East Texas Woodturners' Association
by Mike DeLong
Updated Jul19, 2004
I often use a commercial tung oil/varnish mixture as finish
on wood projects. Unfortunately, this product's shelf life after the initial opening is limited. I usually end up throwing a good portion of the
product away because it thickens and becomes difficult to apply when stored in the original container after opening. I've tried many
re-sealable containers without success. Lately I have begun pouring the unused oil/varnish into an empty wine bottle after the initial opening.
I then use a manual vacuum pump and rubber cork designed specifically for wines bottles. A few pumps to evacuate the air remaining in the
bottle is all it takes. The next time I need to use the finish I pour the required amount into an appropriate container for application,
usually a small tin bowl. When no longer needed, I pour the unused portion back into the wine bottle and once again evacuate the air with
the pump. So far this process has more than doubled the shelf life of my oil/varnish finish and the clock is still ticking. I obtained my pump
and stoppers at Bed Bath & Beyond. The pump and one stopper cost around $12. Additional stoppers are about $4 a pair.
Back to Home Page