Tips & Tricks

Wipe On Oil Finish

Mix equal parts of Oil based varnish (gloss not satin), Boiled Linseed Oil [or Tung Oil], and Mineral Spirits or turpentine [1:1:1 ratio]. Wipe on item, leave for aprox 20 minutes making sure it stays wet, and wipe off with a lint free rag.

An excellent write up on oil finishes and application can be found here at Russ’s Corner, and some more information at Steve’s Shop O’Sawdust.

Wipe On Varnish

Mix equal parts of Oil Based Varnish and Mineral Spirits [1:1 ratio].

Additional Wood Cleaning Formulas

Some additional wood cleaning formulas from the OldTools mail lists.

The lady who sold the H & R's also gave me her wood cleaning recipe, which she said came from a book for which she no longer recalled the name. This was:

  • 200ml Turps
  • 100ml Meth
  • 150ml Vinegar
  • 25 ml mild detergent
  • 10ml Ammonia (5% solution)
  • 25ml Brasso

Earlier this March, I asked about cleaning furniture, and Mark Marsay responded with a similar recipe, but with slightly different proportions, and the vinegar was ethanoic acid - a condensed white vinegar.

I made it up and used it with good results. The aroma is that mainly of turpentine, so it smells OK. I found that the methyl. spirits tended to soften the shellac. The reason for the spirits, I'd guess, is to easily clean furniture that has been thickly coated with wax.

If I made up another batch, I'd probably use less alcohol (methyl spirits) so as not to soften the shellac finish. (Jack in Endwell, NY)

The cleaner I use is one part shellite, one part boiled linseed oil, one part metholated spirits, and 1/4 part white vinegar (and for a change, I don't have to provide a translation with the recipe) (Posted By: Derek Cohen)

You will find that just straight turps and mild steel wool or a 3M style scrubbing pad will work wonders.
Archive: 122170, 122212
Posted By: Derek Cohen, Anthony Seo, Jack Kamishlian

All Materials not credited to other authors is (c)2003 - 2008 Paul R. Morin.