Behlen Master Gel
Has anyone else here tried Behlen Master Gel? Stew Mac used to sell it, advertised that it was "perfect for small jobs", but it has been years since they carried it. It is still available on various Web sites though. Behlen says it is a "urethane" product, but to me it feels very oily. There is definitely some kind of oil carrier in there I think. What kind of oil, they aren't saying. Solvent as well- package does say "contains petroleum distillates". I wonder if there are other resins besides urethane. It dries very hard. Comes in a plastic squeeze bottle, about the consistency of honey, amber in color, wipes on very easily, self levels, dries hard, looks nice, You can build up layers with only OOOO steel wool in between coats. The "gloss" is more of a subdued semi-gloss. To be the results look a lot like Tru-Oil. From one bottle I have finished a mountain dulcimer, a Stew Mac Campfire, and done 2 yard sale restorations. Everything looks great and sounds great. I think it's wonderful stuff! Its easy to use, gives great looking results, and is essentially goof proof. Is there any reason it should not be considered for something higher level, like an IV build? What am I missing? I know some say urethane is a tone killer but I haven't found that to be true on the admittedly simpler instruments I've used it on. And lots of people use Tru-Oil. Doesn't that also have some kind of synthetic resin in it?
Re: Behlen Master Gel
Tru-Oil is polymerized linseed oil with other oils added.
I don't know if polyurethane is a big problem. The finish everyone gripes about is the one put on ultra thick such as the polyester finishes used on most inexpensive imports. Of course even polyester is supposed to be a great finish when put on super thin.
Re: Behlen Master Gel
Well I found out you are correct Bill! Tru Oil is oil with no resins. In the course of my research I discovered something I didn't know about but I'll bet a lot of people here do. I discovered the Material Safety Data Sheet. I have read on other forums that it is difficult or impossible to find out what exactly is in some of these finishes, Not true! Apparently all manufacturers have to by law fill out one of these data sheets so that the government can judge the safety and handling requirements. They are on some of the manufacturer's Web sites, others take a bit of digging but they are out there. Tru oil is over 50 percent solvent, 11 percent polymerized linseed oil, and 30 percent other non-specific proprietary oils. I found out exactly what is in Master Gel as well- Several different solvents, 30-40 percent proprietary urethane solids, and 10-11 percent hydrolized castor oil. Discovering the MSDS was a revalation to me. Now with a little research, we can know pretty much what incredients are in any finish, although manufacturers are able to some extent to hide a little under the "proprietary" label.