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Old 07-30-2017, 09:14 PM
MGMShooter MGMShooter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 56
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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