Oil - Fine Woodworking How-To


Terminology in the coatings industry can be confusing: what is often called an “oil finish” is in fact an oil and varnish mixture. (Watco and Minwax brands are two familiar examples). Examples of oils commonly used in these formulations are linseed, soybean,
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  • Easy Danish Oil FinishEasy Danish Oil Finish

    by Greg Arceneaux

    Bring out the natural beauty of wood using Danish oil finishes. A mixture of varnish and either linseed or tongue oil, they provide protection without obscuring ...

  • Use Dyes and Sealers That Have Different SolventsQ & A: Use Dyes and Sealers That Have Different Solvents

    by Mark Schofield

  • Removing Sticky Boiled Linseed OilQ & A: Removing Sticky Boiled Linseed Oil

    by Jeff Jewitt

  • Finish Recipe: Modern BenchFinish Recipe: Modern Bench

    by Mark Edmundson

    Learn one method for applying a wipe-on oil finish with this step-by-step guide

  • Edible Wood FinishesVideo: Edible Wood Finishes

    with Marc Spagnuolo

    Discover three safe and sound methods for finishing a cutting board and other food-related woodwork

  • One Fast FinishOne Fast Finish

    by Jeff Jewitt

    Finishing expert Jeff Jewitt describes this technique as a "down and dirty" French polish. Ideal for a low-build, "in the wood" type of look, this wipe-on finish ...

  • Oil Finish Can Go Wrong on WalnutQ & A: Oil Finish Can Go Wrong on Walnut

    by Jeff Jewitt

  • How to Apply a True Oil FinishVideo: How to Apply a True Oil Finish

    with Christian Becksvoort

    Nontoxic and easily repaired, this traditional finish is still worth considering

  • Pros and Cons of Oil FinishesPros and Cons of Oil Finishes

    by Chris A. Minick

    Consulting editor Chris A. Minick explains the chemistry of boiled linseed oil, tung oil, and walnut oil, helping you to select the one that's right for your project. ...

  • An Oil-and-Wax FinishAn Oil-and-Wax Finish

    by Charles Shackleton

    This low-tech oil-and-wax finish requires no special tools. What it lacks in durability it makes up for in other ways: It is beautiful, functional, and easy to ...

  • Four Finishings for TurningsFour Finishings for Turnings

    by Teri Masaschi

    While most finishing materials used on turnings on the lathe are familiar to wood finishers, the methods of application for them are different. This article, written ...

  • A True Oil FinishA True Oil Finish

    by Christian Becksvoort

    Chris Becksvoort has used all the oil finishes available today and finds Tried and True, available since the early 1990s, to be the best. It also has the added ...

  • All About Thinning FinishesAll About Thinning Finishes

    by Jeff Jewitt

    Jeff Jewitt offers a primer on solvents – which ones are appropriate for water- or oil-based finishes, shellacs, or solvent lacquers, whether for spraying, brushing, ...

  • Rubbing Out a FinishRubbing Out a Finish

    by Jeff Jewitt

    Rubbing out a finish eliminates blemishes, so it should be the last step in finishing any piece of furniture. Taken in steps, it needn’t be frightening to abrade ...

  • A Hand-Rubbed Oil FinishA Hand-Rubbed Oil Finish

    by Thomas E. Wisshack

    Tom Wisshack says oil finishes accentuate the grain, color, and figure of the wood rather than obscure it. An oil finish will never chip, peel, develop fisheye, ...

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