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  #1  
Old 07-30-2017, 09:14 PM
MGMShooter MGMShooter is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 54
Default How To Keep Bottled 100% Tung Oil From Oxidizing After Opening

Executive Summary
Get it in plastic bottles, and squeeze all of the air out. Be sure the lip of the opening and the threads are coated so that an airtight seal will form.

It will not be easy to open the bottles years later, but it won't be like Loctite.



This relates to my M1A walnut stock project, so look for my other thread for the details on what I have done.


One complaint about tung oil -- I mean 100%-pure and not that misleading garbage at Walmart containing little tung oil -- is the fact that once opened, it "goes bad" from exposure to the oxygen in the air. True, pure tung oil isn't cheap at $15qt - $25qt so this is a real problem.

Most of you know that the "spoiling" tung oil is simply doing the same thing it does while in wood: curing. It is the same polymerization process that "spoils" oil in opened bottles/cans that makes the wood's finish so desirable.

I bought a 4oz bottle ~10 years ago for a couple of rifle stocks, and a 1qt bottle 3+ years ago for a wooden desktop. They were both in plastic bottles.

When I was done with each project, I squeezed the bottles until the oil was at the top, and I let a little spill onto the threads so that there would be good barriers. I didn't think it would work, but I figured it was worth trying.

But it did work! I didn't have to get new tung oil! That's two different bottles, one opened over 3 years ago and the other opened around 10 years ago that smelled and performed as well as new.

Maybe I got lucky; this is nowhere near a large enough sample. Maybe there was a preservative agent in them, but I bought them from different sellers over 5 years apart.

I hope this is something that works.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2017, 09:43 PM
Neighbors Neighbors is offline
 
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Location: Houston
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Default

Another old time trick is to add marbles to reduce the airspace...
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2017, 10:20 PM
MGMShooter MGMShooter is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neighbors View Post
Another old time trick is to add marbles to reduce the airspace...
That's a great idea!

Same concept, and, in most cases, easier. It isn't easy to cap a plastic bottle when there is a lot of empty space and you have to squeeze it

In light of this, I advocate buying tung oil only in plastic bottles, or at least pouring it into a compatible plastic bottle when done.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:38 AM
TLB TLB is offline
 
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Location: MidWest
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Default

I buy in 16 oz bottles (volume price break) and buy cheap 4 oz bottles off eBay. Downsize into the 4 bottles and really only the working bottle is at risk.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2017, 01:01 PM
GreekHXP GreekHXP is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 7
Default

I store both tung and linseed oil in the freezer when not being used. Thaw and use as needed.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2017, 04:32 PM
mac1911 mac1911 is offline
 
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Posts: 2,390
Default

I,take the chance and store them up side down.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2017, 06:56 PM
GreekHXP GreekHXP is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac1911 View Post
I,take the chance and store them up side down.
Keeping the oxygen out is important, but keeping the bacteria from having at the oil is also critical to long term storage.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2017, 07:49 PM
BuddyBGood BuddyBGood is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW Pa.
Posts: 934
Default Tung oil

So how do you know when and if it has gone bad?
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:20 PM
GreekHXP GreekHXP is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyBGood View Post
So how do you know when and if it has gone bad?
It won't smell like it did when fresh. Off smells if it goes rancid.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:45 PM
Jpm Jpm is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,290
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This is exactly they way I've stored mine that I bought at least 3 years ago and its still good, just used some last night. Its getting to the point where I'm about to need to move it to a smaller bottle since this one is almost half gone and getting harder to squeeze out the air but maybe I'll find some marbles and do that instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGMShooter View Post
Executive Summary
Get it in plastic bottles, and squeeze all of the air out. Be sure the lip of the opening and the threads are coated so that an airtight seal will form.

It will not be easy to open the bottles years later, but it won't be like Loctite.



This relates to my M1A walnut stock project, so look for my other thread for the details on what I have done.


One complaint about tung oil -- I mean 100%-pure and not that misleading garbage at Walmart containing little tung oil -- is the fact that once opened, it "goes bad" from exposure to the oxygen in the air. True, pure tung oil isn't cheap at $15qt - $25qt so this is a real problem.

Most of you know that the "spoiling" tung oil is simply doing the same thing it does while in wood: curing. It is the same polymerization process that "spoils" oil in opened bottles/cans that makes the wood's finish so desirable.

I bought a 4oz bottle ~10 years ago for a couple of rifle stocks, and a 1qt bottle 3+ years ago for a wooden desktop. They were both in plastic bottles.

When I was done with each project, I squeezed the bottles until the oil was at the top, and I let a little spill onto the threads so that there would be good barriers. I didn't think it would work, but I figured it was worth trying.

But it did work! I didn't have to get new tung oil! That's two different bottles, one opened over 3 years ago and the other opened around 10 years ago that smelled and performed as well as new.

Maybe I got lucky; this is nowhere near a large enough sample. Maybe there was a preservative agent in them, but I bought them from different sellers over 5 years apart.

I hope this is something that works.
Reply With Quote
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