Fair Woodworking

March 29, 2013

Todays post is brought to you by Tostitos, the letter H, & O, & by the number 2

Filed under: Fair Woodworking & Hand Tool Blog,Picture issues — fairwoodworking @ 9:09 pm

EDITORS NOTE *** This post is experiencing 3rd party photo hosting “issues”, that will be addressed as time allows. ***


Storing finishing products is tricky. I don’t like finishing in the first place, so having to fight with storage doesn’t help.

A while back I gave Tung Oil a try for the first time, but the problem was I didn’t use it all, and any amount of air in the can would dry it out.

The first product I tried was Finish Preserve from Lee Valley. This is a cool product, but as the note says “: full can feels empty, but will provide approximately 75 two-second bursts of non-toxic, non-flammable gas.

If you can’t tell if it’s full or not, you can’t tell if it’s full or not. It worked great the first time, but a year later when I needed it again, it seems it really was empty. I don’t know if I stored it wrong or what, but clearly in my hands, it is not a fool proof solution.

I’ve also tried using Lee Valley’s Collapsible Bottle. This again is a pretty cool idea.


The overspill crud is hard to work around, and the cool collapsible flanges make the top wobble back and forth like the clown from a jack in the box.

Cool idea, but I don’t think it’s for me.

And then, I accidentally read the instructions on the side of the Tung oil container.

Enter Tostitos Jar…

This could be the answer.

Well, no,

This could be the answer.

After breaking through the layer of dried tung oil in this can, I found a little that hadn’t dried.

The only problem is that it doesn’t fill the jar any better than it did the can, however, like the collapsible bottle, I do like the wide mouth. I like to be able to dip a rag directly into the oil, when I apply it, so we just need to solve the empty jar issue.

The answer according to the label, is to fill it with water. The oil floats on the water, and does not mix with it.


So there we go, problem solved. A salsa jar and some water.

No problem right?

Well not so fast. You can’t really fill the jar to the point that there is literally no air in it. There is still a small bubble in there that is going to ruin some of that precious oil, and leave crustys in the good oil.

Foiled again!

I’m going to try something here, and see if it works.

I’ve placed the jar upside down in this paint can. The jar shouldn’t leak anyways, but if it did, I’m hoping the vacuum effect will keep everything where is should be. Worst case it will spill into the paint can, but I’ve gotten distracted.

My thought is that since I can’t keep the air from the oil. Being upside down, as the air dries some of the oil, it will hopefully bond with the bottom of the jar, and not float up to the top when I one day turn the jar right side up again.

This is just like science class!!!

Oh, and one more thing.

If you are ever in a friends work shop, and he offers you some nachos.

Think twice before you eat the salsa…



  1. I’ve also read about using glass marbles to take up space in a finish container. It’s never been an issue for me – I guess I go through finish at a good enough rate.


    Comment by ChrisHasFlair — March 30, 2013 @ 2:18 am

    • Ya, I’ve heard that one before, but I see some down sides. I got to thinking before i made it to the toy store. What if you need half a marble to top up the jar? Dropping marbles into liquid can cause a messy splash. Marbles displace the oil, but they do not lift the oil like water does. When the jar is full of marbles, there will still be a lot of unaccesible oil left over. When you go to refill the jar with oil, what do you do with a bunch of marbles that need nasty tung oil cleaned off of them. Water at the very least does not need to be dumped because it will evaporate. There is no question that the marbles would work, but I have a better feeling for the water. Who knows, in a couple of months I may be saying, “well water sucked, lets try marbles…”

      Have a good one!

      Comment by fairwoodworking — March 30, 2013 @ 8:19 am

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