spread slightly.  Still very wet after 1 hour, but in 4 hours dried leaving a hard film.

Lavender oil (internet inexpensive) - by far the most viscous, minimal spreading.  No apparent change after 2 days.  (I had previously tested this, and it didn't dry after a month).

 

So, yes... source matters a lot especially for organic solvents like this.  And this is only evaporation and residue testing, not considering how well it solves in varnish or wets onto previously dried varnish coatings.

 

Don,

So when turpentine leaves a residual on the glass we know the alpha turpenes have flashed off and the beta turpenes are left.

Any thoughts on what the residue is from D-limonene?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Mike Molnar sent me some Rosemary oil and Lavender oil (both from Woodfinishing Enterprises), and I did a few evaporation tests along with some other solvents.   I started by putting a drop of each solvent on a ceramic plate.  Results so far:

Gamsol - lowest viscosity, spread out quickly and quite far.  Evaporated completely in 1 hour, no residue.

Rosemary oil (WFE) - spread nearly as well as Gamsol, but dried more slowly.  Even after 1 day, there was a thin, oily/greasy film.  After 2 days it seemed to be all dry.

D-limonene - spread pretty well, dried to a hard film in 1 hour where it had spread thinly, but not in some of the beads at the edges.  After 4 hours, it was all dry.

Lamp oil - spread slowly.  Didn't seem to evaporate much in the first few hours.  After 1 day, a thin, oily/greasy film was left.  After 2 days, it was dry.

Lavender oil (WFE) - more viscous than the previous ones, spread slightly.  Still very wet after 1 hour, but in 4 hours dried leaving a hard film.

Lavender oil (internet inexpensive) - by far the most viscous, minimal spreading.  No apparent change after 2 days.  (I had previously tested this, and it didn't dry after a month).

 

So, yes... source matters a lot especially for organic solvents like this.  And this is only evaporation and residue testing, not considering how well it solves in varnish or wets onto previously dried varnish coatings.

 

My take away from this is that gamsol is the superior option. Thoughts Don?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gamsol is great if you want it to go away clean and fast.  How well it mixes with things is important, and I think it's not the mixiest of the solvents out there.  I would also prefer slower evaporation.

Joe - I know nothing about the cemistry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Gamsol is great if you want it to go away clean and fast.  How well it mixes with things is important, and I think it's not the mixiest of the solvents out there.  I would also prefer slower evaporation.

Joe - I know nothing about the cemistry.

Understood, thanks. I really like d-limonene. I keep other solvents around, but it seems to do what I want and nothing I don't. No desire to evangelize - we should all feel free to chose our own poison. Literally in this case. Gloves and voc respirators, folks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When plunking a varnish brush into a glass of mineral spirits or turpentine, I have noticed that the varnish in the brush doesn't seem to go into a complete uniform solution with the solvents.  D-limonene acts differently, and extracts the varnish into a uniform clear solution, at least from what I have seen with my varnish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Don Noon said:

When plunking a varnish brush into a glass of mineral spirits or turpentine, I have noticed that the varnish in the brush doesn't seem to go into a complete uniform solution with the solvents.  D-limonene acts differently, and extracts the varnish into a uniform clear solution, at least from what I have seen with my varnish.

Many years ago my father’s tool & die and stamping business had to drop using carbon tetrachloride for cleaning oil from parts.  Carbon Tet is a carcinogen. After a lot of research he switched to D-Linomene with great results. I too like the way it cleans brushes. Odorless Gamsol is great stuff, but I think it gives me a headache, even with good ventilation.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2021 at 7:32 AM, nathan slobodkin said:

Which brings me to ask what the heck IS limonene? I have used it as a cleaner but never really thought of it as a solvent. Also it seems to mix with water at least to some degree. I have also used something called “orange oil” which seemed like a milder version of limonene. I am sure the complete chemistry is beyond me but the junior high version would be appreciated especially what it can be mixed with.

short answer orange peel solvent, when you peel an orange and it sprays that juice from the peel in your eye, that's the stuff....it is amazing stuff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SIde note for dog owners, many of the "gojo" orange based hand cleaners are a safe, fast and effective way to remove skunk spray oil from a dog that has been sprayed, works particularly well on short hair dogs, the solvent could be mixed in with dawn dish soap if needed , but regular hand cleaners work very well at "melting" and stripping away the skunk smell and leaves behind a wet dog/orange smell, of course try to avoid getting in the eyes, but even then, with constant flushing there seems to be no ill effects, I'm quite sure the dog would prefer a little stinging in the eyes vs, walking around with a nauseating skunky smell for hours on end. 

Those who have had to deal with a "skunked dog" in the past will find this to be a very valuable tip as after dealing with the issue way too many times, I find that only limonine based soaps/cleaners can effectively remove the skunk oil in one complete washing 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello MN,

Question related to the thinners.

In a 1:1 resin/oil varnish (let s say you get 1 volume mixture after cooking),

A)how much thinner do you commonly use ? Mixture:Thinner

1:1 ?   Or More?

I saw receipt up to 1:4 

B)get better result at:

Ambient temperature or Warm temperature (60Deg? Sun?) I noticed than  resin get better solved in thinner when Tp is higher than ambient.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

D Limonene is a very potent diluent, unlike Benzene free mineral spirits and is by far the least hazardous oil varnish thinner. It leaves residues, may dissolve partially dried varnish layers and can cause severe crackeling in lean varnishes if spread in too thick layers. 
 

As long as it works with your varnish, due to health aspects I would strongly recommend the use of limonene.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Michael Szyper said:

D Limonene is a very potent diluent, unlike Benzene free mineral spirits and is by far the least hazardous oil varnish thinner. It leaves residues, may dissolve partially dried varnish layers and can cause severe crackeling in lean varnishes if spread in too thick layers. 
 

As long as it works with your varnish, due to health aspects I would strongly recommend the use of limonene.

All very true.  D-limonene must be tested and used with caution.

It is an excellent degreaser.  That is it dissolves fats and separates them from the surface they cling to....making it an effective brush cleaner.

It is an anti-oxidant.  The issues we have had with the genetically altered flax plant and its antioxidant properties make me cautious about adding it to varnish.  I have seen adhesion issues between coats which indicate a softening of the undercoat.

on we go,

Joe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...