Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Final Finishes finished: Home made Varnish! A month of mixing up various finishes finally pays off with something usable.

It's been about a month, but finally the mixing up of solvents, varnishes and oils has paid off!

The last time I wrote about these experiments, I'd mixed a few solvents in with some of the old Sadolin, and some raw linseed oil. After applying it to a few test pieces, it was taking far too long to dry. I think it was about 5 days and still not fully dried.

I started thinking about the oil, and the only reason I tried Raw linseed oil ove Boiled, was I had more of it. Now without getting into the chemical composition of these two, basically, BLO, has addatives in it to speed up drying. So this time I decided to change from Raw, to Boiled linseed oil.

I also went with White Spirit, as well.

Mixing it with the sadolin, roughly 1:1:1 - purely by eye, as a trial run to see how it looked, I made Batch 2.0

I poured in the white Spirit first and gave the mix a good stir round.

Next I added the BLO, roughly to keep the ratio's 1:1:1, this helped thicken up the mixture slightly. I didn't want to add too much as I thought this might slow down the drying time too much.

After a good stir round, It was good for trying out on a few test pieces.

The first couple of test pieces took about a day to dry, and looked OK. I applied these with just a cloth, leaving for a short while to soak in, then wiped off the excess.
Finally happy to try this out on more than just a few scraps, I brought in a garden bench to the workshop, to give it it's first real test drive.

Leaving it n the workshop over night, but for only about 16 hours, I came back to it the next morning to find it was still slightly tacky in a couple of places. Although it wasn't fully dried, It was definitely "drying". A far cry from the first try with raw linseed oil, which was still very much wet a good 4 days later!

In conclusion, I could have just saved a lot of time, simply following many other articles about finishes about "wipe-on" varnishes etc. But they listed many ingredients I didn't have, and not being an expert in mixing finishes and chemicals, I wasn't even sure any of this would work.

Previous articles on the crazy chemical mixing games can be found here

Thanks for reading! And remember, Mixing random chemicals can be dangerous. If you are in any doubt about what might happen, simply don't do it. These are all highly flammable liquids, which give of harmful fumes. 

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