Using gas to preserve finishes
Response To:
Other methods... ()

John K Jordan
>>> Nitrogen is good if you have it. CO2 also works, its more common as a welding shield gas.

I’ve been using nitrogen for this for years, keep a tank in the shop. Argon works too.

Buying Bloxygen is a way to preserve finishes with gas but the cans are not cheap. However, a tank of compressed gas plus a regulator isn’t exactly free either.

Bloxygen used to contain a mixture of nitrogen, argon, and CO2. Then they discovered the CO2 can react with certain finishes. They didn’t give the details. However, they quietly quit using it and now their product contains just pure argon.

I use the nitrogen for things other than finishes so the Q tank I’m using is nearly depleted after maybe 10 years. I have a spare tank of argon I’ll switch to soon and get the empty one refilled.

Replacing the oxygen with another gas is quick, simple, and cleaner than using marbles, decanting into smaller containers or flexible plastic bags. I keep a piece of small-diameter clear plastic tubing on the regulator to direct a gentle stream of gas into the container with the lid in place but lifted just enough for the tube, ready to close quickly.

For me, the best proof of effectiveness is in several containers of TruOil. Several times I’ve had several bottles of TruOil set up quickly several times once opened. I suspect that’s the reason it’s commonly sold in very small bottles. About 5 years ago (I think) I replaced the air in several opened containers with nitrogen and they are still good.


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