New Guy with questions

I'm an experienced cabinet maker with very little experience with linseed oil finishes . Do I need to be using some type of abrasive between coats ? So far have rubbed 3 coats into the piece I'm working on , maybe I'm just expecting the finish to build faster ... There is a pic of the piece at the binary group under walnut jewelry chest .
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Snag_one , the motorcycle maniac
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I never find a need to use any abrasive but your post begs for a definition of "build"
Oil finishes, linseed, boiled linseed, tung, and Danish oil, aren't meant to build. If you actually manage to put enough on to get a build it is going to be a soft, maybe gooey finish that still provides the minimal finish of non built up oil finishes.
Unlike surface finishes oils are meant to be soft, warm finishes, especially nice on walnut, that maintain the feel of the wood. I saw the box on the binary group. Very nice, but the sheen you have already arrived at is about as good as it gets, which, I think, is just about right for an oil finish..
However, if you want build and or increased protection for the wood you had best be looking at a surface finish, shellac, lacquer, varnish.Those finishes are suppose to build.
Personal opinion, a jewelry box is just fine, in terms of protection, with an oil finish and before changing I'd consider appearance over wood protection.
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Mike G.
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This is only the 3rd piece I've finished with linseed oil (other 2 were the vanity this is going to set on and a bench for said vanity) . I'm not looking for a hi gloss finish , but felt that repeated applications with suitable drying times (48-72 hrs) would tend to fill the grain somewhat (without being gummy) and give some sheen . I've got 4 coats on now , and it's where I want it as far as gloss/sheen . I think that this is the best finish for this type project - it won't ever chip , peel etc like surface finishes .
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Snag_one , the motorcycle maniac
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Hi Terry,
I haven't actually used BLO as a furniture finish, but have used it on several guns I've stocked with walnut. The finish won't build very high, but it will fill the pores (in time), giving a very smooth deep glow. The hand rubbing technique involves lots of elbow grease. The first couple of coats are warmed (or thinned) to allow quick penetration. Flood the piece with as much as will stick to it, leave it 10-20 minutes, then wipe off all the excess and leave overnight (at least) in a warm room to harden. Thereafter, it's simply a matter of applying a few drops of neat BLO to the palm of the hand and rubbing it in hard, building up a good friction heat, until the piece doesn't feel oily. The old rule for gunstocks was to apply once every day for a week, once every week for a month, once every month for a year, and yearly thereafter. Nice piece, btw - there's a lot of work in hand-rubbing a chest that size!
Some dedicated stock oils, such as Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, contain driers, which speeds things up.
I did use fine wet-and-dry between coats, lubricated with BLO. Some stockers use pumice powder or rottenstone as an abrasive - I should imagine that this will enhance the pore-filling properties, but wet-and-dry was what I had to hand.
Note that raw linseed will never really fully go off. It's best suited to outdoor finishes.
Cheers
Frank

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