very basic oiling wood question

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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby robin wood » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:16 pm

Nicola Wood wrote:
forestwalker wrote:Re Robin Woods deep fat fryer technique: have you tried any other oil than palm oil? I don' like to deplete the rainforests any more than necessary, but the technique does look like it could give a good result.

He only used palm oil briefly until he found out how it was produced, but that happened to be the period when he was writing his book. Nowadays he only uses cold pressed linseed oil but in the same way, in the chip pan, and it works fine. (We just have to be careful we choose the right pan when we're doing the chips!)


It was organic palm oil, I would be surprised if they allow organic certification on plantations on cleared rainforest though I decided I would rather a European oil anyway. I had long liked linseed but do find customer resistance to it. Walnut always got a very nice response, sounds expensive though is cheaper than my linseed and smells lovely. Strange thing is that in the litigation and nut allergy capital of the world the USA woodturners are perfectly happy using walnut oil but in the UK folk advise not.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby forestwalker » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:57 am

robin wood wrote:
Nicola Wood wrote:
forestwalker wrote:Re Robin Woods deep fat fryer technique: have you tried any other oil than palm oil? I don' like to deplete the rainforests any more than necessary, but the technique does look like it could give a good result.

He only used palm oil briefly until he found out how it was produced, but that happened to be the period when he was writing his book. Nowadays he only uses cold pressed linseed oil but in the same way, in the chip pan, and it works fine. (We just have to be careful we choose the right pan when we're doing the chips!)



Great. I'll look at all th second hand places for a cheap chip pan. Cold pressed linseed and beeswax mixed, right?

It was organic palm oil, I would be surprised if they allow organic certification on plantations on cleared rainforest though I decided I would rather a European oil anyway. I had long liked linseed but do find customer resistance to it. Walnut always got a very nice response, sounds expensive though is cheaper than my linseed and smells lovely. Strange thing is that in the litigation and nut allergy capital of the world the USA woodturners are perfectly happy using walnut oil but in the UK folk advise not.


As to the organic certifications I am not so trusting; I have seen FSC-certaified clearcuttings here in Sweden (not well managed). I'll compare the walnut with the linseed in local pricing.
Last edited by forestwalker on Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby emcgee » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:30 am

This is an older post, but what ratio of oil/beeswax do you use for bowls?

Thanks
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby Davie Crockett » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:39 pm

AKA Dave Munday
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:13 pm

Interesting to see the raw linseed oil and beeswax recommendated, as I have both already (that never happens! :D).

Linseed oil goes solid/hard on drying which is useful for wood. I like the idea of using linseed, as linseed (and rapeseed)
are sometimes grown in and around my village. However, I didn't like the effect on my last bowl, it turned
it a rather bright yellow. It reminds me old cricket bats and things made before plastic. :D

BTW while trying to decide whether to buy boiled or raw linseed oil (I bought raw), I discovered that
boiled linseed is generally not boiled at all but rather combined with chemicals:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil#Boiled_linseed_oil.
I think the idea is that the chemicals thin it and help it soak in deeper (much like heating) and then... probably evapourate and/or solidify.

BTW Anyone use Danish Oil, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_oil? It was recommended for the stair and landing railing in
a house I had built some years ago. (From wiki, it sounds like it is another name for a type of boiled linseed or adulterated Tung bean oil).
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby ToneWood » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:50 pm

Re-reading this thread there is much that I missed the first time (or forgot). Getting excess beeswax off can be challenging, to that end, I recently bought a new shoe shine brush; it helps but it's no solution. So Sean's tip about using a microwave to get the wax to soak in is interesting, however I don't have a microwave (similar outlook to jrrcaim it seems :)), so might need to visit family or a neighbor :D.

RE. Palm oil, I'm not a fan. They destroy orangutang habitats in order to mass produce it &I believe palm oil is unhealthy in food - heart/brain clogging, etc..
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby ToneWood » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:42 pm

Came across two good articles on oiling wood recently:
  • Robin Wood's blog has a good article on oiling wood: http://greenwood-carving.blogspot.co.uk ... -wood.html
  • Reading Drew Langsner's book this week he points out that Tung oil is exotic & toxic/poisonous! So perhaps not a good choice for eating implements/vessels. Although I think tung oil is used much more in the USA than in the UK/EU, where linseed has long been grown and used to preserve wood (like walnut oil, it polymerizes to form a thin, solid coating/seal). Apparently tung oil also has to be imported from warmer locales.

Ironically, Robin's article opens with an example of not wanting wooden bowls to soak up milk, while Drew's describes how Swiss wooden dairy ware is not oiled because the milk actually protects it (but see Drews book for details on that) Apparently the Swiss leave a lot of their wood untreated - but their fresh, crisp, cool, dry alpine air is a little different to the soggy, blight-filled, dank air of Britain (yes, I've had enough of rain this year).
Last edited by ToneWood on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby ToneWood » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:59 pm

Among the many oils discussed here and elsewhere, there does seem (to me) to be a clear winner...linseed oil. The main drawback I see, is its bright yellow colour, which you may or may not like. However, it does mellow with time, one forum members suggests that sunlight will bleach it down quickly (warning: a wood-turner warned me recently that all wood colours are bleached by sunlight, including that of, say, purple heart, so they all end up "woody brown") and Robin Wood has apparently found Swedish linseed oil that isn't bright yellow. (Oh, and you need to be careful storing/disposing of all oily rags - very real fire risk.)

Benefits of linseed oil:
- locally produced (& therefore relatively "green")
- relatively cheap & readily available
- soaks in well (esp. if warmed & applied several times) yet over weeks/months polymerizes to a solid finish
- edible (I eat linseeds)
- no nut allergy issues
- easy to maintain (re-oil)
- a traditional base for oil paints

BTW Robin, why do some customers object to linseed oil? (What's not to like?)
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby Darren » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:54 pm

Try high barn oils for home grown linseed oil.

http://highbarnoils.co.uk/
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby bulldawg_65 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:29 pm

Believe it or not, I found a customer that was allergic to Linseed, so I had to finish his spoon in walnut oil instead.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby robin wood » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:42 am

ToneWood wrote:
BTW Robin, why do some customers object to linseed oil? (What's not to like?)


smell, they associate it with cricket bats and putty not food. Walnut was a winner every time and I may yet go back to it.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby Jane » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:02 pm

I got some grano vita organic Flax Oil (virgin cold pressed) from sainsburys yesterday with the intention of oiling spoons with it. I thought it was the same as linseed oil but now i'm not sure. Does anybody know if it is or not, and if not, do you think it'd still be ok to do the spoons with?
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby ToneWood » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:27 pm

The same. Coincidentally, I watched the flax video on the http://highbarnoils.co.uk/ website yesterday. A local farmer had previously explained it to me though. Flax and linseed are variants of the same plant. Flax has been bred/selected to be tall, for its fibers which are/were used to make linen/rope/fishing lines/nets/. Linseed is the same plant bred/selected to produce short multi-stem/multiple branches full of oil-rich seeds. I don't know if they collect the seed from the flax crop as a byproduct (any flax farmers out there?) - perhaps that's what you have but I suspect it is just linseed (which is grown specifically for its oil). Obviously they'll be different varieties with slightly different composition - Robin's blog article mentions that the Swedes have all sorts of variants, like olive oils from the Mediterranean countries. (I suspect the term "flax oil" is used to differentiate oil that has been pressed and stored specifically for human consumption from oil that has been pressed and stored for preserving wood/animal feed/fuel/....)

BTW I once bought some flax-oil from a health food store in the US. It was fairly expensive & came in a black plastic bottle (presumably to stop decay due to light exposure) & they strongly recommended that you kept it refrigerated and used it fairly quickly - it was intended to be used raw on salads rather than for cooking. Nowadays, I just sprinkle whole, raw linseeds on my food.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby toscano » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:17 pm

Stephen Shepherd's blog (http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/) and book (http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?page_id ... ct=6514105) are two of the best sources of info on linseed oil, in my opinion.

Here are just some examples of his experimentation with raw linseed oil:
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=1606
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=2322
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=1637
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=1655
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p=1611

I hope you find this helpful.
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Re: very basic oiling wood question

Postby bulldawg_65 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:23 pm

BTW while trying to decide whether to buy boiled or raw linseed oil (I bought raw), I discovered that
boiled linseed is generally not boiled at all but rather combined with chemicals:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil#Boiled_linseed_oil.
I think the idea is that the chemicals thin it and help it soak in deeper (much like heating) and then... probably evapourate and/or solidify.


My supplier sells raw and boiled food grade organic Linseed oil. He says his boiled linseed is often purchased by healthfood stores for sale because it contains none of the proteins (read Allergens) because they have been removed through the boiling. He says as well the raw linseed oil soaks into the wood better thus leaving a tougher finish.
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