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 In Finishing, Shop Blog

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Sometime back in 1996 I took a piece of cloth that was cast off from my wardrobe. I cannot remember what the garment was. A sweatshirt perhaps? Long underwear? It’s a bit stretchy. And I soaked the sucker in WD-40.

Since that day, I have soaked that rag with every kind of oily substance you can imagine. Here’s the short lubricant list: Camellia, 3-in-1, Jojoba, mineral spirits, thread-cutting oil, spray-on “dry” shop lubricant and oil from various recesses of my personhood (yes, it’s true, and historically correct. Ask me over a beer sometime).

I use this rag to wipe down every tool after I use it. I lubricate my plane soles with it while working. I use it to wipe off the sharpening slurry from my tools after honing them.

And what I’m about to say will upset people who know anything about chemistry: I have never suffered any ill effects from this nefarious mixture when finishing my projects using any of the known finishing compounds: shellac, lacquer, oil, varnish, wax and all of their wacky combinations.


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