I plan to use about 31/2 gallons of finish in a 5 gallon bucket and plan to use it mostly on small to medium hollow forms.
Anyone else use this method? Any tips to share before I take the plunge?
If you dunk the pieces in a bucket of pure boiled linseed oil, let them soak for some period of time, then set them out on a rack to drip-dry, you might find you have bowls covered with a thick sticky coat of oil that have accumulated a nice layer of any dust or lint that floats their way.
Dunking and drip drying is great, if you do a little more research on oil finishes ahead of time. Even with "normal" oil finishs, the process entails wiping off excess oil, and rubbing dry, repeatedly, for an adequate build-up.
Ditto, for Danish oil-type of finishes.
Each have some blend of oil, whether it be tung oil, or linseed oil, and a solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits. Danish oil has some varnish added to make it a harder finish, and probably a dryer agent.
Use mineral spirits if you want it to dry a little faster, and be sure to use boiled linseed because the raw linseed isn't a drying oil and it will take forever to cure.
Store the mixture in full gallon cans when not using. Otherwise, it will be "over the hill" in a couple months in the summer time, and no amount of thinner will recover it.
I use this mixture on weed pots and small turnings. I soak the bucket full overnight. Then I wipe them dry, and leave for several days to thoroughly dry, wiping away any finish that has come back out to the surface. They can be buffed with a cloth for a satin finish, or buffed for a glossy finish.
I get much better finishes (and a messier lathe) "friction-buffing" the oil in, rather than just soaking it. I liked soaking from a conceptual point of view (all the oil it needs!), but the actual finish I get is much better applying it on the lathe, under power, with enough speed and pressure to heat the oil, application rag, and piece. If you burn your fingers you're doing it right!
Standard linseed-oil-soaked rag disclaimer - they can spontaneously combust, so store them in the woodstove (or otherwise deal with it).
As for dunking in oil, it seems like it would save time when compared to standing over your work, wiping and rewiping for 15-30 minutes on the first coat. So I guess it makes sense in a production shop. But it doesn't eliminate the need for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th coats.
I put a smooth rock in the bowl to keep it submerged. Also, make sure to used boiled linseed oil, not raw.
Keep all oily rags in a covered steel container to avoid spontanious combustion.
Danish teak oil is nothing like Danish oil. Perhaps this is the source of the confusion?