Flexi-Rack Maintenance Question

Like myself, a number of members have built flexi-racks (wood shelves, all-thread, nuts, etc.)and have used a number of wood finishes. Like some, I applied Walnut Oil to preserve the wood.

After a number of months, the surface of my shelves feel gritty instead of smooth. I can't tell if this is due to dust adhering to the oil and hardening or if it's a natural result. It won't wipe off, so my inclination is to sand it with steel wool and then wipe it off. Then what? I know very little about wood finishing.

Any thoughts?
try lightly a little ammonia that should lift tacky grease with dust and still maintain finish.
Thanks Schipo, I'll give that a try.
When you applied the oil you raised the wood surface as it was unfinished when you bought it?Otherwise it shouldnt have as it only happens once,the first time.Anyway,if its gritty it must be as dust doesnt ever feel gritty no matter how long it builds up.So yes,use a very fine,say 320 grit sandpaper or steel wool and then apply more oil.It will never feel gritty again.Some cabinet makers use water to intentionally raise the surface before they start the sanding process which usually consists of belt or hand sanding with 110 then 220 then 320,then applying whatever finish they like.Just a guess,good luck,hopefully someone deeper than I will chime in,Bob
The surface was not finished properly.Sand it out and refinish it.
Hey Kenny. Before trying anything drastic, I'd try some 3 or aught steel wool and more walnut oil, and some very clean rags yo finish. The walnut oil might have gotten a bit gummy, esp. if there was a bit of excess on the surface, which could attract grit. If that doesn't resolve it, I might try mineral oil and steel wool, but I'd try that on an unobtrusive area first. It may be that you need to resand, but I'd not jump to that conclusion, esp if you sanded initially.

Keep us posted. John
No, I think I actually over-saturated the wood with the oil. I applied many coats, waiting a full day between each coat and I sanded before and between coats. It was very smooth when I was done but I noticed a few days later that there were a couple of spots where the oil percolated up into little dime-sized pools.

I'm going to try ammonia in a sample area, and if that doesn't work I'll sand.
Sounds like if you have sanded and oiled the wood is actually not solid but a pressed[MDF] type plywood where you arent sure what its composition is actually made of.That might explain the inconsistent finish.Theres so much junk out there now that maufacturers push on consumers....for an example the rubber cushions on pool tables were 100% rubber,good consistant bounces etc.Years ago to save and now they would mix the rubber with sawdust and other materials to save money and they dont play the same.You can put Chinese drywall and toothpaste into this way of the world.Were swamped with cheap affordable junk.I hope you get to the bottom of this mystery,cheers,Bob
Thanks Bob!

I still think I just over did it with the oil because I've got 2" thick Northern Hard Maple butcher block that I received unfinished. It's good stuff...see my flexi-rack pic.

Someone told me that I might just try mineral spirits because that works on tongue oil buildup. We'll see. I'm more concerned about what to do afterwards because adding more oil seems like I'm asking for more trouble.
Good news.Thats good wood and with a visit to most any decent shop they will hip you to the solution.If no shop then google Danish oil,Tung oil etc and do some research.You have the base material[Maple] to work with and not fools gold.Cheers,Bob
Hi Kenny. I'd expect the oil to as a solvent, lifting up the gum; if you wipe the excess off vigorously, I expect you'll be in a decent place. John
Thanks John,

That's what that is!!! I tried wiping it off but it was too hardened. I experimented with one shelf using steel wool and that did the trick but I don't know if I should re-oil.

I talked to a wood guy and he recommended that I wait a couple of days to see if anything new resurfaces. If not, he thought I should seal the wood with a hard wax such as SC Johnson One Step Floor Wax.
Hey Kenny. I'd not re-oil any time soon. If it was overloaded, let it work itself out. I didn't wax, so I can't say, but one thing I like about the oil is how easy it is to touch up and make corrections as needed. John
I agree. Thanks John.