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  • Finishing technique

    I just finished a bear carved in butternut and, not having carved in butternut before, finished it with two coats of boiled linseed oil. That was about two weeks ago and now it appears to be drying out. What would be a could finish coat over the linseed oil? Any ideas? Something without too much of a sheen.
    darnley

  • #2
    Re: Finishing technique

    A few more "coats" of blo .... very thin and rub them in well with your hands ... if done properly should not take that long to dry ... blo is know in the gunsmith trade as the "once finish."

    Once a day for a week
    Once a week for a month
    Once a month for a year
    Once a year forever.

    A carving doesn't take the abuse of a gun stock so you don't need to go to quite that extreme. The biggest mistake is to put it on like varnish or paint. Very thin coats rubbed in by hand. You should feel the heat. It gives a very beautiful rich looking finish. Look at some of the old walnut gunstocks (not the newer ones done in Tru-oil type finishes). Old Winchester shotguns come to mind, model 12's or 97's for instance. Some of the older rifles also, like the early model 94 lever guns.

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    • #3
      Re: Finishing technique

      I have tried the boiled linseed oil a couple of times. It is ok on a smooth carving where it can be rubbed in. My preference is to use tung oil. It works well even in rough areas and crevices. I use the Formby's low gloss (high gloss has more varnish) and put on as many coats as needed to reach the look I want. I go over it between coats with 5-0 steel wool. I finished some raw oak furniture this way back in the '70s and it is still looking great. Mellowed into a golden color. Should you use tung oil be careful with the rags you use. I lay mine out on the work table and let them dry before throwing them away. They can self-combust. I am attaching a couple of pics of pieces I finished this way.
      Attached Files
      Paul Guraedy
      Whooping Hollow Woods
      Alpena, ARkansas

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      • #4
        Re: Finishing technique

        I should have mentioned that the table these carvings were placed on for the photos was one of the pieces of raw oak I finished with tung oil. It is our dining table and has survived the teen-age years of two boys.
        Paul Guraedy
        Whooping Hollow Woods
        Alpena, ARkansas

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        • #5
          Re: Finishing technique

          I have used Johnson Paste floor wax with success. Several coats allowing drying time and buffing in between. The little bride dosen't like the smell of BLO so,,,,,
          Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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          • #6
            Re: Finishing technique

            I use a lot of BLO, the big issue here is - pour it on,leave it for 20 min. and wipe it off, than you wait until the smell is gone ,and then you can put anything over whatever you fancy, on wood where I don't want to change color(Birch and spalted), I use waterbourne poly.I use BLO when I want the grain really to show up( no good on grainless wood) if you don't wipe it off it never seems to dry or loose the smell, hope this helps
            Alice

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