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  boiled linseed oil + turpentine + ???
  Posted by: TexasLady on Jun-01-09 10:01 AM (EST)
   Category: unassigned 

My father did a lot of wood working in his day, and used a mixture of equal parts of boiled linseed oil, turpentine, and something else for cleaning/refinishing wood.

I have used it before with a very fine steel wool and it really rejuvenated the wood. I can't remember what the "something else" was, and with his Alzheimers, my father doesn't remember either. Heck, I'm not even sure if it was mineral spirits instead of turpentine, but I think I'll recognize the "recipe" if someone triggers my memory with some suggestions.

I know some of you folks know what this is. Can anyone help me out with some suggestions to trigger my memory?

Thanks, Jill

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Messages in this Topic


  Linseed oil varnish
  Posted by: NateHanson on Jun-01-09 10:06 AM (EST)
My recipe is 2/3 linseed oil, 1/3 turps, and a capful of Japan Drier per quart or so.
  boiled linseed oil & turpentine
  Posted by: Gandalf on Jun-01-09 10:37 AM (EST)
I - and many others - use a mixture of boiled linseed oil (never raw linseed oil), mineral spirits, and a urethane varnish. I suspect that any varnish would do but we use polyurethanes. Clean the wood well and sand it smooth (but not with such a high grit paper that you close the pores). Flood the wood with the finish mixture. Wait a few minutes (5 to 10?) to wait for the wood to absorb the finish - but not so long that it has set. Wipe off any finish that remains liquid on the top. Then repeat the process. I usually do 3 applications. Then, wax it and buff it. What are you in the process of - or thinking about - finishing or re-finishing? I've used the process on everything from furniture to rifle stocks to carved figures.
  not urethane or varnish
  Posted by: TexasLady on Jun-01-09 10:49 AM (EST)
My dad used this mixture to clean furniture. He probably also used it on gun stocks, but I don't remember. I'm mostly just cleaning the wood. The particular item I want to use it on is an antique walnut bed. It is not varnished and not painted. It is a natural walnut. I have used it on furniture before. It cleaned it up, conditioned the wood, and looked wonderful. I am not varnishing or putting anything on after using the boiled linseed oil mixture.
  for furniture
  Posted by: NateHanson on Jun-01-09 3:53 PM (EST)
The traditional oil finish for furniture is turps, boiled linseed (and sometimes a drying agent to help it cure a bit).

It's called a varnish, because it does form a very thin film finish, but it is primarily just soaked into the wood. It's an excellent finish for any furniture, and it fairly durable, and is resistant to heat and moisture damage, unlike most other traditional finishes. It's very easily applied (wipe on with a rag, then after 15 minutes or so wipe off the excess with a clean rag, and repeat a couple times a day). The downside is that it takes many many coats to build up a nice finish. Like 10-20. And like all oil finishes, it will darken the wood with time and exposure to sunlight.

If all you want to do is clean the wood, you could use a furniture restoration cleaner like vulpinex (which will not harm the original finish on the furniture, but will remove dirt and oils on the surface - this is the stuff used by museums to clean and brighten their 200 year-old aquisitions without changing the historical finish on the piece). Or you can wipe it down with some turpentine on a rag, which will remove waxes and oils and some dirt, but may also remove some finishes.

Or, you can just clean the furniture with a slightly damp rag (damp with water). That's the most basic and least invasive cleaning for an antique. Don't leave any water standing on the surface, and never have the wag so damp that it drips.

Good luck.
  It's Vulpex
  Posted by: tktoo on Jun-01-09 7:34 PM (EST)
and comes with its own set of cautions, but your are correct that it is widely used by conservators and restorers to clean a variety of objects and artifacts.
  Posted by: NateHanson on Jun-01-09 9:16 PM (EST)
I was marvelling at the fact that I could still remember that name, but I guess my self-satisfaction was premature. :)
  the third ingredient might be vinegar
  Posted by: TexasLady on Jun-01-09 10:53 AM (EST)
It might be equal parts of boiled linseed oil, vinegar, and either turpentine or mineral spirits...
  might be vinegar
  Posted by: pblanc on Jun-01-09 11:09 AM (EST)
Vinegar is sometimes added to a mixture of 1/3 turpentine 2/3 boiled linseed oil as a fungicide.

I have seen some people recommend a 1:1:1 mixture of linseed oil, turpentine, and kerosene for oiling wood.

For just cleaning wood, I would first try plain Naptha.
  Oil & Vinegar do not mix.
  Posted by: cockneykayaker on Jun-01-09 1:08 PM (EST)
  Posted by: pblanc on Jun-01-09 3:10 PM (EST)
I have not done it, and it is true that vinegar and oil are immiscible liquids, but I believe the people who recommend this add only a small amount of vinegar to a 1:2 mix of turpentine and linseed oil and suspend it to form an emulsion.
  Tung Oil?
  Posted by: Jsaults on Jun-01-09 2:13 PM (EST)
I have used a mix of linseed, tung, & turp for wood treatment.

  Same here,
  Posted by: jackl on Jun-01-09 7:20 PM (EST)
But I don't mix them.
I use the tung oil for the finish.
My wife does the gunnels on our comp cruiser and my J boat annually and it stands up nice and makes a nice satin finish.

  Tung Oil
  Posted by: pblanc on Jun-01-09 7:34 PM (EST)
I have heard that Tung Oil is very durable but can get gummy and hard if applied too thickly. Any trick to applying it?
  Use a soft cloth
  Posted by: jackl on Jun-02-09 5:37 AM (EST)
to apply it and then let it dry a bit before gently rubbing it in.
If the wood surface has been weatherbeaten or real dry the next day give it another coat.
I have never had trouble with it becoming sticky.

  Careful with that stuff
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-01-09 2:56 PM (EST)
A buddy of mine's house burned down when he forgot to dispose of some cotton rags soaked in linseed oil after a project in the garage.
  That's true for any oily rags
  Posted by: pblanc on Jun-01-09 3:07 PM (EST)
Same for Watco oil, Deks Olje, Teak oil, Tung oil, etc.
  How DO you dispose of them
  Posted by: kayamedic on Jun-01-09 7:45 PM (EST)
I left my rags on gravel and they got rained on(not that it affects the oil in any way) and on garbage night threw the thing in the can and put the can by the street.

There has to be a better way.
  Posted by: pblanc on Jun-01-09 7:49 PM (EST)
pretty much what I do.
  just hang-em
  Posted by: NateHanson on Jun-01-09 10:42 PM (EST)
The important thing is that they are not balled up. If they're balled up, the decomposition of the oil gives off heat, and in a tight wad all that heat can accumulate to the point that it ignites the fumes. But if the rag is hung or laid out flat, any heat generated will just disipate harmlessly.

I hang rags from the side of the can, then the next morning they're stiff and dry, and you can just chuck 'em in the trash.

The other alternative is to get a metal trashcan with a tight-fitting metal lid, and toss them all in there. Without oxygen they can't ignite.

  I just get it over with and burn 'em
  Posted by: tktoo on Jun-02-09 10:11 AM (EST)
as soon as I'm done with them. I toss them into a Weber chimney charcoal starter in the driveway and light them.
  vinegar recipe and procedure
  Posted by: Dr_Disco on Jun-01-09 7:45 PM (EST)
  I found my own recipe in 2002 archives!
  Posted by: TexasLady on Jun-01-09 8:04 PM (EST)
I thought maybe I had posted the recipe before and did a search. I didn't know the archives went back as far as 2002, but I found it. It's kind of poignant to me because I talk about my father's recipe and his woodworking. He was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2005 and although he is doing well, the disease is progressing and he doesn't remember the fine woodworking he did, or how he did it. He used to make musical instruments, knives, furniture, anything you described to him, he could make it. He was in great demand for his exquisite work on gun stocks. He even made a set of delicate doll furniture for me when I was a child. All of these things were done "in his spare time," after his long day was finished at the refinery, and after working in the garden or around the house. Working with his hands was an integral part of his very being, but he doesn't remember those things now. Of course, I've used the recipe and couldn't remember it, either. :-)

Here's the post...

"I checked with my Dad, who is an old-timer woodworker (and boat builder).

His "recipe" is very easy to remember because it is in equal proportions of 1/3 each.

1/3 BOILED linseed oil (label must say boiled)
1/3 Turpentine
1/3 Vinegar

He says it isn't necessary to wait to use it--ready to go as soon as mixed. Just keep stirring it up or shaking it as you use it, as it will settle.

He says it is great for restoring antique furniture that you don't want to varnish. It cleans the wood without damaging it & restores it beautifully. He does not use it on outdoor projects and recommends that you select a product that is specifically designed for outdoor or marine use.

I've also used his formula to restore a beautiful antique desk, and it turned out soooooo nice!"


p.s. I used extremely fine steel wool for the applications and used cheesecloth for the final cleanup on the furniture. Thanks to all who responded.
  Posted by: Dr_Disco on Jun-01-09 10:13 PM (EST)
Also notice that your recipe is the same as what I posted above.
  thank you...
  Posted by: TexasLady on Jun-01-09 11:31 PM (EST)
I was a little surprised at how many formulas are out there. I just couldn't remember which one was "mine." :-)
  linseed oil
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-02-09 1:54 AM (EST)
Just don't use the mixture on your kayak, specially inside where access is difficult. Linseed oil tends to mold and up in the ends of the yak is impossible to remove.

Bill H.
  Pine Tar???
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-02-09 3:32 PM (EST)
The traditional mix for old time wooden boatbuilders was linseed oil, turpentine and pine tar. It has a wonderful smell and does a great job.
Your dad may not remember the name, but he might remember the smell. I have read claims that smells awaken more memories than other senses, and it is certainly true for me.
  boatbuilders mix with pine tar
  Posted by: ret603 on Jun-02-09 8:09 PM (EST)
The mix with pine tar was used inside workboats. It works very well to preserve the wood. It also turns the inside of the boat brown/black over time.

Another boatbuilders mix that looks better on recreational boats is oil, terp and oil based spar varnish. Considerations with the oil part of the mix are that boiled linseed is cheaper and tung oil darkens less over time, but is much more costly. The percentages of each ingredient vary with every user. A mix that was used on a fine lapstrake skiff I have was 60% boiled linseed, 40% terp and 10% varnish.

  The varnish that gives you 110%! ;)
  Posted by: NateHanson on Jun-03-09 10:03 AM (EST)
  I use it too
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-07-09 9:25 PM (EST)
Carl's Paddlin in Madison WI used to sell it but I think they had to stop - not sure why.

Yep - it's 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 distilled white vinegar, and 1/3 mineral spirits. Works great and it's about all I've used on my boats for 15 years.

Carl's called it Gunnel Lotion.

  linseed oil +turpentine + beeswax ??
  Posted by: old_user on Mar-27-11 11:33 AM (EST)
Check this site
  boiled linseed oil + turpentine + ???
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-10-11 2:15 PM (EST)
How about: "Mary Roalman finish ... consists of equal parts of boiled linseed oil, turpentine, and natural varnish."
  response to question
  Posted by: old_user on Jun-24-12 4:08 PM (EST)
I have used the combination of equal parts turpentine, linseed oil and mineral spirits to rejuvenate wooden rockers and my kitchen cabinets. It works great! It was dry in a few days and really brings out the wood grain. Good Luck!


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