How Myths get Started


All of those manufacturers are labeled tung oil however are actually
thinned (“wiping”) varnish.

I’m bouncing off of
Chris Schwarz’s August 25 blog post
 the place he describes
how myths can get began. I’ll depart you to learn what he says,
however mainly Chris realized easy joke can result in a
fable that will get repeated in every single place and by no means dies.

Chris is speaking concerning the woodworking world, which is physics,
so you’ll be able to see it. I’m working within the ending world the place the
ending merchandise are chemistry. You’ll be able to’t see what goes
on on the molecular degree. Myths in ending are rather more
prevalent and are at the very least as lengthy lasting. Moreover, they
are sometimes began by the producers themselves of their
labeling. When’s the final time you noticed a band noticed offered as a
desk noticed? It has a desk, in spite of everything.

Twenty-five years in the past I wrote an article in Woodwork
journal explaining the distinction in merchandise labeled tung oil
that actually have been tung oil, and merchandise labeled tung oil that
have been thinned varnish. On the time there was big confusion in
the woodworking world about these merchandise due to the

Some folks had used each kinds of “tung oil” and realized they
have been actually completely different. Actual tung oil dries very slowly, gentle
and wrinkled if you happen to don’t take away all the surplus. Thinned
varnish dries a lot quicker (like varnish) and simply as exhausting as
full-strength varnish, so it may be left moist on the floor and
constructed up – simply at a slower charge.

You’ll be able to inform whether or not a “tung oil” is absolutely tung oil or wiping
varnish by the way in which a puddle cures on a non-porous floor such
as glass or the highest of the can. Tung oil cures gentle and
wrinkled. Wiping varnish cures exhausting and easy.

Within the magazines and in woodworking lessons folks tried all
types of explanations to account for the variations. Essentially the most
widespread was to say that some tung oils have been “resin fortified.”
However in fact they’ll’t this as a result of the 2 varieties have been
really two completely completely different finishes.

The fault for this fable, if you wish to name it that, lies
squarely with producers. And from many conversations I’ve
had with them over time, I actually doubt most had any concept
what was occurring.


McCloskey Tung Oil on left. Formby’s Tung Oil on proper. A
quick technique to inform if the tung oil is definitely thinned varnish
is that if it accommodates a thinner. Actual tung oil doesn’t comprise a
thinner. Aliphatic hydrocarbons is only a extra technical title
for petroleum distillate, in all probability to make you suppose you’re
getting one thing particular.

So I observed that within the final couple of months two articles
have appeared on-line calling thinned varnish tung oil. The
authors mentioned they have been utilizing tung oil, however there have been clues in
the articles that they weren’t. They have been utilizing thinned

Within the first, the creator was explaining keep away from streaking
when brushing satin tung oil and leaving it to dry. His
answer was to spray the tung oil. Within the second, the creator
mentioned that tung oil dries very quick, so that you wanted to work on
small areas at a time or the tung oil would develop into sticky.

Did I say that I wrote my first article explaining the
distinction and inform which “tung oil” you might be utilizing 25
years in the past? And that I’ve come again to this matter numerous
instances in my three books and in 20 or extra articles, together with
a number of in Common Woodworking?

How do you cease a fable when it’s the producers who’re
liable for it, and so they don’t appropriate it by relabeling
their merchandise?

Welcome to my world, Chris, although I do know you might be conversant in
my issues.

— Bob Flexner


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