I've got some lovely wood I'm using for some CBG necks and I'm looking at what to use as a finish. I've been using Tung oil on my past builds and have really liked the deep, hard finish it creates - but DANG it takes a long time to dry and with multiple coats, that's at least a week of just finishing. It's been worth it - but we had some remodeling work done in the house recently and the contractor left a can of Danish oil. I'm trying it on my latest build and am curious to see how it turns out, but I'm wondering what folks think as far as one vs. the other?

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Hi Sean, I have used both and prefer the Danish finish for feel and application.

I use a Danish wax. I put two tree coats of shellac on first [dries real quick] sand back slightly and then rub on the wax until I get the low soft sheen that I like, often two or three applications. I use it on fingerboards too. I often build specialty hardwood box's and have used the wax only on these, so it also works well on its own.



I use Danish Oil and/or Tru Oil. Often start with Danish and finish with Tru Oil.

I have used and liked both. But if someone 'gifted' me with anything that could possibly be used in a build, I would take it as God's provision and gleefully incorporate it.

Unfortunately there is so much variation between brands what a Danish oil is and tung oil is that comparisons need to include brand names and country used in. The term Danish oil in particular has no formal definition and seems to be any preparation with a bit of oil, some polyurethane and some extra thiners to make it easier to wipe on. Tung oil is frequently diluted or has Polyurethane additives.

No polyurethane in Watco Danish Oil.

Hi Tich, that's how I see it too. In some woods the oil seeps down to the tannin, antioxidants I think, and this is what slows down the curing/drying. I use wax, this stays more on the surface, but first I apply Shellac to seal the wood and add some colour, then the wax which seams to build quicker over the Shellac sealer.

i like the wax as I can add more over time and freshen up the look. A good way to apply it initially is with a pad of very fine steel wool, I use "0000".


I like both of the finishes you mentioned. Lately I have been using tru-oil for gun stocks. It can give for a soft sheen to high gloss depending on how many coats you want to apply,(usually many coats).But again can take time to finish. I guess you can’t rush the perfection that is the Cigar Box Guitar

Both are basically the same in application, both have additives that "enhance" according to each companies formula list of requirement goals. 

The most talked about draw back of well, most oil rubs is the time of cure. Two days up to two weeks for the oils to harden. It just depends on the season, humidity and air movement.

So here is what I do it works for me, it may or may not work for you.

I apply shellac or sanding sealer a heavy coat and look for areas that soak up the sealer and add more as needed. After it has dried I sand with 320 grit. Then apply the rubbing oil the first coat I brush on, let set for 10 to 20 minutes and rub off with a lint free clothe. Let it set for 30 to 60 minutes do another coat but I start to use a rag to apply the oil. I put 3 more coats on. and let it set for a day where the sun and air can do its magic. The Sun and air will cure it faster than any other method I have tried. At this point it is done depending on how much or how deep I  want the finish to be. 

By the way my favorite oil rub is teak oil by helmsman.

I use tung oil most of the time. I've found I need fewer coats to get a nice shine if I polish between coats with a piece of brown paper grocery bag. Usually three coats will produce a nice shine with this method. Never tried Danish oil. 

I've read about but never tried the brown paper bag thing - do you just use it as a polisher once a coat is dry? What's the benefit using the bag gives?

It acts as a super fine sandpaper to even and smooth the tung oil out. I don't wait until it's completely dry after the first coat. I apply the first coat let it dry overnight then rub it out to smooth the finish. The second and third coat I rub out when the finish is still slightly tacky until the tackiness is gone. Then let it dry completely and polish it with a soft cloth.

Usually I can do two or three coats in a day after the first coat. The number of coats you apply all depends on how shiny you want it. I'm normally happy with it after three coats. 

Nice! Having tried both I'm a bit more fond of the tung oil finish but it's been a big time commitment. I'll have to try your process!


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