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Thread: BLO

  1. #1
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    BLO

    I have aways used ploy to finish my projects but, I want to venture out a little and try something different. I read that BLO pops the grain. What is the visual difference between BLO and minerial oil. I have some minerial oil on hand. Will minerial oil pop the grain like BLO? Also is there any difference between minerial oil, salad bowl oil, and butcher block oil?

  2. #2
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    Any oil will tend to pop the grain, because oils soak into the wood, darkening it somewhat and changing how it reflects light.

    Mineral oil is a non-hardening oil. It never "cures". I wouldn't think it would be good under any membrane finish like poly or varnish. Salad bowl oil and butcher block oil are also typically made of non-drying oils, sometimes plain ol' mineral oil sold at four times the price. There is also something called salad bowl finish, but that's essentially a wipe-on varnish with a little bit of something like BLO or tung oil in it.

    BLO is an oil, but it hardens when it cures. By itself, it's not real durable, but after it cures, you can cover it with most any kind of membrane finish for better durability.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Ditto what Vaughn said. I've used BLO alone and in combination for many years. Back when I was still using polyurethane for nearly everything, I generally used the following finish schedule:
    1. Wipe with BLO/MS in a 1/1 ratio to pop the grain and let sit overnight.
    2. Sand lightly with 320, then wipe with the same mix again and let dry for a day.
    3. Wipe with BLO/MS/Poly in a 1/1/1 mix, let dry and sand lightly.
    4. Wipe with BLO/MS/Poly in a 1/1/2 mix, let dry and sand lightly.
    5. Spray a topcoat or two of poly to seal the deal.

    The main changes I've made to that schedule is to use naphtha in place of MS - seems to dry faster. I don't use poly for much of anything anymore. Now, after the oil rub, I spray a couple of coats of dewaxed shellac to seal and provide a barrier. Then, I topcoat with whatever I've chosen for that project which is usually a waterborne product now.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    As was stated about that over used term "Pop" the grain. Any ambering oil wil ""Enhance" grain coloring, you cant get this from white oils or WB finishes.

    BLO is not a finish, it is a treatment. Over time BLO dries, dissapates, and goes away, leaving unfinished wood behind. Hard rubbing and polishing of BLO can bring the polimers to the surface and burnish a film on the surface but these treatments must be protected to prevent deteriation.

    Finishes have a hardening surface treatment that will remain intact over time.

    IMHO BLO is far overrated. At the time of its conception, it was as good as you could get. but progress and chemestry has developed many far better Finishes. That are "Finishes not Treatments" that exceed or equal the results of BLO

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    As was stated about that over used term "Pop" the grain. Any ambering oil wil ""Enhance" grain coloring, you cant get this from white oils or WB finishes.

    BLO is not a finish, it is a treatment. Over time BLO dries, dissapates, and goes away, leaving unfinished wood behind. Hard rubbing and polishing of BLO can bring the polimers to the surface and burnish a film on the surface but these treatments must be protected to prevent deteriation.

    Finishes have a hardening surface treatment that will remain intact over time.

    IMHO BLO is far overrated. At the time of its conception, it was as good as you could get. but progress and chemestry has developed many far better Finishes. That are "Finishes not Treatments" that exceed or equal the results of BLO
    well Mr. Simpson, could you give us some of your far better finishes examples? Please.. thanks FWW had a article a while back stating something similiar. i think they even compared the final product against the BLO regime
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    ... IMHO BLO is far overrated. At the time of its conception, it was as good as you could get. but progress and chemestry has developed many far better Finishes. That are "Finishes not Treatments" that exceed or equal the results of BLO
    Like Larry, I'm awaiting your input on what we should use in place of BLO.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  7. #7
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    Well guys I am going to do some tests of my own. I bought some BLO to be top coated with clear shellac. I also got some Min-Wax Antique Oil Finish. I beleive what is said above but, I need to see for myself. Thanks for the input guys.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    As was stated about that over used term "Pop" the grain. Any ambering oil wil ""Enhance" grain coloring, you cant get this from white oils or WB finishes.

    BLO is not a finish, it is a treatment. Over time BLO dries, dissapates, and goes away, leaving unfinished wood behind. Hard rubbing and polishing of BLO can bring the polimers to the surface and burnish a film on the surface but these treatments must be protected to prevent deteriation.

    Finishes have a hardening surface treatment that will remain intact over time.

    IMHO BLO is far overrated. At the time of its conception, it was as good as you could get. but progress and chemestry has developed many far better Finishes. That are "Finishes not Treatments" that exceed or equal the results of BLO
    I've got issues with that... around here we've got countless houses a hundred years old that've been painted with linseed-oil-based paint. Except in spots where moisture was allowed to get inside the wood, under the paint, the linseed oil is still intact.
    -- Tim --

  9. #9
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    Oct 2009
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    Lindale, TX
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    BLO is a curing finish. Meaning that it actually oxidizes as it dries into a different chemical compound. As a finish is adds a slight amount of protection compared to bare wood. Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't have to be reapplied over and over again as it doesn't go anywhere. As far as it popping the grain, it does enhance the grain but unless it is being used as a stand alone finish, it's really a waste of time. I've done testing with it as a step under other finishes. I've found that I can't tell finish samples where I applied BLO under Lacquer from finish samples where I used lacquer alone. As someone stated above, any finish with an amber tint will pop the grain the same way that BLO will.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Bloem View Post
    ... I also got some Min-Wax Antique Oil Finish. I beleive what is said above but, I need to see for myself. ...
    Minwax AOF is a blend of BLO/MS/Polyurethane. It's much cheaper to blend it yourself.
    Last edited by Bill Arnold; 02-06-2010 at 06:46 PM.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

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