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Thread: Finish for Olive wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Crete, Greece
    Posts
    3

    Default Finish for Olive wood?

    I've been trying to find a suitable oil based finish for some Olivewood pieces I'm making.Please bear in mind that where I'm living (Greek Islands) I can't pop out to the local DIY superstore if you get my drift. So when I look to order online it seems that any oils containing polymerizers are out of the question because of shipping restrictions. I've tried mineral oil, but it's too low luster for me.I've tried beeswax,it does give some shine but I find it too soft & it dulls too quickly. So I was thinking about ordering pure Tung oil (I believe Leevalley will ship this one).Anyone have experience using this?. I have also just ordered some shellac flakes & the Beall buff set up, hopefully to enhance/ complement other finishes. Varnishes here are not of a high enough quality to give a depth or quality finish.

    Much appreciate any advise on any alternatives I could try, I'm all ears.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Is that some sort of an EU or Greek restriction on siccatives? Seems like some nanny state regulation to me. How does paint dry without siccatives?

    Shellac is a great choice for depth, with quick build and great mechanical shine from mindless application/polishing as you spend quality time with the spouse ( remember to grunt during the pauses, if there are any) after dinner or in front of the tube. French Polish without the pumice. I'm sure you should be able to find other soluble resins or gums to experiment with older finishes as well. Musical instrument makers would have the info.

    Tung will build, but it's always had a satin look to me, with interior scatter rather than depth as with the shellac or soy/linseed/walnut oil-based varnishes. Best advice I can give is to wipe and wipe. Once the stuff gets skinned over to protect itself from internal curing, it can take forever.

    Harder waxes will give brighter shines, but it will scatter like the tung if you get a bit much on the piece. I use wax to cut the gloss.
    Stand clear, rest near, and cut the wood as it wishes to be cut.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Newport, Oregon
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I love tung oil. I mix it with a little spar varnish, a few drops of japan dryer, and then thin it a bit with orderless mineral spirits or turpentine. I wet sand with this , wiping it dry and letting it sit (2-3 days) after each sanding. I'll go to 1000 or 1200 grit. This finish is deep in the wood and the most durable I've ever found. Use your buffing system on it, you will like the results. It is a bit of work but well worth it.
    jonathan
    Oregon Coast Woodturners

  4. #4

    Default

    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the Beall buff system. I use Formby's Tung Oil finish (4 coats burnished in with a rag while on the lathe) then buff it. I use the Formby's mostly to seal the wood else the Beall-only finish seems to sink in after a while. IMHO, I get a nice, shiny finish that is also thin. I don't care for thick glossy finishes. Seal it - then Beall it!

    I've never used pure Tung oil but from what I've read it is very slow drying and building, but also a very high quality finish. Formby's Tung Oil "finish" is not really tung oil from what I understand...it's a varnish....still, I like it and use it often. If you can't get it shipped to you, I would look for something to seal the wood with first before buffing. I don't know the international haz-mat shipping laws so I can't be of much help there.

    I guess everything also depends on what the planned uses of your work is. If it's going to get daily or occasional use, I'd either not finish it at all or use something like a Mahoney's Walnut oil. If the piece will sit on a shelf to be admired and handled once in a while, use whatever you find works best.


    One warning about that Beall Buff...I'm not sure how you're installing it on your lathe but fasten it down somehow. I use a threaded rod inserted into the morse taper and secured though the headstock with a wingnut.

    Jason
    Last edited by jason slutsky; 07-17-2007 at 01:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moshav Gimzo, ISRAEL
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MTiDD
    I've been trying to find a suitable oil based finish for some Olivewood pieces I'm making.Please bear in mind that where I'm living (Greek Islands) I can't pop out to the local DIY superstore if you get my drift. So when I look to order online it seems that any oils containing polymerizers are out of the question because of shipping restrictions. I've tried mineral oil, but it's too low luster for me.I've tried beeswax,it does give some shine but I find it too soft & it dulls too quickly. So I was thinking about ordering pure Tung oil (I believe Leevalley will ship this one).Anyone have experience using this?. I have also just ordered some shellac flakes & the Beall buff set up, hopefully to enhance/ complement other finishes. Varnishes here are not of a high enough quality to give a depth or quality finish.

    Much appreciate any advise on any alternatives I could try, I'm all ears.

    Thanks
    I don't know about making it shine, but I have found that my preffered finish for olive wood is Olive Oil (you can apply a LOT the wood just soaks it in...), a little buffing, and beeswax/carnauaba... Looks great!

  6. #6

    Default

    Olive oil on olive wood. Never though of that. I have found that olive wood is one of those woods that can be polished to 12,000 with no finish and look great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    billerica, ma
    Posts
    995

    Default

    MT, I'll trade you weight for weight. I'll mail you any finish you want and you can mail me olive wood

    Olive can actually be polished to a pretty high sheen without finish. Your shellac cut to about 1lb weight will soak in pretty well to prepare the piece for buffing.

    Dietrich

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    120

    Default I'll second Dietrich's response...

    I have an affinity for Olive wood - in fact, I have a couple logs of it in my "Shop-garage" waiting to be turned this winter.

    I have used friction polish (mostly on pens), deft, spray lacquer, and Shallac for bottle-stoppers - and typically oil finishes on boxes, bowls, and candlesticks. For my bowls, I use 2-3 coats of olive oil (as was mentioned), and for my boxes I use 3 coats of tung oil and sometimes I finish them with with a final coat of shallac.

    I have two different friction polishes I use, 1 is made of 1/3 equal parts tung, shallac, and DNA - the other is 1/2 equal parts of BLO and Shallac.

    I try not to get too glossy with my finishes on Olive as some of what I have turned has more yellow and looks funny when given a high gloss finish - these pieces look better with a softer satin finish. OTOH - Go for the high gloss finish on pieces that are heavily variagated as it tends to make them stand out better.

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