Finishing Formula Question

rockhead515August 30, 2009

I have several carved spoons and a couple of bowls to finish and I wanted to use an oil/wax combination.

Has anyone used raw linseed oil with beeswax or paraffin wax? IÂm aware of the mineral oil/beeswax formula but mineral oil never dries and IÂd rather have something fully cured.

Will the wax come off when used in cooking hot food (i.e. boiling water, stew, etcÂ)

above itÂs melting point?

Also has anyone added food coloring or other (non-toxic) coloring agent to their finishing mixture?

If so, how did it work out?



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I have carved a few spoons and use mineral oil. I have never tried the linseed oil + wax combination. But I kept bees for 15 years and know some about beeswax.

Waxes typically melt about 150F. So, yes, I would say they will soften and/or melt off. The wax does not chemically combine with the linseed oil in any way, so it remains wax.

Food coloring is water soluble. So when you immerse it back into something containing water (e.g., food), it will partially leach back out. Think of a five year old eating a cupcake with purple icing and check out their tongue and lips afterwards.

Raw linseed oil takes very long to fully cure. It is also known to feed microbes.

Finally, neither wax (unless extremely thick) nor linseed oil have any effect in excluding liquid water from the wood.

I think this is the perfect opportunity to invoke the first rule of finishing: Run a trial of your intended finish on some scrap wood before committing to it on your project. It's easier to avoid than undo.

Here is a link that might be useful: see pages 15-2 and 15-32f

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:36AM
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The reason for NOT using any film forming finish are that it WILL get damaged, and then lift off the item.

You do not need a finish that cures, just one that will prevent water from easily soaking into the wood and carrying things with it.

Mineral oil actually works very well, and has been used on wooden utensils and cutting boards for a very long time.

Rub it on, heat gently if you want, then wipe off any oil remaining on the surface.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 3:34PM
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