Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

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Mark Osterman
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Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:35 am

The vintage pickup box I just installed on the ‘23 runabout has some original paint but also lots of bare wood. Am thinking of maintaining it with boiled linseed oil. Wondering if anyone else has used this for sealing original exposed wood on commercial bodies in similar condition.
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Jeff Perkins
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Jeff Perkins » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:59 am

Mark, we are currently making a wood running board toolbox for our RPU and will use boiled linseed oil for the exterior parts. It does seem to take “a month of sundays “ to dry but we have always liked the look when done. Good choice in my opinion. JP
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Humblej » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:13 am

Straight linseed oil will stay sticky for months. To get linseed oil to dry mix in japan dryer and keep the coats thin. Brush on, let it sit a few minutes, then wipe off with a dry rag, let dry overnight, repeat.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by sweet23 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:28 am

Also when working with linseed oil, do not pile up used rags or put them in a bucket. They are easily combustible.

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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Barth_Tool_Co » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:39 am

I've used it on gunstocks and an old Wurlitzer crate I wanted to preserve, it definitely gives the wood some depth and darkens it up some. I had the best results wiping some on, letting it sit 5 minutes and then wiping the excess off. I'd let it dry 24 hours and then repeat until I built up the finish I wanted. If I put a heavy coat on and did not wipe the excess off it dried slowwwwwwwwww... ain't nobody got time for that :lol:
... and my number is Beechwood 4-5789
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Barth_Tool_Co » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:43 am

sweet23 wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:28 am
Also when working with linseed oil, do not pile up used rags or put them in a bucket. They are easily combustible.
I've always wondered about why that is... Is it the drying process that creates enough heat to combust? Makes me wonder why everything that is coated in linseed oil doesn't burst into flames :?: At any rate I do as you suggest and treat linseed oil soaked rags like a disaster waiting to happen... I've see the results of a fire from placing them in a trash can, bad deal.
... and my number is Beechwood 4-5789
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by John Warren » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:10 am

Love the the new duds, I am looking for the same for my 14. Thanks for posting, and thanks Daryl for the safety alert.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Allan » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:52 am

Penetrol is another way to go, without the long, sticky drying time.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Tmodelt » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:04 am

I just looked up the definition of "spontaneous combustion". Linseed oil was a specific example. It is caused by the build-up of heat caused by oxidation in a confined space with no ventilation (pile of rags in a bucket).

Oxidation and drying are two different processes.

Oxidation of a material creates a chemically different material with some similar properties of the original material (rust).

The drying process is caused by evaporation of the original material where as the chemical composition remains the same. The temperature of vaporization (liquid to vapor) is different for each chemical.

This is why the material that had the linseed oil application (wooden pickup box / gun stock) does not spontaneously combust.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:44 am

Boiled Linseed Oil used on any wood and kept in a humid climate will create a tremendous mold/mildew problem. Mark might be OK in NY, but the same use in MN might be problematic. In Florida, it was a disaster. I was prepping a window casing on our old house the way the "experts" suggested, and as I had used it to French Polish furniture, I figured it was fine for exterior use, too. What could possibly go wrong? Only got one window done that summer (thank goodness!!). Before the year was out, it was black with mold/mildew coming through the paint. More research explained why. No matter what I did to that window, it was always a problem. No other window was thusly treated and no other window was a problem.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:50 am

Close, Kim, but no cee-gar. Linseed oil (or any drying oil) absorbs oxygen from ambient air and oxidizes in "drying" to form an irreversable polymer. Some violatiles do evaporate during drying.

The only coating I'm aware of that dries strictly by evaporation is nitrocellulose lacquer. The dried film remains soluble in the parent solvent indefinitely.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Loftbed » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:07 am

Everything said about it catching fire (the soaked applicator) is true! Dispose of it in a bucket of water!!!
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by jagiven » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:20 pm

I love boiled linseed oil, it is my favorite go to wood preserver. I primarily mix it with turpentine at minimum 50:50 (no more than 50% linseed oil). Been known to also add kerosene or mineral spirits too, grandfather always added kerosene. I think it is a great wood preserver. It will soak into soft wood, and will stabilize it. It does stink, and it does take a long time to dry, especially if it soaks in deep.

On my new spokes it took about a week to fully dry (non tack, no odor). My old wood garage door that I just did yesterday, I expect it will take a month in the lower corners to fully dry. Also it does add a shine to the wood, you can knock it down with some steel wool later.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:19 pm

Cutting the linseed oil with a solvent is a good way to control application and aid in penetration. Turpentine or mineral spirits may not penetrate quite as deep as kerosene, but either will dry faster. No need to have it "puddle". Apply 50/50 to saturation, wipe off the excess. Heavy applications will wrinkle on drying, and that's not helpful.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by George Andreasen » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:19 pm

We learned about "spontaneous combustion" when I was in grade school. Thought they taught it to everyone......guess not.....a workman at the local school district office thew a bunch of linseed oil soaked rags in the corner before the weekend. $200,000 damage from the fire. Workman had never heard of spontaneous combustion, but he knows now!

Just about any oil will self combust, but linseed is the worst offender. So, put those oily shop rags in a METAL can with a cover.

Just a thought on applying the oil.....rub it on cross grain occasionally. The oil penetrates the grain better. Another neat trick (before oiling): wet a rag with black modeling paint and rub it on cross grain, immediately wipe off the surplus, then oil after it dries. REALLY makes the grain stand out. Learned that when rebuilding antique wood box telephones years ago.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:03 pm

Looking at the box again, I am thinking that putting a linseed oil (or any material short of a full restoration, which I think is not warranted or desireable on this car) would be a mistake that cannot be undone. It will forever darken the wood, losing the "as-it-sat" look. Additionally, unless many many coats are applied, it will not protect against water (it is not a top finish)...I am certain that lots of people will argue this point, but if some research is done, it will be shown to be an accurate statement.

I vote "no" to an unasked question.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Allan » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:53 pm

Scott, that's another reason I suggest Penetrol as the treatment. I wish I could access my trailer to show how it has worked for me, but I cannot access it in its storage place. It is a timber pre-treatment before painting,acts as a key to finishes and helps thin finishes being applied to make application easier. It brushes on just like paint, so no rags to self combust. and no extended drying time. What is there not to like?

Allan from down under.


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:02 pm

Here is the box after one application of linseed oil / turps / japan drier. I have to take the box off again to shim where the mounting bolts pass so that they don’t pull so hard on the boards. I’ll coat the underside at that time .. though those areas still have most of the original paint.
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by George Andreasen » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:28 pm

It's perfect..........you have the right method. Congrats!


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by sweet23 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:42 pm

That looks good'r hell! Job well done!


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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:59 am

Cutting linseed oil with mineral spirits will give much deeper penetration and
faster drying times/less sticky. 3-4 coats will pretty much max out effective
application. In Model T days, it was common to add colorants to the mixture.
Graphite would do that old black justice. Rags go in the wood stove when done
with them, no exceptions. The beauty of non-skinning oil applications is, when
the wood begans to appear dry again .... perhaps after years of exposure, you
just slop some more on and you are good to go. With materials that leave a top
"skin", it just peels and what remains prevents new material from getting to the
wood.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Mark Osterman
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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:28 am

I usually add lamp black (not graphite) to green Rustoleum for certain applications. So, yes .. I can see doing that with the next application of linseed oil. These boxes were always painted and this one has the original black underneath. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: Boiled linseed oil for pickup box

Post by Duey_C » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:07 pm

I got it! Been waiting. I can actually smell that oil. I like it.
Looks nice Mark.
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