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Thread: linseed oil?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
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    Default linseed oil?

    is linseed oil an ok preservitive for the outside of the tbh? i like the look of the natural wood, and want to leave it with out painting it, just wanted to know if the wood treated with linseed oil will hurt the bees at all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,410

    Default

    It won't hurt the bees once it's dry. It doesn't do a whole lot to protect outdoor wood, but its a whole lot better than nothing. There are outdoor polyurethane varnishes that would be better protection. If you like it, go for it.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
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    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default linseed oil

    When I coated my TBH's I made a mixture of 1lb of beeswax to 1 litre of boiled linseed oil. I heated the mixture until the beeswax disolved in the oil and "painted" the TBH with the warm mixture. Repels water like crazy. I just painted the outside of the hive, not the inside. Be careful when heating the oil and there is no need to boil it. f it slops over onto the element you can have a really nasty fire in no time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
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    Default

    Hello Umbriel, that recipe that used linseed oil and bees wax sounds great I will have to try it some time. Thanks for publishing it. I have been using "boiled linseed oil" for quite some time. I found that after extensive drying (weeks or more) it will take a primer and over that latex paint. My greatest concern is endgrains and the edges of the supers.
    Thanks again, take care and have fun

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Near Harpers Ferry, WV
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    Default

    I apply my linseed-beeswax hot. Just heat it in a double boiler and then apply it with a brush. It soaks into the end grain much better, and gives an nth more protection to the wood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Durham, North Carolina, USA
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    7

    Default boiled oil

    One more thing you can do for endgrain situations is epoxy the endgrain.
    It will wick into the endgrain and prevent the wood from sicking moisture into it.
    As an amatuer woodworker, it has always outlasted anything else I have tried.
    After appication of the epoxy, it can then be coated with whatever you want: paint, primer, etc.... or left alone. The rest can then be coated with the oil/wax mixture.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Englewood, CO
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    28

    Default Re: linseed oil?

    I agree with what everyone has said about the linseed oil and wax mix. The proper ratio is 20:1 and must be kept warm to go on correctly. I put mine over a camp stove outside and dip my brush directly in the pan. Pick a warm day to do it or the wax sets up so quick that it doesn't work very well.
    Another alternative is 100% pure tung oil. Tung oil is food safe and I know you can pick it up at Rockler woodworking stores and there are a few places you can order it on the internet. Unlike linseed oil, tung oil dries to a hard finish. I have recently started using it so I don't know the long term viability of it yet. It has a similar dry time to boiled linseed oil in that it will probably take a couple of days to fully cure. Setting it out in the sun will help to speed the drying time. Make sure you are using 100% pure tung oil as any others will have things that are not healthy for the bees. It may need a recoat once a year but should be easy to do and not bother the bees plus it is 100% natural and green finish. Anyway, I hope that helps.
    Last edited by trentfysty; 05-19-2010 at 10:39 AM.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montrose, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    Thanks for the reply. Do you heat the tung oil? Any idea how it holds up on outside applications?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Englewood, CO
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    I get the tung oil warm as it seems to soak in better and is a little thinner to aid in soak in. I just use a hot water bath, like an old cottage cheese container inside a larger container of hot water. Seems to work pretty well.
    I can't yet say from my own experience how it will hold up long term outdoors but it seems to do well so far. I would get at least three good coats on if possible. I think a once a year recoat would be a good idea as well. Let it sit in the hot sun to dry as that will get the nicest finish. Let me know how it goes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fallsburg, KY
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    I was thinking of trying tung oil, didnt know it needed to be heated too, thanks for your post.
    Mike , Proverbs 24:13-14 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Englewood, CO
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    28

    Default Re: linseed oil?

    It doesn't have to be heated. I just think it soaks in better if it is warm, a good alternative to thinning. There are som natural citrius thinners out there that work well but I have not tried them for this application.

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