Linseed oil question

I finished my first project with boiled linseed oil on spalted maple today. Well, I am still finishing it. The instructions say to apply and wipe the excess off 20 minutes later. I have applied about 5 times and it is bone dry when I go back to wipe. How much is enough? Do I have to keep pouring it on until there is excess, or have I already overdone it?
Looking this up in some books is even more confusing. They say it is essential to sand to 600 or even 1000 grit. Then you oil, dry, sand, oil, dry, sand, and repeat forever. Do people really do this?
Another author says he likes to oil, shellac, and then use water based poly. Will that be significantly different than either just danish oil, or oil and oil based poly? How? He doesn't really go into WHY he likes to do it.
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Take some scrap, some patience, and try a few different finishes out. See what you like.

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BTW, I dont like water based poly. It makes natural wood look like plastic.

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<< Looking this up in some books is even more confusing. They say it is essential to sand to 600 or even 1000 grit. Then you oil, dry, sand, oil, dry, sand, and repeat forever. Do people really do this? >>
No, they just write about it. Some folks are real Luddites whren it comes to adopting modern finishing products. Hundreds of hard working scientists have contributed to the superior stuff we have now. I will never understand why there are people who persist in using finishes that were not really very good 200 years ago. And that's my rant.
Joe
                
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She actually keeps a piece of oiled spalted maple at the cash register to make sure people do it. I figured she must know what she was talking about if she was that adamant about it. I should have asked for more details... It looks great for 20 minutes and then just looks dry.
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On 07 Nov 2004 04:37:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comtosspam (Joe Bobst) wrote:

the project?
Those new finishes are wonderful for some things. For others, well, as I say, there are a lot more right ways than wrong ways to finish a project. --RC                
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. --Friedrich Nietzsche Never get your philosophy from some guy who ended up in the looney bin. -- Wiz Zumwalt
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Don't underestimate the finishes of the old masters; the type of finish depends on the type of project and the look one is trying to achieve.
I'll fume oak with ammonia to get that 19th century look - I can't seem to get the same result with "superior stuff" we have today.
Joe Bobst wrote:

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I haven't worked on spalted maple yet, but on curly, birdseye and quilted maples, enough oil to pop the grain, and then about eleventy seven super- thin coats of hand-wiped superblonde dewaxed shellac does really nicely. Just enough sanding at 400 to 600 to level any irregularities, another thin coat of shellac, and then let it cure for about two weeks. Then wax with Briwax or similar, rubbing in the wax with 3M white (0000) pads (synthetic steel wool).
The benefits of water-based poly finishes aren't required on many projects. (those being speed, cleanup, hard, scuff resistant finishes.) I don't see using spalted maple on a surface that required strength or durability.
A friend gave me a nice piece of spalted maple last year. I'm not sufficiently confident in my bandsaw techniques or setup to cut it into veneer yet, to use it as it deserves.
Good luck with your project!
Patriarch
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Not if it's still soaking in oil. Spalted maple is pretty porous stuff.

Some people may. I never bothered and my projects came out just fine.

To quote Kipling: "There are nine and sixty ways of composing tribal lays, and every single one of them is RIGHT"
There are probably more ways to finish a project than there are to make it in the first place. I like linseed oil on carvings and other non-furniture projects (and some furniture projects as well), but it's a personal preference.
Of course different finishes give different results, there are some finishes that flat won't work at all (using lard on salad bowls comes to mind) and there are some that work better than others in specific applications. Your choice and I don't think you made a bad one. --RC That which does not kill us makes us stronger. --Friedrich Nietzsche Never get your philosophy from some guy who ended up in the looney bin. -- Wiz Zumwalt
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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

snip, snip, snip

just out of curiosity, because of course I would NEVER think of doing something like this, why not??? rancidity..rancinidity..whatever?? And how about that big old can of crisco that never gets used?? any possibilities??
when i was a kid i used vaseline on some small turned pieces. once i couldn't find vaseline, so i used vicks vap-o-rub. in addition to dating my middle-aged ass, that also shows that the lard and crisco ideas are still in play.
Martin Caskey Millers Island, Maryland
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On 7 Nov 2004 05:04:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

It used to be, long, long ago, that lard was recommended as a finish for salad bowls. I can still remember my grandmother using it to freshen up her wood salad bowl when I was a little boy.
Crisco's better, but it will still go rancid.
--RC
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. --Friedrich Nietzsche Never get your philosophy from some guy who ended up in the looney bin. -- Wiz Zumwalt
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Maybe KY Jelly might do what you need. ;-)
Gerry
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Ughh! Linseed oil on another project.
Well it was almost done right.
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Ya may want to consider mixing your BLO with mineral spirits in a 50/50 mixture; the mineral spirits usually helps BLO soak in better.
In the future, you may want to consider tung oil - it's been around for centuries and gives a stunning finish; but know it'll darken the wood a tad rather than turn it yellow (as BLO will). You'll need to apply several coats but it dries so quickly that you can put several coats in a day.
As for the sanding question, you should sand and use finer grit with each successive sanding; since the oil is already inside the wood, all you are doing is popping the grain.
You can look at sanding 1 of 2 ways; either it sucks and you hate it, or it sucks but you know as you continue to each successive grit, the beauty of the wood stands out *that* much more.
DY
toller wrote:

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Tung polymerizes into larger light-scattering strings, imparting a satin finish look. I prefer transparency.
Don't stuff sanding slurry into the pores, unless you're into smooth and featureless. Use a nice transparent finish, and let the various angles of reflection/refraction return sparkle to your eye. Shellac is nice, poly's ok, especially if you want some UV protection.

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Just about the only thing I finish with plain BLO are old moulding planes (usually in beech). These are _soaked_ in a bucket of oil, until they've absorbed as much as they can.
There's a problem with oil in that a thick layer on the surface won't dry readily. It skins over, then sits there remaining sticky for ever. If you can _soak_ the oil in, then you can apply it in large volume, so long as you don't leave it lying on the surface.
On dry timber, you can apply oil practically with a spoon, so long as you wipe it "dry" after about 5 minutes (paper towel). You might even re-coat the absorbent end grain after 5, rather than drying it. After 20 minutes go back and wipe it down again (cloth, damp with white spirit). This will need repeating, but not so often.
There are also many wet-sanding approaches to oil finishes. FWW have covered them, I think they're in Tage Frid too.
I wouldn't even think of using linseed on maple though. Watch for it yellowing horribly in a few months.
--
Smert' spamionam

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