[Greenbuilding] tung oil

Michael O'Brien obrien at hevanet.com
Fri Nov 4 22:37:24 PDT 2011


Hi, guys--

Years ago I met a woodworker who had done research on tung oil, and came up with some papers that indicated it can accelerate the growth of Epstein-Barr virus in the body. Here's a sample paper: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6297709.

Epstein-Barr virus in in most people, about 95% of adults, and usually doesn't cause problems. However, during adolescence, EBV can cause mononucleosis.

So, tung oil is probably safe in terms of the exposures we experience from occasional applications. High exposure might be a different story.

Best,

Mike


Michael O'Brien
obrien at hevanet.com



On Nov 4, 2011, at 8:19 PM, JOHN SALMEN wrote:

> I have always been a bit grumpy about packaged finishes. It is like coffee.
> I don't want to buy Nescafe I just want beans from some identifiable origin
> roasted locally with as few middle people generating profit at the expense
> of quality and flavour. I got really grumpy when german low voc oil finishes
> got trendy. Emulsified balsam oils with water and a bunch of stuff -
> engineered and packaged nicely and shipped across the ocean. Instructions
> were so complex that failure (like a Volkswagen) was unclear as to whether
> it was application stupidity or just ridiculous engineering. When it comes
> down to it most products are engineered to produce profit so the chemistry
> engineering is really to compensate for the low cost and quality of
> ingredients. 
> 
> Tung oil is basic but a very high quality product - i.e it is a finish that
> has stood on its own for centuries and is not compromised by additives. It
> comes from seeds from the tung tree. A deciduous tree primarily native to
> china. There used to be successful plantations that were set up on the
> American gulf coast but they got wiped out during some typhoon. I buy it raw
> in 5 gallon quantities and have it shipped from quebec. They get it from
> some wholesaler in ny who buys it from china and sells it in 50 gallon
> quantities at about a 1/3 the cost and imports directly at probably 1/100 of
> the cost - but at least it is a direct line to the village collecting the
> seeds.
> 
> We have added thinners, colours, and waxes and occasionally have added
> borates and zinc to enhance its preservative qualities for risky exterior
> work. In direct sun exposure for exterior work raw oil applications (3
> coats) will last 2-3 years before needing an oil wipe - beyond that the wood
> will be exposed to deterioration which then subsequently requires more
> frequent maintenance. In more protected exterior areas it has done well over
> 5 years without recoat. That is about as good as it gets for any finish.
> Bona Kemi finishes are not even a contender in that regard even with the
> loaded toxicity.
> 
> I have an interesting house that we have done progressive designs for
> renovations. The first involved a local maple floor finished with a Bona
> Kemi water based polyurethane which at the time was the only decent no voc
> poly out there. I wasn't happy with the finish for a large number of reason
> so the second renovation on maple and fir flooring used tung oil. A
> subsequent disaster (flood) reno on another portion of the house used a
> german balsam oil product. So we are looking at 15-10 and 8 years for the
> various products. The Bona Kemi finish is tired and needs renewal which is a
> bit of a pain, the tung oil is basically still a nice even protective finish
> and some worn areas simply need a little more oil that will blend in. The
> balsam oil looks quite splotchy and am unsure how additional finishing will
> blend.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
> [mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Chris
> Koehn
> Sent: November-04-11 6:14 PM
> To: greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org
> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] tung oil
> 
> Check out Land Ark products:
> <http://www.landarknw.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=18> Their finishing oils are
> largely a mixture of the materials you've been asking about, and even if you
> don't use their product, the info on it's use may be useful to you. 
> We use their oils on timber frames with good result. We tried a finishing
> oil on a walnut floor a few years ago, but had problems. I'm told Land Ark
> was putting a UV inhibitor into their oils that was causing the oil not to
> cure properly. I understand that problem has been solved now.
> 
> Chris Koehn
> TimberGuides Design & Build
> Vancouver Island
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