Rubio Monocoat or No?

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Nick FV

New User
Nick
I am building a kitchen table with quartersawn white oak and considering purchasing and using Rubio Monocoat to finish it. I have a full time job with 2 kids and limited time in the shop to build furniture for my family. I know Rubio is expensive but my time with my family is more valuable than traditional finishing steps that take several weekends.

Has anyone taken the plunge and either used or is actively using Rubio Monocoat to finish furniture?
I know it’s traditionally a floor finish but see a lot of woodworkers on instagram using Rubio to finish live edge slabs. If it’s good for floors, it should be good for a kitchen table right?

Any feedback from anyone about using this product would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Welcome to NCWW, Nick. Please go to the "Who We Are" forum and tell us a bit about yourself and your interests. It's not required, however.

That's an interesting product that I've never heard of and after nosing around a bit I found some information about it. For starters it's made in Belgium.

1. Part A is flax seed oil and Part B (the "hardener") is apparently a mixture of carnauba wax and beeswax that is added to part A. Nothing anywhere similar to 2 part epoxy.

2. A single unit of part A and part B is 350 mL (about .3 qt) for $53. Coverage is +/- 150 sq. ft.

https://www.monocoat.us/content/pdf/RM Furniture 2C Data.2.14.pdf

It's a lot like using a traditional oil finish: Wipe it on liberally and let it soak in for several minutes, then thoroughly wipe/buff it all off 2-3 x or more, particularly on porous wood like your white oak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO8pRI7TN6g
 

redknife

Chris
Corporate Member
Jeff, I wonder what else is in part B that makes it an “accelerant”? SDS didn’t reveal much. Interesting product.

Nick:In researching for myself, I found that one of our members, screen name kooshball, used Monocoat Rubio for a bed 8 years ago. you may want to PM him for follow up.
Good luck. It would appear the main downside would be cost. It should be easy to refinish if you don’t like it over time.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Jeff, I wonder what else is in part B that makes it an “accelerant”? SDS didn’t reveal much. Interesting product.
I think the term "accelerant" by the Belgian manufacturer is a misnomer and the SDS does nothing to clarify that. If it's simply a mix of beeswax and carnauba wax I can see no chemical explanation why it would shorten the drying time of the flaxseed (linseed) oil primary product from weeks to days. Most catalysts are the dreaded "chemicals" and would require disclosure in the SDS. Oxygen is what cures most oils (example, Waterlox Original Satin/Finish contains a catalyst, cobalt napthenate, which promotes oxygen free radicals faster and accelerates the curing time).

Why do I need the accelerator?

The accelerator is a magic substance that allows the Rubio to reach full cure in five days instead of three weeks. Three weeks is a long time to try to baby your floor. Most people just can’t do it, and end up putting three years worth of wear on the floor in those first three weeks when the finish is still vulnerable. The accelerator helps enormously with that. The same is true if you are doing countertops or bathroom vanities – you want that Rubio to cure as quickly as possible so that the water cannot get into your wood. If you are just coating woodwork or regular furniture, you can probably skip the accelerator, but very few places sell the oil without it.Update from Rubio USA December 2016: But it turns out that accelerator does more than improve cure times – it makes the final cured surface harder and allows it to perform better (meaning it lasts longer before it needs renovation). So, when people ask if they can skip the accelerator, we say no, even if they are doing furniture or countertops that don’t receive foot traffic. But, to be clear, Rubio will still eventually harden without the Accelerator, just not as fast or as well.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
I got 2 samples of Rubio Monocoat oil (part A without the hardener) and I'm putting them on some ash and QSWO next to pure Tung Oil for comparison. It'll probably take a few days to complete the test but I'll post the WIP info and pics, probably in a new "Finishing" thread. I'm just curious about Rubio and its German competitor Osmo PolyX oil.
 
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TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Hey Jeff, Can you confirm the bulk of the ingredients are just oil and wax?

As an 18th century furniture guy, I can confirm oil and wax can be easy, but not very durable or practical for a kitchen table for a young family.

We got around that by cutting a 42” glass top for our kitchen table. Works great and has held up beautifully to spills, paints, markers, assorted toys and a couple thousand kids meals and cleanup. Maybe a nearly perfect kitchen table finish. If it ever wears out, easy to replace.

BTW, glass sits on a cherry table top with a simple wipe on oil/varnish finish.
 
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Jeff

New User
Jeff
Hey Jeff, Can you confirm the bulk of the ingredients are just oil and wax?
No, I can't confirm it but anecdotal evidence suggests it. Hard data on the Rubio website is not much to go on.

Part A: the oil is a mixture of vegetable and plant oils. Part B: the "accelerator" speeds up the drying process but I don't know how (there are no hazardous ingredients listed in the MSDS).

[FONT=&quot]FEATURES:
[FONT=&quot]Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C [/FONT]protects your wood in one
layer. Unlike traditional hardwax oils,
[FONT=&quot]Monocoat Oil Plus 2C [/FONT]will connect with wood fibers by means of a molecular reaction, a
result of which a durable protection is obtained. This molecular connection enables
[FONT=&quot]Monocoat Oil Plus 2C [/FONT]to embed in the surface’s upper microns within 3 minutes. The wood fibers can only combine with a certain amount of oil. Oil, which has not reacted, does not adhere and needs to be removed.


[/FONT]

There may be a close connection to the Osmo Finish Oil products made in Germany.

http://osmo.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/declaration-polyx-oil-pure.pdf

https://osmo.ca/products/interior-coatings/countertops-tables/
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
If Part A is vegetable and plant oils, its possible they could go rancid.
Yes, but probably not a problem overall. Rancidification is catalyzed by oxygen exposure and that's essentially the same process by which drying oils dry over time (linseed oil, tung oil, vegetable and plant oils). Ya typically aren't gonna chew on the table top after it's finished and the oils cure. :wsmile:
 
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Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Hey Jeff, Can you confirm the bulk of the ingredients are just oil and wax?

As an 18th century furniture guy, I can confirm oil and wax can be easy, but not very durable or practical for a kitchen table for a young family.

We got around that by cutting a 42” glass top for our kitchen table. Works great and has held up beautifully to spills, paints, markers, assorted toys and a couple thousand kids meals and cleanup. Maybe a nearly perfect kitchen table finish. If it ever wears out, easy to replace.

BTW, glass sits on a cherry table top with a simple wipe on oil/varnish finish.
GREAT solution!

What about spills?
how id you deal with the capillary action of a liquid getting between the glass and the table top?
 

TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Hank,

We use the clear plastic buttons underneath the glass so no real capillary action. Cleanup is very easy with just Windex and paper towels.

Initially, I was concerned about hot (straight out of the oven) items thermally cracking the glass. Use an oven mitt or a dish towel to insulate and protect glass and finish. Zero issues.

The other concern was breakage since it’s not tempered. We’ve never broken it. I’ve seen some pricey boardroom tables with enormous sheets of glass that cracked from an adult sitting on them. Our table catches the groceries as they come in, pet carriers, tools, and whatever else you dump onto a table as you come into the house through the back door.

The glass has gotten a little scratched. If scratches ever bother me, we’ll replace it. The wooden table top still looks like new after 15 years of family use.

Bottom line is, we don’t worry about the table finish or spills, or markers and paints, or mud and grit or whatever. Just enjoy the table and teach the kids to clean up their mess.
 
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