Boiling tung oil

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 11-29-2013 02:46 AM 2083 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2116 days

11-29-2013 02:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tung oil

I’ve had this idea kicking around in my head for a few days. I suspect I’m barking up the wrong tree but I wanted to throw it out there and see what others think.

“Boiled” linseed oil isn’t actually boiled. It’s got metallic driers (Japan drier, I think) in it. But I think it’s called boiled linseed oil because at one time it was boiled to get it to cure faster. Such a boiling probably isn’t as effective as metallic driers but there must have been some reason to boil it in the distant past.

Tung oil is also a drying oil, like linseed. I’ve never seen “boiled tung oil” so I’m assuming adding metallic driers to raw tung oil doesn’t help much or has unpleasant side effects.

But…. what about boiling it? I mean actually sticking some raw tung oil in a pot and boiling it? Would that speed up the drying of tung oil?

I’m considering getting a hot plate and a crummy throwaway pot from Goodwill and trying to boil some tung oil. I’m a little concerned about the safety of doing this (I don’t want to start a fire or blow something up).

I’ve no idea how long the oil should be boiled to achieve anything. For all I know it may be a few minutes to a few hours of boiling. Assuming boiling does anything at all.

I am aware that there is “polymerized tung oil.” I believe that polymerizing it does include heating it but I think it it is done under controlled conditions and in an oxygen free environment. It causes the tung oil to act more like a film finish.

What do you folks think? Have I totally lost my mind? Is it an experiment worth doing or will I burn down the neighborhood in the process?

10 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#1 posted 11-29-2013 02:55 AM

“Have I totally lost my mind? ” Sorry yes. Why would you ever consider such a thing,why don’t you boil some gasilene too. HA HA There are some good products out there that use polymerized tung oil already. If what your suggesting worked, don’t you think it would have been already been done considering how long Tung oil has been around.
Please excuse my blunt response.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2600 days

#2 posted 11-29-2013 03:46 AM

The study of flash points come to mind as well as having an
up to date fire extinguisher or two.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2061 days

#3 posted 11-29-2013 04:27 AM

I don’t think you’ll burn down the neighborhood. The initial blast and resulting shockwave should displace enough oxygen to prevent any fire. :) But I see by your profile that you’re over 1400 miles from me, so if you’d like to try it you can google “boil your own linseed oil” and you’ll find this discussion in another forum with quasi-instructions. The individual that seems to have tried it, and lived, is from Brazil. He used a few chemicals that, if used in the USA, would cause your local OSHA inspector or fire marshall to cr@p their pants. Good Luck though and if you do it please let us know how it turns out.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2516 days

#4 posted 11-29-2013 01:32 PM

I’m not sure you’ve lost your mind, but it is a nuts plan. You are correct about the polymerization process, but one thing about it is it cures faster than raw tung oil, which is a lifetime experience waiting for it to cure. Even so, raw tung oil is a film forming finish….just a really weak film.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3983 days

#5 posted 11-29-2013 03:19 PM

Let us know what zip code to send the fire trucks and the funeral flowers to.


View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3108 days

#6 posted 11-29-2013 04:02 PM

As noted above, boiling could be a disaster, but warm or hot oil might soak into the wood easier, being thinner,
but not sure how much you would gain by this.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2116 days

#7 posted 11-29-2013 04:28 PM

Blunt responses are quite welcome in this case :).

Ok, it sounds like this is a very bad idea. I’ll let my tung oil stay raw. I wasn’t thinking that boiling it would give me polymerized oil like Sutherland Welles. I was thinking of a faster curing tung oil that would still basically act like tung oil.

I tried to look up the boiling point of tung oil and couldn’t find it.

Assuming I was going to try the experiment I wouldn’t want to put extra chemicals in it. Just heat it.

What about dumping some Japan drier into raw tung oil (which is essentially what BLO is, I think)? My initial assumption is that this wouldn’t work or we’d see lots of commercial preparations of tung oil modified in this way. I once tried a mixture of raw tung oil thinned with mineral spirits and a tiny amount of Japan drier. It didn’t cause any problems but it didn’t cause the oil to cure any faster either.

The fact that I couldn’t find anything on the web that describes anyone else trying to boil tung oil leads me to think there is a reason nobody does this.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2516 days

#8 posted 11-29-2013 04:32 PM

Consider this: what are gaining using tung oil versus cheaper BLO? There is really no advantage (IMHO) to using it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#9 posted 11-29-2013 04:47 PM

I think some Japon drier is a good Idea and a lot safer. try it on a test peice first.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CharlesNeil's profile


2410 posts in 3893 days

#10 posted 11-29-2013 06:51 PM

Buy some waterlox, or Mohawk has a modified tung oil that is really nice.

I doubt you would have an issue as long as there was no open flame, but you wouldn’t benefit any thing .

blunt === NO

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