BLO for rosewood?

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Forum topic by BJODay posted 04-01-2014 03:10 PM 1012 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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526 posts in 1943 days

04-01-2014 03:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: refinish stanley tote rosewood

I’ve cleaned up a couple of old Stanley plane. I sanded the totes and knobs. They cleaned up nicely and the grain of the rosewood was very pretty. I rubbed it some BLO. It darkened the rosewood. Now I can’t see the pretty grain.

Am I doing something wrong? This is the first time I’ve used BLO. Would I be better off with varnish only?

If I decide to refinish, will the BLO sand out or does it soak in deeply?

Thanks for any help or suggestions.


5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 04-01-2014 03:21 PM

Give it a week. In my experience that stuff looks dark
at first then lightens and starts to look “dry”. It
might go faster if you set it some place warm.

In terms of a film finish, you’ll probably be happier
with a varnish or shellac. Spar varnish ambers wood
more than poly. Any oil based varnish you can add
BLO to in order to thin and color it, making a wiping
varnish with about equal parts oil, varnish and
mineral spirits.

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2360 days

#2 posted 04-01-2014 03:21 PM

precisely why I preach against slathering everything with BLO.

I imagine I sound like a zealot, but people in and around the old tool community treat it like some kind of magic elixir.

enough ranting.
What you might try now is a soak in Lacquer thinner (not mineral spirits, or turps or anything else) – the sooner the better.

For future reference the best finish is lacquer—I find this darkens rosewood least, followed by shellac.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2184 days

#3 posted 04-01-2014 03:30 PM

Rosewood can be polished to a high shine and just waxed, no finish needed. Oil, as you found, will probably just darken it and obscure the grain.

BLO has its uses, but not on rosewood.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#4 posted 04-01-2014 03:36 PM

Acetone may work as well. I have soaked rosewood guitar
bridges in it. It lightens them up but more importantly
it makes glue stick better.

View Pezking7p's profile


3217 posts in 1652 days

#5 posted 04-01-2014 03:38 PM

This is the first time I have heard people preach against BLO on rosewood. Very interesting. I will consider this during future restorations.

-- -Dan

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