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linseed oil as finish question


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Ok!

So I decided to try boiled linseed oil as a finish for my hooks! Besides the overwhelming smell of sardines and a dusty old cotton mill, everything went well.

Here is what I did!
I bought three, 1-quart cans of boiled linseed oil from wal-mart.

I threw my hooks in the fire, got them hot like I would if I was waxing them, and then dipped them in the linseed oil.
After that I just hung them up to drip!

However, the hooks are very sticky now! If I try to wipe them off with a rag it leaves white fuzzies all over the hook. (Ok some smart guy say something like "all you need to do is use a black rag!" LOL)
I know boiled linseed oil is supposed to be a good finish and I just spent $22 on it so I'd rather not be out that money! I'm missing something! What is it?

Thoughts??? Thanks!!! :D

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It sounds like there was fresh oil on the hooks. So the oil will need to cure completely before they are no longer sticky. Linseed oil cures on contact with oxygen and before it cures completely it will be sticky. You can speed the process by heating the piece. There is no need to apply the finish to hot work if you aren't going to "burn it on" like you would wax or non-curing oil. On wood, boiled oil is considered cured after 48 hours or so but on metal, it takes longer and may be sticky for weeks. (It has to do with the thickness of the coating as the oil soaks into the wood and thins the layer allowing for faster drying.)

Does that clear things up or do you have more questions?

ron

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Add Japan Drier. It is a chemical additive that speads drying.

I use Linseed oil, Turpentine, and Japan drier. It definately dries faster, but depending on temperature and thickness of coating, it can still take over 24 hrs. I also wipe off the excess to speed the drying. You are probably not looking for a protectant just a 'look' finish. Thin works fine.

I forget what the mixture quantities are. I have it written down somewhere.

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scratch the linseed oil,.....It stays sticky,....the best thing to do is burn it off and buy a spray can of marine spar polyurethane,......you wont regret it


+1 on the Polyurethane. I made a batch of Linseed oil, Turpentine, Bees wax and Japan Black. Japan Dryer is a rare animal in Australia. I think it's called something else down under. The Japan Black is basically black paint, but does add a nice color to the work, and it isn't sticky unless you hold on to a piece of work for awhile, and the heat of your hands reacts with the beeswax.

Rob Kenning
Secretary
Artist Blacksmiths Association South Australia
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I've been spraying with Krylon clear gloss. It makes a nice finish, but doesn't hold up traveling and tossing 20-40 hooks in one container. I figured with the linseed oil, I'd be able to finish forging, brush, and then dip them. Much faster than doing two coats a side in clear coat.

Ok what about the marine spar poly?
Where do I get it, how much does it cost, and does it chip like regular clear coat? (Clear coat chips the same as paint but it's just harder to see! :blink:)

If someone could give me the parts ratio on the linseed, wax, and turp, that'd be good. Also where to get the Japan drier, and the best way of mixing all of this stuff up together.

Thanks for the quick responses!

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If someone could give me the parts ratio on the linseed, wax, and turp, that'd be good. Also where to get the Japan drier, and the best way of mixing all of this stuff up together.


Parts are by weight or volume

1 part wax (Beeswax is recommended but paraffin wax works)
1 part turpentine
1/2 to 1 part linseed oil.

Melt the wax in a double boiler then take the double boiler outside, the water has enough heat to carry this through.
add turpentine and linseed oil, mix, transfer to a suitable container if necessary.

If you smell turpentine you are over the exposure limit, so use in a well ventilated space.

Phil

PS last time I got japan drier was at ACE hardware. I haven't used it in this recipe.
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Don't dip. Wipe it on with a rag or natural bristled brush. Don't get the metal too hot, or you'll get an olive drab color. In the olden days, I used a linseed/turpentine mix. I never really cared for it, ao now I use Johnson's old fashioned, paste, floor wax.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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Just a word of caution when using Japan drier: That stuff is notorious for starting spontaneous combustion fires. So be careful with rags that are soaked in it or mixtures containing it.


Linseed oil is also notorious for starting fires with used rag. Choices are
* spread rag out to dry and harden in a safe place like the driveway then dispose of safely in the trash
* burn immediately in a safe location

Phil
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FieryFurnance,

One good thing about using a linseed and beeswax finish is you can touch up your pieces on site. This is still a indoor finish and storing stuff out in the shop it still gets rusty, and like you said in containers it bumps around. When you get set up look at your pieces and heat the ones up that need it and re-wax them, use a propane torch its faster and get you on the forge quicker.

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if you are going for the blackening finish where you burn the linseed oil into the surface of the steel
then you need to heat the piece to just below the point where it will set the oil on fire. and dont dip it in the oil.
have a few small cotton rags at the end of a thin steel rod and dip that into the oil and use it as a brush, and keep brushing oil onto the piece and re heating it a bit till you get a black coat all over, and finish with a heating then there should be no unburned oil on the piece.
and when you do it its very important that you keep blowing the flames out
when you heat the piece do it in the soft flames above the coke in your forge

when done let it cool off and rub with a old newspaper

this is how it have been done for 100ers of years and it will last longer then most paint indoors or outdoors

when i do larger pieces i hang them in a wire and use a gas weed burner do heat it, its a lot easier then heating small spots over the forge flames

cheers DC

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I'm just quietly soaking it all up guys! :D

Couple more questions......


What does the turpentine do?

Can I mix just the oil and bee's wax or does the turp' help thicken the mixture? The reason I ask is, I have oil and wax on hand and could mix some up tomorrow. I'd have to go to town to get the turp' though.

DC: Sounds like that would be a bit time consuming to have to reheat and recoat multiple times. I'm looking for a decent coating to put on 20+ hooks at a time.

Thanks for the tips on guarding against spontaneous combustion. Burning down my shop, dad's shop, all our tools, the old barn, my sister's boss's tools, the tractor, and my enclosed trailer is not something I really care to do at the moment! :huh:

Bad Ceek Blacksmith: Great idea; I should have thought about using the torch myself! Please send torch to my address at...LOL
That's on the "to buy" list!

Once again, thanks for sharing the knowledge! Keep it coming!

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The turps THIN the mixture so you can use it cold instead of having to melt the mixture, the product ends up a soft paste that you can apply cold and buff after it hazes (about 10 minutes)...

Or you can apply to warm metal and buff immediately, or you can apply and soot the coating so it is black and buff immediately.

You can also use this on leather or wood if the mix is kept clean (so as not to discolor the leather or wood).

Phil

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Dave,

When I talk about torch to heat it up I'm talking about a little hand held not the O&A torch. You would be throwing to much money away heating up small projects to touch up the finish and to haul it around to demo's. So if you still need me to send you one PM your address and I"ll stop by Lowes tomorrow when I'm in town.LOL

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks. I just bought a bottle of linseed oil few days ago. I have the similiar questions on oil & beeswax mixture. It seems that turpentine is not a must because it is a thinner. It in my hand is chemical product and is acrid, I hate it. :(
Japan dryer I can't know what it is, so I have not one. Though it speeds the drying, so it is not a must too?

Edited by blacksmith777
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