Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lemon Oil? Really?

Lets talk about lemon oil. This subject gets me more email questions than just about any other subject. I think that's because I am the only one on the planet that uses the stuff for scroll saw projects. Maybe I'm the crazy one here.

I re-posted the finishing video yesterday because of several questions and the video just prompted more questions.

First, let me say that I don't want to say it's the best way to finish a project. It's just the way I finish projects. It has worked for me for years and it might work for you also. Then again you might hate it. Use what works for you. There are so many ways to finish a scroll saw project that it would be nuts to say there were a best way.

The number one question I get is about cost. At first glance lemon oil looks expensive. A small 8oz bottle cost from $4 to $8. It takes 3 or 4 bottle to fill a medium sized container deep enough to dip a project. The thing is a little goes a long way. I am not a production cutter but I probably make more scroll saw projects than most of you. In the last 3 years I have purchased no more than 6 bottles of lemon oil and my dipping container is still full. After I dip the project I let the excess run off back into the container. There is very little waste because the stuff has a very slow evaporation rate. I don't even bother to cover the container most nights.

The next question is why use lemon oil instead of tung oil. There in not a great answer to that question. Lemon oil has a thinner viscosity than tung oil so it is easier for me to dip the project which is the reason I use lemon oil in the first place. Tung oil is a nice product and I consider it a wipe on wipe off finish. Tung oil gives better protection to the wood and does not dry out like lemon oil does. I have no problem with tung oil it's just not what I use.

For me the primary disadvantage of lemon oil is the slow evaporation rate. If you dip a project in lemon oil and leave it un-sealed it will seep oil for days even after it looks dry. You absolutely have to seal it with an acrylic or lacquer spray for any protection. If you sit in on a table cloth un-sealed you will come back and find a stain on the cloth. Tung oil will not do that. When it cures it's safe.

Let me say this again. I am not recommending that you use lemon oil. I am just showing you how I finish my projects. I like how easy it is to use. I like the low cost. I like the natural finish it gives.

If any of you would like to make a video about how you finish your scroll saw projects you could upload it to YouTube and I would love to share it with everyone. Just drop me the link and I'll post it.

I hope this answers a few more of your questions.

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Bear Woods has been around since 1987 serving our hobby. They offer a wide range of craft products including Pegas scroll saw blades, clock inserts, toy parts, workshop supplies and much more. In my ten years of writing the Scrollsaw Workshop blog I have never received a complaint about Bear Woods. I get thousands of email a month so that's saying something about their customer service and quality products. Please support the people who support our hobby. Click now and visit Bear Woods.

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Heritage Wood Specialties is a nationally recognized supplier of superior quality hardwoods to fine woodworkers across the US and Canada. Novice hobbyists and experienced enthusiasts alike can enjoy the high quality woodworking materials and kits available from Heritage Wood Specialties. Great source for scroll saw ready boards.

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Free Pattern Catalog. 1000's of free patterns.

Thousands of FREE scroll saw patterns. No registration or signup required.

The projects form these patterns can be sold without restrictions. The patterns cannot be sold.

Click her for the Free Online Catalog.


Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw Book $12 Each
Each digital book is available for download immediately after payment.
The books are $12 per edition and contains eight unique patterns each.
Watch the following video to see how easy these beautiful scroll saw vases
are to make. 

Order the $3 pdf Catalog

This is a PDF of all the patterns in my free catalog. It is for Windows only and has a program to automatically download the pattern to your computer. Please watch the video below before you order. Click the picture to order.
You do not need a PayPal account to order. At the bottom of the PayPal page is a button that will allow you to pay with a credit card. After successful payment click the Return to Merchant button for the download.

Stencil Printer 1.7

Stencil Printer Instruction Video.

The Scrollsaw Workshop Stencil Printer 1.7 is my latest software for creating patterns. It will create key chain fobs, desk name plates and more. Click the image above to download the latest version. It is free to use donationware. This software is for Windows PC only.

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1
Download the Free Scroll Saw Pattern Printer Version 1.1. Create name patterns in seconds. Windows PC only.
Download Version 1.1
Please consider a $5 donation for The Scroll Saw Pattern Printer v1.1.

Scroll Saw Keychain Pattern Maker

Use the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker to start a small keychain business. Build yourself a nice display and make up severl keychains with common names. Sell at craft shows, on Ebay or at work. Everyone needs a keychain. Take custom orders. Heck just make them and give them away as gifts. It's all made easy with the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker. Watch the video demonstration then download the file below and get started with the fun.
The following link will start the download process. After the file download is complete just click the setup file and the program will be installed. Please consider a $5 donation for the program.

Download the Oval Keychain Pattern Maker.

Enjoy designing and printing these great personalized key chains. Give them as gifts, make them for fun or sell them at craft shows. It's easy, just watch the video demo then download and install the program. You will be designing these fun projects in minutes. Windows PC only.
Download the Free Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker. Create Oval key chain patterns in seconds.
Download Version .9a
Please consider a $5 donation for The Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker.

T-Shirts and More.

T-Shirts and More.
Show your love for the hobby and support the Scrollsaw Workshop. Safe and secure order fullfilled by CafePress. Take a look. You are sure to find something you like. CLICK THE IMAGE to visit the store.

Charles Dearing Portrait Pattern DVD's

If you want to make your own portrait pattern designs this may be what you are looking for. Charles Dearing has a unique approach to designing portrait style patterns. He does not use complicated computer software. He uses good old pen, paper and tracing. Charles teaches everything you need to know to take your picture and turn it in to a beautiful wooden treasure. Click this link now and see the DVD's he has to offer.

The Lifter

Papa's Custom Patterns.

Sheila Landry Designs

Sue Mey Scroll saw artist

Sue Mey Scroll saw artist
Make sure you visit my good friend Sue. She is one of the finest scroll saw pattern designers in the world today. .

Philip Lowndes Noah's Arc Pattern Available. Watch the video below.

This video is from Philip Lowndes. He is the designer of this beautiful Noah's Arc puzzle pattern. If you would like the pattern follow the link below.
Buy This Wonderful Heirloom Puzzle Pattern

Think Safety

Remember to keep the safety of yourself and others in your work shop in your thoughts at all times. Always wear eye and ear protection. Follow all the manufactures warnings that came with your power tools. If I demonstrate something on this web site that you don't feel is safe, don't do it. Your safety is your responsibility. Fingers are handy things, try to keep all of them.
The Scrollsaw Workshop Blog is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine formerly (Scroll Saw Workshop Magazine) or it's publisher Fox Chapel Publishing.

Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts