How to fix my BLO problem?

I'm not happy with the trestle board, coated with BLO. After almost 2 wee ks, the surface feels oily and the edges, some areas with bark, look too da rk and I suspect have more oil in it. Sanding with 220 is pointless, the s and paper builds with oil. I did wipe dry, when applying the BLO, but I g uess there's no way to get it as dry as I had hoped it would be.
Trying to remove as much surface oil as possible, I wiped with lacquer thin ner, allowed to dry(?), but the board still feels, not oily, but not right/ not dry. I thought to do another wipe with lacquer thinner, but I suspect this won't help.
Might vigorous washing with mineral spirits remove the surface oil, so that the sand paper doesn't build up with "oily" sawdust?
Is stripping the board my best option, to get a dry surface, dry feel to th e surface?
Sonny
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OK Sonny, remember what you paid for this next several paragraphs in case i t doesn't work for you!
First, the BLO will be in the bark and it won't come out. Nothing will get it out. Sorry to say it, but there it is, sir. You can seal it and encap sulate it, but the oil will destabilize anything you put on top of it, incl uding shellac IF there is enough oil left in the bark.
Second, on the surface of the trestle, you need to scrub off the oil. You won't be able to sand it off, and probably can't out wait it, either. With drying wood underneath it would be difficult to guess how long the oil will stay gummy. Back when I was doing a lot of finishing/refinishing (careful ... remember what you are paying for this) I had been told by another finis her that green wood had enough sap in it to mix with BLO and keep it from E VER hardening. Ouch! That could be folklore or just his experience, but t he strangest things can foul a finish.
What to do? You already know.
Since you do, I will give you my top secret, "hasn't failed ME yet" way of handling the removal of a fouled finish, which is what you have at this poi nt. I will skip the unnecessary discussions of why some things work and ot hers don't and just tell you my method.
Since you aren't doing a ton of removal, check this out as a good quality, reliable stripper:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-Strip-1-gal-KS-3-Premium-Stripper-GKS3/100 144685
Apply a heavy coat with an old paint brush. Now we get to my method.
Using the thin painter's plastic, cover the treated surfaces with the plast ic and put plastic right into the stripper. Mash down the edges in the goo ey stripper so air can't get in. On uneven surfaces, I tape the plastic do wn. Go drink a glass of tea while waiting for twenty minutes. Don't get a nxious and pull up the plastic, wait for it.
Pull the very edge/side that you first applied the stripper to up, just a s mall area of about 4"x4", or maybe a little bigger. This is better if you can do it on an area out of sight as it will be your testing media. Take o ne of those .99 cent throw away plastic putty knives (NO METAL)and gently s crape off the goo. Look clean? Put some lacquer thinner on a rag and wash your test area to remove all the goo if it does. Wait a minute until dry, then give it a final wash with lacquer thinner. It should be cool and dry . If it isn't, then put more stripper on it and wait another 10 minutes, t hen try again.
You shouldn't have to wait more than 20 minutes for simple oil finish as it has no engineered, plasticized resins in it, just flax seed resins and a l ight metallic dryer. It would be impossible for me to think you had to do this next step of removal more than once.
So now you are happy with the stripper's work and ready to go. Here's the big finish. Get a couple of pounds of table saw sawdust, NOT PLYWOOD OR MD F, OSB, or any other manufactured product. Not planer shavings, not router swarf, or wood from the drill press. Table saw dust only, please. Don't use colored shavings like walnut, bubinga, wenge, or anything like that. M y preference is hard maple or hard yellow pine. This will become your scru bbing medium. Remember when I warned you about the oil in the tubules of t he wood? We are now going to fix that.
Take a good, stiff plastic bristled scrub brush in one hand, and pull back a small section of your plastic that is covering the trestle. Work quickly . Broadcast a small handful of sawdust onto the stripper goo and scrub the wood in a circular motion. Do NOT scrub along the grain as a good hard br ush with sharp medium will cut into the wood, leaving a "raised" grain. Sc rub well, and when you are finishing the area, apply enough of your sawdust to dry out the stripper until it forms little balls and pieces of drying s tripper, BLO and sawdust. Your sawdust medium will not only multiply your scrubbing efforts, but it will reach into those tubules and pull out the oi l as it dries. A brush alone will skate over the tubules unless you use a v ery fine brush, but it would be too fine to be suitable for scrubbing.
By the way, you have now solved what to do with the removed goo problem whi le using this method. I do this over a cheap plastic tarp or whatever else I have on hand and simply wait for the sawdust to dry before I clean it up . This is a wonderful method to use when stripping off a ton of finish tha t requires two or three passes of stripper and generates a lot of gooey fin ish.
Back to the project Uncover another small area, and repeat this until you a re at the end. When you arrive at the end of the trestle, you should have little balls of dried/drying sawdust on the trestle as well as on the floor around it. Wipe off the trestle, then brush with a medium bristle cleanin g brush with the grain to make sure you removed all the solid residue. Don 't leave the tiniest speck. Go have some more tea and come back to this in 30 minutes. The little balls should be dry, and the trestle top should be fairly and dry, but not real clean. Sweep up the little dried balls of sa wdust (sweet! No gooey mess!) and dispose of them.
Juglas woods can and often will leave color trails when cleaning under regu lar circumstances, but cleaning off remaining resins and stripping chemical s will almost guarantee it. Go buy the cheapest lacquer thinner you can ge t (like Sunnyvale) and soak a on old T shirt with it an wash down (not a ge ntle rub with a wet rag, wash it) down all at once. Be careful not to have dry spots as they will leave witness lines of color trails that will look like puddles. Wash it and keep all surfaces moist and wet until you are fin ished, then let it all dry together at the same time.
You should be finished after it dries, ready to sally forth into another fi nishing adventure!
It goes without saying that you need to do this in open air, wear a mask fo r these chemicals, and certainly nitrile or real rubber gloves for protecti on. Keep soap and a lot of water by (the hose, perhaps?) when working with the stripper as the Klean Strip is really aggressive on skin.
Good luck, buddy. If you get goofed up somewhere, post back here. Be patie nt if you are waiting for a reply from me.
Robert
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Nailshooter gave you good info on how to fix but I'm wondering WHY there is the need. He mentioned something about BLO and green wood maybe being incompatible but even if so, I wouldn't call your wood green, been drying for at least a year, no?
I've been using BLO now and then for 50+ years and have never encountered your problems. It dries overnight, does not feel oily; don't recall if sandable then but after two weeks it should sand with minimal paper build up. Gotta remember, it never dries hard like varnish, just to a "firm gum". A scraper might work better.
I can only think of two things that might have caused your problems:
1. Despite your efforts, too much oil was left on the surface. When I use it, I wipe off with paper towels; I keep using fresh towels until no oil shows on them. After that, I keep going back for an hour or so swiping off any that exudes. If your surface was very rough, more oil would be trapped and would take longer to cure but not two weeks. Not IME.
2. I hesitate to even mention this but are you sure the oil you used was BOILED linseed oil? There are two types sold: boiled and raw. The raw is what is used to make stuff like plumber's putty; it too eventually dries but it takes a LONG time. ________________
Just had a thought re sanding. It is JUST a thought, never done it (no need) but I wonder what would happen if you brushed on a coat of varnish. Would the varnish incorporate the non-dry oil into itself making it more sandable?
--

dadiOH
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On Friday, September 5, 2014 6:00:49 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

a year, no?
All the milled lumber had been air drying (in the shop's garage, with a fan blowing on it, on many occassions) for 2 years, before I started this proj ect.
It's the rootballs, hence the leg units, that are still green/wet. I colle cted the rootballs this past spring. The leg units will probably take anot her 3-4 yrs to air dry, properly. *The epoxy treatment, on that checked on e, seems to have worked like a charm. **There was a check in one table to p board and I epoxied a dutchman on the bottom side. It's a solid attachme nt, also.
The BLO, used, is at least 8 yrs old. Maybe that has something to do with the problem. I don't recall having this problem in the past, on other proj ects, but I hadn't done a "BLO project" in some long time. I had less tha n a quart and thought to finish using the remainder of the old (gallon). I didn't think it had a shelf life, if it does. I wasn't thinking, along t hese lines, until you mentioned the non-boiled (comparing it to an expired shelf life product?). I should have used the recently purchased BLO.
I've used Klean Strip, often. I'll give stripping a try. I was leaning to ward this option, anyway. I'm feeling a little more confident, now, for be tter fixing the problem.
Thanks. Sonny
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On Friday, September 5, 2014 6:00:49 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

If I recall correctly, the wood is at least a couple of inches thick, and i t was just sawed recently to rough dimension. Regardless, we don't know ho w it was dried, if it was stickered, where it was stored, etc. With clean, unused wood that has never been finished, my personal experience (YMMV!) i s that when you use a finishing material you are familiar with (and Sonny h as used BLO before) on wood and it doesn't work, it is the wood that causes problems.
BLO will last on the shelf for years. It gets sticky, gummy, and even thic ker, but still works as well as BLO does.

Remember, this is walnut, and as a nut wood it will have tubules that retai n the oil finish. Scraping over the tubules leaves the gummy residue behin d without getting it out of them and off the surface.

Both very good points. But remember, it is very hard to find BLO that is s imply raw flax oil (Flax oil + metallic driers = BLO) unless you go to a health food store. There is no boiling and no processing, just adding the drier to the oil.
You can't cover every aspect, and certainly I could be wrong. I base my op inions on my personal experience which has been a 3 way tie between persona l experience, trial and <<error>>, and learning from others. I try to make it clear when I post something about finishing that it is just that, my op inion.
Finishing is no black art, no mystery to be solved. To me, it is a craft li ke any other craft, and understanding it only seems to come over time and e xposure to different situations. The teeth gnashing part comes when one pr otocol works one time, then doesn't another and you can't figure out why. Refinishing is worse, as you can never be 100% sure what you are getting in to.
I am always glad to see your posts as I can tell you have been doing this q uite a while by your choice of materials and how you call them out. No dou bt you have saved a lot of projects! When was active in the finishing/refi nishing community board on another site, it was a constant flurry of "have you tried this", "what do you think happened", "any suggestions to save thi s" and "what would you do?" from folks that had been in the trade for decad es. Really good finishing is still a moving target in some cases.
> Just had a thought re sanding. It is JUST a thought, never done it (no

IMO, the varnish will not absorb and harden the oil. The varnish will do i ts business and happily harden over the oily wood, and happily flake off ju st like it would when cured over any other oily surface. Besides, sanding it off won't clean the oil out of the tubules of the walnut.
Robert
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On 9/5/2014 9:38 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

contained an oil spill and pulled the oil out of the concrete floor by tossing "Kitty Litter" on the area and sweeping/turning it on occasion and letting it set.
Unconventional but perhaps it will do the trick.
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One more thought re sanding...that's a sizeable chunk of wood you have there and a floor sander and screen might be useful either after stripping or before. I'm thinking of those big-ass vibrating sanders, screen shouldn't clog like paper. Been years and year since I used one but I remember being impressed with them.
Leon's kitty litter might be useful too. The kind made of clay.
Finally, regarding my wondering about a coat of varnish on the oil, nailshooter is probably right. Heaven knows he has more experience with finishing and re-finishing (especially) than I do but if it were me I'd still try it in a small 1 sq.ft. area just for jollies. I'm not suggesting YOU do it, just saying what I would do,,,I'd do most anything to avoid having to redo something, hate doing it; that's why I slow to a crawl as I get along in a project, fear that I'll mess it up and have to redo the lot.
--

dadiOH
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On Friday, September 5, 2014 11:57:02 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

The trestle board was milled to 5/4, planed and sanded to 1". The body is 7' long and the tenons are about 12" long, to be trimmed shorter, later. If this board becomes ruined, I have 3 other boards (8/4 thick) to use as r eplacements. This one looked the best, grain, rays and figure-wise, but th e others look nice, also. *I had been thinking to use the other boards to make dining chairs.
The table top boards were milled 9/4, planed and sanded to 1-5/8", and abou t 11.5' long. These have no finish on them.
First 3 pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/

I'll keep it in mind. I think I'll do some good testing of several approac hes on this board. I doubt the board will be ruined and it's likely to tur n out well, anyway, well enough to go under the table (hidden, somewhat?). The board is not that large and all surfaces are flat, to offer problems h and-working any fix technique.
I certainly didn't like the sand paper buildup of oily sawdust residue. If I can get that cleaned up, I'm good to go.
Thanks again. I really do appreciate all the help and ALL the suggestions. Sonny
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On Friday, September 5, 2014 11:57:02 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

Doing it for a living and having plenty of practice on all kinds of surface s, finishes, ages of finishes, etc., makes all the difference in the world. When folks would pay for it and I really hit my stride in the finish/refi nish business, I was stripping/refinishing entry way doors, conference tabl es, all kinds of custom doors (at an old country club), a table or two, and other pieces. Some of the small stuff I just took home and refinished it there in the backyard!
When doing straight finishing I sprayed a lot of lacquer, conversion lacque rs, a fair amount of poly (still think of you Marlow when I do!) and a ton of high performance high VOC enamels. Gallons and gallons of those enamels . I used them on kitchen cabinets, metal doors (for a factory finish with a custom color), hand rails, furniture, etc.
The more you do, the higher your confidence becomes. And one thing I had t o learn the hard was as does anyone else that really gets into finishing, d on't skip any steps. This is even more important when refinishing.

I'm all for that! Nothing is better in an instance like this than to find a small area that might not be seen or to recreate the problem on another p iece to experiment on. Many is the time I have put stripper on an out of t he way location to test the solubility of the finishes to see how much time , effort and material needed to give the customer what they want. Trying t hat is a GREAT idea.
As far as slowing down as you go, that's just because you probably haven't done these processes day in and day out for years on end. You obviously ha ve a very good grasp of woodworking and finishing.
The only reason I went straight to stripping on Sonny's project is the fact it is so small. He should be able to strip and clean that board in a coup le of hours and remove all doubt about the adherence of future finishes, bo nding, coloration, clarity of finish, and the rest easy that the finish won 't change because there was some bit of BLO he didn't get off. Again, a 7' board with no complications to worry about on it (raised panels, ogees, in letted patterns, marquetry, etc.) is a walk in the park. For me, an hour jo b. It would literally take me longer to get the equipment and materials to gether than to do the work.
Personally, whether it is finishing or woodworking I have found that <<I>> can spend much more time finding short cuts and looking for an easy way to do something than it takes me to just simply start over and get it right.
Robert
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"Leon" wrote:

Still works to pull oil from concrete.
As the old saying goes about chicken soup, no medicinal value but hadn't ought to hurt.
Lew
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You...you...you actually _stripped_ in your backyard? Shame on you, Robert, have you always been an exhibitionist? :)
Come to think of it, I have stripped outide too. Not in the backyard but in a walled garden. We lost power for a week in 2004 thanks to some hurricanes. It was August. It was hot. It was sticky. We couldn't shower because we have a well and no power = no water. Finally, it rained...wife and I got nekkid and washed.

I love poly - oil poly - for my floors but much prefer lacquer for most other things, poly takes too long to dry.

And other things. If someone were to ask me how long to sand something my reply would be, "At least twice as long as you think necessary".
--

dadiOH
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"dadiOH" wrote:

When fairing out a boat hull have had people ask, "How do you know when the hull is "fair"?
When you are so exhausted you are no longer able to pick up the fairing board, the hull is "fair".
Lew
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LOL, BTDT
--

dadiOH
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