Maybe it my memories as a young kid when the smell of turps meant the
painter was using the good stuff, not some cheap thinner.
No rhyme nor reason to it, justy one of those things you pick up as a
I've always liked the smell of turps.
Next time you are in a hardware store or a Home Depot, check out a can
of current BLO.
That's what I thought.
Sounds about right.
That's what I thought.
I probably am getting away with something, but I got hooked on white
oak finished with BLO, followed up by a personal "sheep dip" mix of
bees wax, wipe on, wipe off and buff out.
Gives a color that just grabs me.
None of the pieces I've made are exposed to anything wet such as drink
The "sheep dip" is nothing more than 2 parts wax, 1 part BLO, 2 parts
Don't ask me why, just seemed to be the thing to do.
Place contents in a 1 lb coffee can, place can in a pan of water and
heat on stove until wax melts, then mix and let cool.
If "dip" is too stiff, repeat process adding more turps.
Keep plastic lid on coffee can when storing.
Sir, I am with you all the way. And even though I don't use linseed
oil, I am reminded of the old days if applying the old oil based
varnishes when I smell BLO. It just smells old fashioned, and in some
strange way "comfortable". When I was a kid, my Dad used to put that
stuff on everything EXCEPT his wood projects.
His Dad owned a part of a hardware store for a while, and they put
that stuff on tool handles, wiped thin coats of it on carbon bladed
tools like shovels, axes, machetes, etc. to keep them from rusting,
and on and on.
I loved that smell.
When my Dad would put some finish on one of his projects (he HATED
every single moment of finishing, and that day was put off as long as
possible) he always used varnish. He did that all the way through the
60s and then off and on until he quit doing any woodwork.
Since I am obviously a kind of info junkie, I will indeed do that.
Inquiring minds, you know....
Lew, I think you were divining the spirit of old Sam Maloof. This is
a variation on his own recipe, and it has stood the test of time. I
have never tried it myself, but having talked to people that have,
they love it. It isn't terribly durable or abrasion resistant, but it
has that old fashioned feel to it. And a big plus, it is as easy to
repair as a few swipes with more material.
From one of my finishing sites that posted the Maloof mix (it is sold
by Rockler if you don't care to make it yourself):
Mix 2 handfuls of shredded beeswax to equal parts of boiled linseed
oil and raw tung oil. Heat the mixture in a double-boiler on an
electric hotplate just until the wax melts. Due to the volatile nature
of the ingredients, brew your mixture outdoors. When cooled, the
mixture should have the consistency of heavy cream.
Later, Sam says that if you don't have the consistency you want, to
thin it by warming your mix up a bit and add real turpentine (NOT
mineral spirits or thinner) until you get the right consistency.
Look familiar? I'm telling you, you channeled him!
Mr. Maloof always used wipe on finishes, and he had a couple of other
home brews he used that mixed down long oil varnishes, or BLO resin to
make them wipe on applications. These were developed after there was
evidence that his paste stuff didn't hold up well on tables.
To continue the home brew wipe on business, these notes are from
another of finishing sites. I copied them from somewhere... don't
know where that was.
The most common boiled linseed oil (BLO) based recipes are as follows:
1. 1 part BLO + 1 part raw Tung Oil (not Waterlox, Dalys, or other
tung oils containing resin additives) + 1 part Semi-Gloss urethene
varnish (This is a Sam Maloof finish recipe)
2. 1 part BLO + 1 part Turpentine
3. 1 part BLO + 1 part Turpentine + 1 part varnish
4. 2 to 3 parts BLO + 1 part Turpentine
5. 1 part BLO + 1 part Turpentine + 1 part Beeswax (mixed over
electric element outdoors)
6. 2 to 3 parts BLO + 1 part Turpentine + 3 parts Beeswax (mixed
over electric element outdoors)
7. 2 parts BLO + 1 part Mineral Spirits + 2 to 3 parts Beeswax
(mixed over electric element outdoors)
8. 1 part BLO + 3 parts blond shellac
+ 2 parts polyurethene
I have another finish brew made with these same ingredients that I
use for my woodturning projects that is applied while the project is
on the lathe. It burns on at high speed and the heat from friction
cures it, so there is no mess or waiting for it to dry.
Just no end to this stuff, eh?
When it came time to buy some bees wax, went looking locally.
I must have looked like I just fell off the turnip truck
Jumped on the web and found a guy back in Ohio (Less than 20 miles
from where I grew up) who was willing to put a pound of bees wax on my
doorstep (2,500 miles), including shipping costs, for less than the
locals were quoting for just the wax.
Goes ta show ya.
BTW, might just might get some Epifanes and make some "Super Sheep
Still have some pure wax left<G>
And since you are putting a "hard" finish over a "soft" base, you want
it to be as hard as possible.
For the sake of speed, and for the sake of "less coats means less
chances of problems", I would look for some of Leon's posts here about
using a foam brush to apply the poly. He does very nice work, and he
swears by that method (as do others).
You can literally put down in one pass with the foam brush what it
will take 3 or more passes when wiping. That means with a foam brush,
you can complete the finish your project in one day, not a few.
Robert the finishing guru referring to my finishes and or techniques.
I'm so flattered!
To explain a fit more on the foam brush technique, I very strongly suggest
you look for and use only a "quality" foam brush. That sounds like an
oxymoron, quality and foam brush... hummm. Anyway Lowe's sells Wooster
brand foam brushes. These brushes have a smaller cell foam and have plastic
handles that also have a ferrule vs. the typical hunk of foam with a wooden
stick poked up its... Look for Wooster foam brushes. The Wooster brushes
are also easily cleaned with thinner when used with oil based products and
can be reused several times. With that in mind a $5 foam brush might work
out to be cheaper.
Anyway I typically use General Finishes Arm-R-Seal when applying a brushed
finish. After sanding to 180 grit I blow off the surface and apply the
first coat with a rag and wipe off the excess. I use this first thin coat
to seal the surface. When using the foam brush to apply the "next and last"
coat I don't want there to be any dry spots where the varnish may soak in.
The first wiped on coat typically prevents any further penetration by the
next brushed coat.
The 3" Wooster brush will typically hold a lot of varnish and typically
covers a three square foot area with only 2 may be 3 trips back to the
can. As with most any varnish, do not over brush. Brush the varnish on and
leave it alone. You want to leave a very wet looking surface. Bubbles
typically will naturally disappear when using the General Finishes product I
Several years ago I built a couple of walnut night stands and used the exact
same method for the finish. Probably some of my better work.
Hopefully this will work better
Your Flickr post sent me exploring. That's a big puppy dog! Our
daughter's family has two Danes and an English Mastiff. Part-time
house dogs. Well behaved but anything at tail height is in danger
(lamps, pictures, drink glasses, vases, chins....)
Well behaved but anything at tail height is in danger
(lamps, pictures, drink glasses, vases, chins....)
Yeah, that goes with the breed. Our current Dane is 35" at the sholder so
she is a big one especially for a female. Our previous Dane was big but
considerably smaller at only 98 lbs. This one is 115 lbs.
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