Question about Linseed Oil

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Forum topic by resonation posted 12-17-2009 07:54 PM 2067 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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60 posts in 3634 days

12-17-2009 07:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question linseed oil finishing

Hi all,

I’m making a knife for my Dad for christmas. The handle is antler and walnut. For projects I’ve made in the past the finish I’ve used has been mineral oil and then bullseye shellac. I’ve heard that some people use linseed oil on knife handles. I’ve never used it. Would it be good for an outdoors knife? What are it’s advantages and disadvantages? Also what is the difference between boiled linseed oil and regular linseed oil. Could you suggest any other finishes that would work well? Thanks!

-- Chris, Pennsylvania

4 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 12-17-2009 08:19 PM

Boiled linseed oil (originally really generated by boiling linseed oil, but today has nothing with boiling it, merely have some additives which help it cure faster) is a penetrating finish. it seals the wood and prevent moisture/water from getting in, but does not create a top hard shell (like a top coat -poly/lacquer). I like it cause it prevents water damage, and leave that wood-feel, which might work very well for your application.

I dont think you can use linseed oil (non boiled) as a finish as it will not cure.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View LesB's profile


1857 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 12-18-2009 08:24 AM

“Boiled” linseed oil works fine but check with a local gun shop to see if they have a gunstock finish. I don’t recall the name (its is a regular name brand in gun shops), I have used it on my gun stocks and with several applications it will both penetrate the wood and also produce a nice surface finish. It is easy to touch up it gets damaged.

-- Les B, Oregon

View lcurrent's profile


125 posts in 4012 days

#3 posted 12-19-2009 02:13 AM

I used to make hand made knives most makers use stuff called Fixit sold hobby shops it is a spray can that is acrylic based Spray on let set 10 min and buff off with a loose muslin buffing pad mounted on grinder put tape on the blade for safety buffing off as much as you can the shine will be permanent

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View BoxBuilder's profile


129 posts in 3327 days

#4 posted 12-19-2009 02:20 AM

Try Sam Maloff formula. 1 part spar varnish, 2 parts boiled linseed oil, 3 parts turpentine. Mix, let set overnight then apply. Let is soak in for awhile then wipe off. You can put on several coats (or as many as you wish) just let it dry a day or three between coats. I use is also as a project finish on many items.

-- Richard, Pennsylvania

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