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Thread: linseed oil?

  1. #1
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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
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    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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    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
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    Lexington, KY, USA
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    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
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    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
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    Durham, North Carolina, USA
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    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
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    I mixed about 16 oz of boiled linseed oil and 12 oz of bee's wax in a slow cooker crock pot.
    What a mess! and results I did not enjoy. Sacrificed the paint brush. The finish was extremely waxy and dirt would stick to it like glue, while handling it was just as bad. On a hot day I wound up removing the top layer of THICK wax with a putty knife. Seems OK now. So I caught a swarm and they are defending it rather well. I won't do it again, although I really like the look of wood. Might try straight linseed oil next year and just wax it with furniture paste wax, like Johnson's ORIGINAL, not the "new & improved". Or paint.

  8. #8
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    Brantwood,Wisconsin,USA
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    To use the boiled linseed oil/beeswax mixture, apply like any other oil finish. Apply liberally and keep working the "pooled" areas onto the areas that are
    soaking it up and appear "dry". Keep doing this for about 30 min.. After that
    wipe all excess off with paper towel. It will take a few towels since they
    become saturated. The trick is to have no pooling on the surface, just like
    a "hand rubbed oil finish".

  9. #9
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    Please note that my last post was a year ago. I would not do it again. Looks real funky now, darken and black splotched look. Naw, I'll go back to painting them pretty colors, just because.

  10. #10
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    Grantsburg,WI
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    A word of caution to anyone working with linseed oil, danish oil etc.
    The rags or paper towels that are used are very dangerous.
    Working on a commercial finishing job, I had been carefull
    to collect all the paper and rags from the jobsite.(BECAUSE OF THE DANGER)
    Got busy with something else and left them in my surburban in a cardboard box, that I had intended to soak down and dispose of.
    "Tonto" my German Shepard awoke me that night or we could have lost a truck and perhaps more.
    Parked just outside of the garage my truck had smoke pouring out the open window and the back was filled with smoke.
    What was left was a large black smoldering mass which had almost burned thru the plywood floor of the truck.
    No doubt it would have burst into flame shortly.

    Be careful
    BM
    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JOHN F. KENNEDY -

  11. #11
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    Yea the warning on the bottle says something to that extent, I am happy with the finish the oil/wax mixture gave me, I think it has to be HOT like 100c to soak in and make a nice waxy finish, one hive I did it wasn't very warm when applied made some spots sticky and crusty-ish, would be nice to paint hot wax on with a roller then scrap them down "if you had lots of beeswax"

    Sam.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    For those who have had success using linseed oil and wax (paraffin or bees wax) what is the ratio of linseed oil to wax? Any tips for ensuring success in the finished product would be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jerry

  13. #13
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comoesq View Post
    For those who have had success using linseed oil and wax (paraffin or bees wax) what is the ratio of linseed oil to wax? Any tips for ensuring success in the finished product would be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jerry
    I find heating the mixture is essential, heat it to about 100c and maby leave the brush in the mixture to heat up to. I use 1l of oil to 10g of beeswax

  14. #14
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comoesq View Post
    For those who have had success using linseed oil and wax (paraffin or bees wax) what is the ratio of linseed oil to wax? Any tips for ensuring success in the finished product would be appreciated.Thank you in advance.
    Jerry
    I used a quart of linseed oil and 12 oz of beeswax. It was to much for my single TBH. I put it in an old slow cooker until all was blended. Using cheap brush to throw away after painted on. Waited at least two days to "dry" and wiped down the waxy build up. Overall, lousy experience, it smelled and didn't "take" through the winter. Probably user error but from now on I'll simply paint the colors that I like.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    I have used 20:1 with success. As far as spontaneous combustion, I have not seen that mixture heat up on the rags and paper towels after cleaning up.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: linseed oil?

    The wax will blend at a lower temp then I find makes a nice finish, I usually heat until its nice and hot 100c ish then paint and let dry for a few days, if I don't heat it enough it wont soak in, dried to a plastic/hard wax texture.

    I wouldn't risk leaving rags soaked in linseed oil around for sure.


    Sam.

  17. #17
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    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 09:39 AM.

  18. #18
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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?

  19. #19
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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.

  20. #20
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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.

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