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Linseed oil, boiled over raw?

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  • Linseed oil, boiled over raw?

    I have a wood box, this wood box gets coated with raw linseed oil then filled with water for its entire life. Typically these wood boxes last around 10-20 years. Has to be linseed oil.

    I am wondering, can boiled linseed oil be used over raw after it "drys" in 4-7 days? Can raw and boiled be mixed while we are on the subject?


    I can't seem to find any answers on this.
    Andy

  • #2
    Not sure of the right answer. But one little gotcha with boiled linseed oil is that it can cause rags to catch fire. It gives off heat as it dries in air (apparently). And under the right circumstances it can combust. Search it on YouTube and you'll see videos of it. I was surprised about it because I have some in my household. So watch out for that.

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    • #3
      From my experience raw linseed oil takes seven days or so to dry - apparently not the case with boiled - boiled linseed oil takes six days or so to dry.

      Actually, for all my ranch out buildings I paint them using 1 part of linseed oil to 2 parts of mineral spirits. For pigment I use concrete dye. This "paint" seems to stand up very well and dries in a couple of hours.

      To answer your question, yes I would think boiled linseed oil could be used over the raw or visa versa.

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      • #4
        Most boiled linseed oil these days uses metallic driers rather than boiling the oil, if this is for a food contact use then boiled linseed oil is a poor choice, otherwise no problem.

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        • #5
          I did not know they sold raw linseed oil for anything other than human consumption, and it's nitrogen packed and goes rancid very fast after you open it,,,

          I would go with the boiled just for that fact and yeah either one can spontaneous combust so burn all your rags in a fire pit or something after...

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          • #6
            I use boiled for my wood fence. It lasts for about 12 years before needing a re-coat.

            I like the stuff. It is expensive for me but does a great job of treating the wood. Almost leaves a "plastic" type hard coat that handles the water and sun. JR

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            • #7
              Boiled is not food grade. It also creates a different finish, doesn't penetrater as far, more like a film finish than an oil finish.

              We used raw linseed oil, pine tar and turpentine to treat our outdoor decking, this is a traditional recipe in the nordics. Raw linseed oil is also used on various furniture, such as impregnation for wooden windows before painting with linseed oil paint.

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              • #8
                As Robin stated, boiled linseed today is not boiled but instead contains driers. So if you mix raw and "boiled" oil, you'll just end up with linseed with less driers in it. Will take longer to dry, but will otherwise be fine.

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                • #9
                  The old time boiling had a tendency to result in the oil polymerizing rather suddenly, with a lot of heat and the vat "exploding". My grandfather was an independent paint maker back 90 years or so ago, meaning he took orders and then had existing factories make the paint for him to the order. Sometimes he could not fulfill the order because the paint factory had exploded and burned to the ground due to such an occurrence.

                  I expect the addition of driers is a tad safer.
                  CNC machines only go through the motions

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                  • #10
                    Its allready been stated, but boiled linseed oil is just linseed oil thats been adulterated with additives that make it cure faster, the boiled stuff will usually dry in a day or so and cure fully in a week, the raw stuff dries in a week and cures in a month (not exact figures). Overall though, its the same oil, so applying one type over or under the other wont hurt anything, finish wise. The caveat is that boiled linseed oil IS NOT food safe in any way, shape, or fasion, its pretty toxic, so if whatever the vessel is is meant to be used to come into contact with anything thatll go into you, stick with the natural stuff

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                      I did not know they sold raw linseed oil for anything other than human consumption, and it's nitrogen packed and goes rancid very fast after you open it,,,

                      I would go with the boiled just for that fact and yeah either one can spontaneous combust so burn all your rags in a fire pit or something after...
                      Over here in the UK, raw linseed oil is traditionally used for dressing willow cricket bats (or was in the days when I used to play) It stays sticky, and helps ball control (or so I'm told) I've also known it used as a dressing on flat leather belts, again because it stays sticky, it reduced slippage. I had no idea it was used in food, doesn't smell like something I'd like to eat. Boiled oil I've used when french polishing, and when softening up putty to make it more workable.
                      Yes, I always understood that both 'boiled' and raw linseed oil soaked rags can be prone to spontaneous combustion.
                      'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the replies. I do remember reading something about additives for making it dry faster. If none of them are actually boiled any more I guess we can't use it.

                        I was hoping to get the good penetration of the raw then get the final thick build up coats with the boiled for extra protection.

                        Not so much "food grade" stuff but live bait stuff and some of the baits are very finicky about the water they live in.


                        I do remember some old timers coating some of their tools in linseed oil. It is some neat stuff and works well to preserve wood outdoors.


                        Anything I use for paint, oils, coatings gets tossed into the fire at the end of the day.
                        Andy

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Richard P Wilson View Post
                          I had no idea it was used in food, doesn't smell like something I'd like to eat.
                          Linseed oil is kinda an industrial name - flax or flax seed is the same thing, on your side of the pond it's added to "quark" although im in full agreement that if it's actually used to improve the taste of a dish then that dish has got some issues right from the start... I guess as sour milk would have.

                          I rate flax as about the single best thing you can do for your health, not just the oil but the entire seed,
                          it's got three things going for it - first off it's loaded with omega 3's second is it's extremely high in fiber (something that is lacking in todays average diets) and third its the type of fiber that has some real benefits in comparison to the "gel type" made from psyllium husks

                          But unlike adding it to dishes to improve their taste I add other things to it to make it more palatable, there's also some things to be aware of, fist off - omega 3's are very vulnerable to rapid decay and going rancid, they then lose their ability to break down bad fats, so any oil's or pre-ground flax seed that you buy is counterproductive, unless you plan on using it all at once,

                          just get bulk flax in 1lb bags that are refrigerated and grind (or blend) only what your going to use for that meal, the rest will keep just fine as the flax seed itself has the perfect barrier from oxygen - it's totally sealed and will hold up for many days after opening, this is why the ground stuff is packed in nitrogen - but as long as you leave the seed intact till just before using you will be fine,

                          then mix with oats and put some flavor in it - vanilla or chocolate or whatever and i use almond milk,

                          think of it as oil based paint thinner for your innards - and while most of us have been applying coat after coat of the wrong harmful stuff the flax will not only break it down but supply bulk "with teeth" to scrape it out of you...

                          it's damn good stuff, try not to cook it as that changes the omega 3's also and makes them useless, they are a very fragile oil that way...

                          all my flax is golden organic and comes from canada, just bought 3 lbs yesterday, there are some on-line alarmist sites that say to be careful with it because it contains arsenic - all i can say is iv ate it by the bucketfull for the past dozen years and no symptoms of accumulative arsenic poisoning...

                          for me it's a breakfast food, good way to start the day...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                            ....... all i can say is iv ate it by the bucketfull for the past dozen years and no symptoms of accumulative arsenic poisoning...

                            ....
                            Nothing but really sleek hair and a few extra freckles, eh?
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

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                            • #15
                              The raw can build up a film if it's applied in the right conditions. Those being lots of warmth and sunlight. The boiling or modern driers just speeds up the process. But likely as not you don't really want to wait long enough to build up the coats needed to make a film with the raw.

                              If you're using it as a bait tank for some sort of critters I'd say go with raw. The metallic salts might not do well with the critters.

                              All in all these days though I'd think that plastic would be a better option.

                              I always knew about the bursting into flames thing so I would take any rags or paper towels and just leave them laid out so the heat could not build up. That worked fine until I had some friends over doing some oiling on a project I'd built for them. Being tidy sorts they put all the oily paper towels into a bag and tied it off. Later that evening while we were all having a nice BBQ dinner on the deck we smelled smoke. I went to explore and found fire in the foot well by the basement door. Yep, the bag of oily paper towels had burst into flame. It didn't do anything to the house but the wheel barrow they left the bag in had blistered paint.

                              I was always somewhat careful with the rags before but now I've got a wire mesh waste basket outside that same door and any BLO rags are put in there loosely and well opened so they can cure in good time with lots of airflow so the heat can't build up. And the basket is out away from the house... it's a pretty good size entry area so that's far enough.
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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