Straight Grain Supply Boiled Linseed Oil

from Sport Hansa

  • $13.00

Straight Grain Supply Boiled Linseed Oil comes with complimentary free shipping from Trail and Ski.


This is an 8 oz. can of Boiled Linseed Oil from Straight Grain Supply. It is probably not any different from the boiled linseed oil (BLO) that you buy at the hardware store, but the 8 oz. is a convenient size for many people and the F-style can is fun to use. BLO is a favorite for maintaining wood/steel tools such as knives, axes, and gardening tools against the weather. BLO is also a favorite for preserving and beautifying wooden furniture because it dries in the wood without any perceivable surface thickness, which makes wood look very natural and feel great. BLO also greatly enhances the wood grain and beautifies the wood much more than other common furniture finishes because it penetrates into the wood. Linseed oil is a yellowish oil obtained from seeds of the flax plant. For many centuries, linseed oil has been used as a wood finish and preservative. Linseed oil is an unstable, drying oil that reacts with oxygen and polymerizes into a solid after long-term exposure to air. When applied to wood, linseed oil will penetrate into the wood in liquid form. Wood is a series of countless straws, and those straws will let the linseed oil penetrate and even saturate the wood. (Most people are shocked by how much linseed oil will be absorbed by raw wood.) After the linseed oil spreads throughout the wood and after long-term exposure to air, the linseed oil will polymerize into a solid and prevent water from entering into the wood. Raw linseed oil takes several weeks to polymerize, so chemical companies add driers to the raw linseed oil to reduce the drying time from weeks to days. This processing is called "boiling" and accelerated linseed oil is commonly known as BLO. BLO is very different from non-drying oils like mineral oil or vegetable oils. Those are stable oils and do not react with oxygen to form a solid. They stay in a liquid state after entering the wood and can be washed away and displaced by water. Depending on how much of those oils were applied to a piece of wood, the wood may feel oily to the touch pretty much forever. In hot weather, the oil will often "sweat" out of a piece of wood. In contrast, BLO actually dries inside the wood and will not sweat out. BLO is also very different from varnishes, which stay and dry on the wood's surface and do not penetrate. Varnishes do protect wood, but the protection is a surface skin, which is why varnish finishes are thick. Varnish's protection is onthe wood rather than in the wood. When applied correctly to wood, BLO will have no perceivable thickness and will not change the feel of the wood. BLO will not cause blisters on work tools the way that varnishes do because their thickness changes the friction coefficients of wood against your hands. (This is why quality tools such as axes, brooms, shovels, and gardening tools often come with unfinished wood handles. You're supposed to apply BLO to this raw wood.) And because varnishes do not penetrate into the wood, they do not enhance the wood grain and beautify the wood the way that BLO will. BLO is very easy to apply and is extremely forgiving because of the slow drying times. There is no single method, but most people will be best served by applying BLO heavily using blue shop towels (which are lint-free) and saturating the wood with it. You will see instantly which parts of the wood are thirsty for oil (like the end grain) and will soak up the oil like a sponge. Keep applying oil to the thirsty areas. Other areas like the edge grain will get saturated much more quickly and don't need more oil. When the entire piece of wood is wet on the surface, leave it to sit for about an hour. After an hour, some parts will still be wet while others will be dry and will want more oil. Repeat this process a few times until the wood will not accept any more oil. Wait an hour or two then wipe off any excess oil using blue shop towels. Then let the BLO dry overnight. The next day, the wood will probably be dry to the touch with no perceivable thickness to the linseed oil finish. Even if you screwed up and forgot to wipe off the excess, you can rub off the sticky mess by soaking a blue shop towel in odorless mineral spirits or turpentine and rubbing off any excess. The process is very forgiving, and you will develop your own intuition or "touch" very quickly. As your skill grows, you may start to experiment with built-up BLO finishes such as the famous London Oil Finish found on the finest hunting weapons. BLO is also suitable for the steel portion of tools such as axe and shovel heads. On these areas, a micro-thin layer of BLO can be applied by wetting a blue shop towel to apply the oil to the steel, and then rubbing off as much oil as possible using clean shop towels. Using this method, you will not be able to remove all of the BLO and will leave a micro-thin layer that will protect the steel against corrosion. In the vintage car world, many owners use BLO to preserve the patina finishes on their old cars. The BLO covers the rusty areas and enters the countless pits where it cannot be rubbed off. After being buffed off and polymerizing on the surface, the BLO will polymerize into a solid and leave a beautiful sheen on the patina and prevent further corrosion. BLO has countless uses and is very forgiving to apply, but the only absolute with BLO is that you must dispose of rags properly or risk a fire. When liquid BLO reacts with oxygen and polymermizes into a solid, the process is exothermic (releases heat). Rags soaked with BLO have a high surface area and react much more quickly to the air than BLO in a cup would. Thus, BLO-soaked rags can get hot and self-ignite if they are bunched up in a way that the heat cannot dissipate. To prevent this, dispose of BLO-soaked rags properly by putting them in a sealed container such as a glass jar or resealable can (where there is no oxygen to feed a fire). John disposes of his BLO-soaked rags by laying them flat on the concrete floor to let them dry. Once dry, the rags are safe to dispose of like any other rags. If you want to nourish your wood to the maximum degree, treat it with BLO and thereafter treat it with something that contains beeswax like Straight Grain Axe Balm whenever the tool seems to need it. Liquid BLO is considerably thinner than Axe Balm and will penetrate much deeper into the wood. The beeswax in Axe Balm is considerably more waterproof than BLO and will greatly enhance the protection against the elements. BLO is not for use on cutting boards because it is not food-safe. While BLO comes from the flax plant and flax oil is food-safe, BLO is made from linseed oil that was extracted from the flax seed using heat and solvents while flax oil is cold-pressed. BLO has also been "boiled" with chemical driers to accelerate the polymerization process from weeks to days. So leave BLO for things like your furniture, gun stocks, cars, and tools. For your cutting boards, use a food-safe drying oil like tung oil.

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