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Cotton seed oil saturated old growth pine

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Forum topic by Tom Coster posted 11-13-2010 03:32 AM 1927 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


11-13-2010 03:32 AM

Has anyone ever had any experience with, or opinions on, old growth pine that has been thoroughly saturated with cotton seed oil? When I say saturated I mean permeated all the way thru. I am told the lumber is reclaimed from 100 year+ cotton gins. Very hard and as heavy as any wood I have ever held. I’m told by the wood mill that the common finish is an optional stain; shellac & then poly. They mill multiple widths and thicknesses for flooring.
Thanks in advance-

-- Tom, MI, SC


14 replies so far

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1506 days


#1 posted 11-13-2010 04:23 AM

i never used pine from cotton gins but i’ve used what your callin old growth we call virgin pine (1st generation) for years the cabinet and chest i built are from 2nd or third generation pine i think Boiled linseed oil and varnish is the only finish for pine its 1/3 BLO+1/3 varnish ( not poly or spar varnish)+1/3 mineral spirits (paint thinner) let I use four coats wiped on and wipe off wit 24H drying time in between let it cure for 2 or 2-1/2 weeks and rub out to whatever sheen you want

-- As Best I Can

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#2 posted 11-13-2010 04:37 AM

The mill says this stuff is very stable and they have sold it to lots of customers for flooring with no problems but I’ve got a few worries. First, could it start leaching over time? It has been air dried for years under tarps under the southern sun and it does feel dry but I wonder if cotton oil could dry out with time and cause excessive checking? I cross cut a ¾ x 3 inch piece on a table saw with a sharp Forrest blade and there was quite a bit of chip out on top horizontal face.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1506 days


#3 posted 11-13-2010 05:00 AM

old pine has always been bad to chip and bust out in my experence as far leaching out i would use shellac as my finish shellac will stick to anything and seal anything as far as checking goes i wouldnt worry bout it as long as you moisture content is 12 or lower ( i know every one says eight but i never had any problems wit 12) pine is pretty resinful anyway

-- As Best I Can

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#4 posted 11-14-2010 11:51 PM

Thanks for the help Cabs. The local floor installers don’t want anything to do with applying shellac. Say they stoped using it years ago. The mill is telling me shellac will seal in the cotton oil. One installer says he uses an alcohol based sealer but when installing this wood he has had to replace boards that had bleed thru his sealer and top coats of poly. He is one of two installer out of five that have had a bleed thru problem with the cotton seed pine. The other only applied poly and he says it took 12 coats to get it to stop bleeding thru.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#5 posted 11-15-2010 12:03 AM

I should have been more direct in my question so that this topic might get more action.

The main question is will Shellac seal this wood? Or is there a better option? One installer recommended Danish oil but IMO D-oil doesn’t seal as well as poly.
I will post pics of the pine tomorrow as I left my camera at work.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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cabs4less

235 posts in 1506 days


#6 posted 11-15-2010 12:20 AM

danish oil will not seal it i know that for a fact post some pics and i will ask around got a buudy who is flooring contractor

-- As Best I Can

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#7 posted 11-15-2010 05:18 PM

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#8 posted 11-15-2010 06:52 PM

Even though I’m nervous about the oil leaching out I think I’m going to take the plunge and have this wood installed as flooring. I’d do it myself but I have to have both hands operated on in the next two months so it’s out of the question. The cross cuts were done just prior to taking the picture. The pieces in the picture are samples I pulled out of a stack. I’m planning on 3/4×4’’ T &G. The mill will sell 700 square feet at $3.50 a square foot, which I think is a deal! At that price I plan on putting up a couple hundred feet for future projects in my shop. The wood does not feel oily but is very heavy. At least three or four times heavier that normal pine. It does not deflect under a finger nail. You have to work at it to dent it. I admit I thought this was some kind of scam. Like they put the wood in a pressure treating tank with some kind of oil. Then I cross cut and saw that the oil stains goes all the way thru the wood. I asked around about the mill company. They are a family business that has been around for decades, have a great reputation and have fallen on hard times with the recession.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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reggiek

2240 posts in 2014 days


#9 posted 11-15-2010 10:10 PM

Just a thought, but doesnt cotton oil go rancid? I don’t have much experience with it so I am just raising the thought. I would wonder about the bacteria causing the wood to go punk or discolor? I don’t think that the floor would be a problem with toxicity due to the rancid oil?

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#10 posted 11-15-2010 11:55 PM

Reg- Thanks but I did think of that. As it was explained to me: The wood is around 150 to 200 years old. The cotton mills have been closed for decades and the wood has been air dried for many years. So if it was going to go rancid it would have already done it. I have been canvassing flooring installers in the area to find someone with experience with this material. I met with another this afternoon. He says that is it the luck of the draw. I might get a stack of wood that has too much oil in it and the sealer / poly finish will lift off. He said when that happens the only choice is Danish oil. But all these installers are negative on shellac. They want to install an alcohol based sealer on top of the stain and then seal with poly. I am familiar with alcohol sealer on sheetrock but not wood. I wonder if it’s better than shellac. For what it is worth the owner of the mill just called me and said if I sealed with 100% shellac and then poly they guarantee that the cotton oil would not bleed thru the finish.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#11 posted 11-16-2010 12:09 AM

Reg- Thanks but I did think of that. As it was explained to me: The wood is around 150 to 200 years old. The cotton mills have been closed for decades and the wood has been air dried for many years. So if it was going to go rancid it would have already done it. I have been canvassing flooring installers in the area to find someone with experience with this material. I met with another this afternoon. He says that is it the luck of the draw. I might get a stack of wood that has too much oil in it and the sealer / poly finish will lift off. He said when that happens the only choice is Danish oil. But all these installers are negative on shellac. They want to install an alcohol based sealer on top of the stain and then seal with poly. I am familiar with alcohol sealer on sheetrock but not wood. I wonder if it’s better than shellac. For what it is worth the owner of the mill just called me and said if I sealed with shellac and then poly they guarantee that the cotton oil would not bleed thru the finish.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#12 posted 11-16-2010 12:26 AM

I just got off the phone with another floor installer with experience with this wood. He says “ No, no shellac is dead and gone. Nobody uses that anymore! It’s 2010. We use universal sanding sealer” I explained that sanding sealer is shellac that has been refined to remove the wax. I don’t think he believed me. Go figure.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Jack_T

621 posts in 1775 days


#13 posted 11-16-2010 05:09 AM

The mill is right. You should seal with shellac. You should not use any floor installer who is unwilling to first seal with shellac.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1582 days


#14 posted 11-20-2010 01:26 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I decided not to go with the cotton oil as floors but stock pile some for a future project. For floors it’s too risky on my budget. With the problem with my thumbs and not being able to install myself I don’t want to take a chance with the oil bleeding thru. I bought 700 sqft. Of walnut ¾ X 4 at $6.49 per sqft which is a deal. One installer quoted me at $19 for just materials. I feel bad for the poor installer I end up with. I’m going to be hovering over him the whole time.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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