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Thread: A question for all the BLO guru's

  1. #1
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    A question for all the BLO guru's

    I want to finish some bread serving trays with BLO, only because I've never used it and want to give it a try. However, not ever using it I looked on the internet for instructions and found several pages stating that I should cut the BLO with 50% alcohol or mineral spirits. Some also state that I should apply using 0000 steel wool and work it until the wool becomes sticky or tacky and keep using fresh pieces until the project is completed. Once this is done wait 24 hours and sand lightly with 400 paper and repeat process.

    Is this the standard? I thought that I just wiped it on with a rag, wiped of excess, wait 24 hours and repeat. I planned on topping off with Howards Feed and Wax.

    I know there is a difference between Boiled Linseed Oil and Linseed Oil (non boiled) the information I'm reading specifically states Boiled Linseed Oil.

    Thanks for helping me with my confusion.

  2. #2
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    Jiggs,
    You can cut the BLO with Mineral spirits I will do it to make it dry faster or just wait until it dries. I usually just wipe it on and let it dry. the drying time will vary based on temp. It is dry when you can smell it any more. After it is dry I sand it smooth and then reapply if it needs it. Sam Maloof had a finish he made that was 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Tung oil and 1/3 Wax. Again this was a wipe on finish only.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    I've always brushed it on and wiped off with a rag after about 15-30 minutes. Thinning with mineral spirits doesn't make any better penetration but probably shortens drying time a little. The finish does not build so 1-2 coats are plenty followed by a seal coat. I prefer shellac, then wax.

    Be sure to dispose of oily rags, they are a combustion hazard. Hang them up with good air circulation until dry and dispose in a fire proof container.

    Boiled linseed oil has added driers to speed cure time, regular linseed oil is just that, regular linseed oil.
    Last edited by Roger Newby; 12-06-2010 at 02:58 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
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    seal with shellac 3 coats 50/50 then 2 coats full straight and then apply Blo or tung oil 50/50 with mineral spirits 3 coats then 3 coats full straight and buff out. Sanding between each coat.
    Using steel wool is something I hate to do. Having small strands of wool in a finished piece dose not look good
    After I do my finial sand with 600 I take comet and thinner and make a paste then get the white 3M pad that's the fine pads, and start buffing the piece out. The finial step is 3 coats of wax. Thinly applied each coat.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  5. #5
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    Ditto on all of the above but I use naphtha 1/1 with BLO for faster drying. In most cases, I apply the blend outdoors with the sun warming the wood and oil. I wipe on the blend fairly heavily, let it sit a few minutes, then wipe it off. I watch for additional oil seeping out and wipe lightly until no more appears.

    I use a variety of topcoats, depending on the item. In your case, I agree with the suggestion to apply shellac followed by wax after the oil cures for several days.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
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    Bill, i need to ask; have you seen what happens to shellac after a few years when it is placed over and oil? Just my observations as an artist and finisher. Oil never really 100% dries. This is proven in the thousands of painting done by the masters hundreds of years ago. While cleaning some of Rembrandt painting they found wet oil under many coats of paint. Thus the top coats cracked out. I see this a lot in the old painting I clean and repair. I've also had many piece of furniture come in to repair the finish French Polish that has alligator because of oil used as a base coat. Oil can be used as a base coat but very very thin. But I would still not advise it. A lot of old world finishers like to use a drop of oil on there bob when french polishing but if to much oil is used you can get a layer of oil laid down under the shellac and the finish will alligator in a shot time.

    What are you observations?
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  7. #7
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    So Dave if i understand your post correctly

    This is the sequence you recommend for applying BLO.

    All coats are thinly applied.

    Step 1 Seal the wood with Shellac with 3 coats diluted 50/50 with ? I guess mineral spirits?

    Sand with 600 paper along with comet and 3M white pad. Then apply wax

    Step 2 Apply further 2 coats of Shellac no dilution this time.

    Sand with 600 paper along with comet and 3M white pad. Then apply wax

    Step 3 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil diluted 50/50 with mineral spirits.

    Sand with 600 paper along with comet and 3M white pad. Then apply wax

    Step 4 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil no dilution and buff out.

    Step 5 Apply wax and buff out.


    Is this what you mean or is this what you mean

    Step 1 Seal the wood with Shellac with 3 coats diluted 50/50 with ? I guess mineral spirits?

    sand with 600 paper

    Step 2 Apply further 2 coats of Shellac no dilution this time.

    Sand with 600 paper

    Step 3 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil diluted 50/50 with mineral spirits.

    Sand with 600 paper

    Step 4 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil no dilution and buff out.

    Sand with 600 paper along with comet and 3M white pad. Then apply wax

    Step 5 Apply wax and buff out.


    What i dont understand is if the shellac is a sealer then how does the blo even play a part? Does it penetrate the shellac?

    I thought the whole idea of BLO was that it soak into the wood like we used raw linseed oil on the cricket bats back when i was playing cricket. In that case it was used as a means to protect the wood.
    cheers

  8. #8
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    I would think the 50/50 for the shellac would be mixed with alcohol?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Step 1 Seal the wood with Shellac with 3 coats diluted 50/50 with ? I guess mineral spirits?

    sand with 600 paper

    Step 2 Apply further 2 coats of Shellac no dilution this time.

    Sand with 600 paper

    Step 3 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil diluted 50/50 with mineral spirits.

    Sand with 600 paper

    Step 4 Apply 3 coats of BLO or Tung oil no dilution and buff out.

    Sand with 600 paper along with comet and 3M white pad. Then apply wax

    Step 5 Apply wax and buff out.


    What i dont understand is if the shellac is a sealer then how does the blo even play a part? Does it penetrate the shellac?

    I thought the whole idea of BLO was that it soak into the wood like we used raw linseed oil on the cricket bats back when i was playing cricket. In that case it was used as a means to protect the wood.
    Rob one other thing when you apply any finish that is to be rubbed out you have to brush out the finish. What I mean is you need to use very little finish to cover the surface or another word would be a shear finish.. So brushing it out is necessary for the process to have a high quality finish and look at the same time. Blobbing the finish on and getting brush strokes will not do when working to a gallery or Museum finish.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    ...Sam Maloof had a finish he made that was 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Tung oil and 1/3 Wax. Again this was a wipe on finish only.
    I've seen several references to Sam using 1/3 poly, 1/3 oil, and 1/3 mineral spirits, so I was curious about the BLO/tung oil/wax recipe. Found this in the September 1983 Fine Woodworking mag:

    3 coats at 2 day intervals. Equal parts of poly varnish, raw tung oil, and boiled linseed oil. I then apply a final coat of a mixture I mix up on a double boiler: a half gallon each of tung oil and boiled linseed oil, with a couple of handfuls of beeswax grated in. Do this outdoors and be careful-linseed oil has a low boiling point.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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