Question About BLO

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Forum topic by Gregn posted 07-21-2011 04:43 AM 1305 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3218 days

07-21-2011 04:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource finishing shaker

I was reading a book on Shaker finishes regarding Boiled Linseed Oil. They mentioned how it was thinned with Turpentine and adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar per pint. My question is what is the purpose of adding vinegar to the thinned Boiled Linseed Oil?

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

6 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4128 days

#1 posted 07-21-2011 04:48 AM

got me on that one

actually, you had me on the boiled lindseed oil

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 07-21-2011 04:54 AM

Putting vinegar in it makes it a cleaner. Wouldn’t do that unless thats what you want. Turpentine is ok. Thins it and lets it penetrate better

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3218 days

#3 posted 07-21-2011 05:01 AM

Gary, When you say cleaner, are you referring to removing the color in the Linseed oil?

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2786 days

#4 posted 07-21-2011 05:03 AM

Not a clue, but my guess is it probably has something to do with the oxidation process that causes the fatty acids in BLO to polymerize, forming the waxy surface.

But that;s just a guess. :S

It could also be a relatively useless addition, or something that has been replaced by newer additives to BLO

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3231 days

#5 posted 07-21-2011 05:07 AM

For flavor !!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I have been told is the “Linseed Oil-Turpentine-Vinegar ” solution was used more as a furniture polish finish, used to enhance the finish that was already there. If you had light sctratches or fingerprints the vinegar (acidic) would disolve them, the linseed oil was the finish, the turpentine was to thin out the oil to penetrate the wood.
On RAW wood you might not need the vinegar is what I am trying to say !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3293 days

#6 posted 07-21-2011 05:09 AM

That is interesting. I have always heard of using Mineral Spirits as the appropriate solvent for BLO. My question is, why would you want to thin it. BLO doesn’t build much of a film. It mostly soaks into the pores of the wood and any that I have ever purchased was already pretty thin. However, it is wonderful for returning the life to old wood. Now regarding mixing with Turpentine, you can mix with equal parts of BLO, turpentine and beeswax and you have a wonderful substance for cleaning and bringing any old wood back to life. It is a great wood conditioner. This is the most highly recommended method for cleaning and restoring old wooden hand planes.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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