thx for the info so far folks. I knew I could depend on you.
A couple of 'supplementary questions": How mildew resistant are those various oils? What's this Watco stuff? How available is it?
Watco is a line of oils..I tried to read the eeny print on the label of the Exterior Finish in the garage to find out if it has urethane in it. It might; feels like it might, but cant find a table of contents. Mostly seems to be boiled linseed oil. There is a Marine Finish too and an interior finish. Havent seen the Danish finish yet.
Found it at most good (non-WalMart) hardware stores.
I havent had any seeming build up of any varnish layer, by the time you wipe it off its pretty thin. I use Watco mostly on paddle shaft and grip, where things will eventually wear down
I have used boiled linseed, tung and teak oil too. Mostly depends on whats at hand.
I always expect my used oiling rag to blow up and so my back yard away from the house collects them
I dont know of one with a mildew repellent. Mildew spores seem to have a liking for ash as its pretty open grained. My oiled cherry gunwales on another boat seem to collect less of the stuff.
Oils dont penetrate too far down in the wood ( Ihave heard one eighth to one quarter inch)and eventually get absorbed, so you need to oil more often than varnish. Still I prefer an oiled paddle over a varnished one and like the look of oiled thwarts on some of my boats