Most of Doug's turnings are intended for use and he finds that sanding finer than 240 grit for
functional pieces is overkill.
lacquer on big pieces is a bad idea, you'll see lap marks. Leave this finish for smaller pieces.
For pieces he intends to use, Doug applies mineral oil and then rubs the piece down with beeswax
applied with 0000 steel wool.
If you find that your turnings sometimes have scratches that show through after the finish has
been applied you can use this technique to check for scratches before applying a finish. Choose
a solvent which is compatible with your intended finish coat (mineral spirits for instance).
Wipe a coat of the mineral spirits first to see if there are scratches.
Technique 1: Tung Oil
Doug uses this finish for salad bowls
Blow the dust off the piece with compressed air
Apply a coat of waterlox. Let it sit for 10 seconds then wipe it off. Doug uses waterlox, which
is a polymerized tung oil. You can buy waterlox at Burlington Hardwoods (see the list of favourite
suppliers for contact information). Tung oil will gel up if left exposed to the air for long periods
of time so use small containers or store large amounts in small containers.
Let the piece dry overnight
Next day, rub out the entire finish with 0000 steel wool and put on the next finish right away.
Leave it on again for 10 seconds then wipe it off and let it dry overnight.
Doug only applies 3 coats of the tung oil. The polymerized tung oil dries faster than pure tung oil.
Rubbing out the finish puts a bit of a tooth on the previous coat for it to adhere to and gives the
piece a hand-rubbed look.
Technique 2: High friction polish
Apply one coat of the high friction turner's polish from Lee Valley. Let it dry.
apply a coat of wax with 0000 steel wool on top.
You can also use neutral shoe polish applied with a cloth instead of the turner's polish.
Mineral oil gives a matte finish which is nice and feels good to the touch.
You can buy 4L of it at a feed farm in Lucan for a really good price.
John also uses formby's tung oil. It Doesn't build up as fast as a polymerized tung oil like waterlox.
John applies formby's tung oil with a sponge brush while wearing with rubber gloves.
Wipe it off with paper towel. If you touch it with your finger you'll your fingerprint the next day.
If you have a piece with a concave spot that isn't as smooth, If you wipe in both directions (clockwise
and counterclockwise) it coats more evenly.
Rub the piece down with 0000 steel wool between coats.
You can get Formby's at the Corner Furniture store on York St in London
If the formby's doesn't come out as a flowing liquid then throw out the bottle; it has turned bad
with the air.
Remember to dispose of your oil cloths or rags appropriately to avoid spontaneous combustion!