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Discussion Starter #1
I was forced to use a brand of BLO I hadn't before because they were out of the one I always use and I had to finish the project urgently. I coated it on until the birch wood butcher's block tabletop was saturated, wiped off any excess, and left it to dry as I normally do. It seemed completely dry when I started applying the coats of beeswax with which I gave it the final finish. After several coats, sanding with fine grits and buffing, it's been about two weeks and still whenever I put an object on the table it "draws out" some oil and gets oil on it. From day 1 I started putting paper towels under anything I put on the table, and leaving fresh paper towels over night, weighed down by objects, to try and draw out the oil that isn't drying for some reason. Every morning the paper towels are fairly saturated with oil, and this seems to not want to end!

For some reason this BLO isn't drying. How can I dry it out? Should I strip the wax and let it dry some more? How will I know when it's dried enough? Worst case scenario: what would you recommend I do to get rid of the BLO and refinish it with the one I normally use and works without issues? --Or is the piece ruined? :(
 

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It's winter and that may have affected the drying time of the blo. By putting wax on it you have stopped the drying process so it may be a challenge to get it to dry. It needs heat and ventilation more than anything. If it was summer you could set it in the sun to draw out the excess oil. It will eventually dry even if you do nothing.
 

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After the 4th 5th time trying to save finishes that gone wonkey. I now go back to square.
I'd use a card scraper and take off the wax and hopefully a good amount of that BLO...
Then run a heat gun over it. Then an oceolating fan , back and forth for a few days.
When I was sure it was cured, I go back with a few thin coats of BLO stretched out 24 hrs each as normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your answers!

@Steve Neul: Even though it's winter, I thought that by having the humidity in our house at around 50% would allow it to dry as usual. I've used other brands under similar circumstances and it went well. Perhaps it's the brand, perhaps its the wood, perhaps it's that we're all having an especially colder winter!

@Fishbucket: I hadn't thought of using a card scraper to get rid of the wax :rolleyes:. I thought I might try paint thinner, which I have at hand. (Do you think after using the scraper a but of thinner might help with the wax and/or BLO?) The heat gun had crossed my mind once I got it stripped of the wax. Hope that that and the oscillating fan will help me save the piece!
 

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Winter always affects a finish. Even in the house at 50% humidity the finish will dry slower than in summer at 90% humidity. The easiest fix will be to be patient and wait for it to dry. I don't know how much they can alter blo to make a difference between brands. It's usually not so affected by age either. I think the can I have is around 10 years old and wouldn't be apprehensive in using it. I mainly use blo to replace what is skimmed over in oil based finishes so it lasts a while just doing that.
 

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Is BLO food safe? What about the thinner you are thinking of using?
 

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Is BLO food safe? What about the thinner you are thinking of using?
Most boiled linseed oil (BLO) is not food safe. They include metallic driers which are toxic.

There are a few brands of linseed oil finishes that are food safe. In general, they are less common and more expensive. Most of them want you to know that they are food safe and advertise the fact. If the BLO you are using doesn't say food safe all over their literature, then it probably is not.

Paint thinner is toxic. I do not know what residues it leaves when it evaporates. I would not use it on food contact projects like cutting boards. Table tops? I am not sure, so I wouldn't, but that's me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Is BLO food safe? What about the thinner you are thinking of using?
Hi! BLO is food safe when it's "all natural", "organic" or what here in Europe at least is known as "100% Pure" and "Zero Voc". These would be BLOs that are specifically made for, say, cutting boards and such. But if one makes sure the BLO is just BLO, as opposed to having drying agents and other finishes mixed in that might not be food safe I think there should be no problem. As far as I know, BLO that has nothing else added to it is just the extraction of the oil from the flax seed, which is then boiled for very long at low temperatures. I wouldn't recommend drinking a shot of the stuff, or even pouring it on your sallad (especially not from the one you bought at the hardware store) but it should be pretty safe if it's only BLO.

The thinner, on the other hand, I can assure you it's in no way food safe! It's actually considered a poison by some countries' safety standards; definitely a toxic agent in all countries, I should think.

I'm now realising that perhaps by saying it was butcher's block wood I might have made people think I've made a butcher's block, but really I've made an extensible tray for my keyboard! 馃槃 I had some Ikea tables made from birch butcher's block that I was getting rid of and decided to upcycle the parts upgrading my computer setup. Thus the beeswax finish, which I wouldn't have bothered with if it were a piece that'll receive the use a cutting block does.

Definitely I wouldn't recommend allowing food items and food-realted accessories to go anywhere near thinner or anything of the kind.

P.S. Just realised after I posted that @Tool Agnostic already covered this! 馃槒
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Winter always affects a finish. Even in the house at 50% humidity the finish will dry slower than in summer at 90% humidity. The easiest fix will be to be patient and wait for it to dry. I don't know how much they can alter blo to make a difference between brands. It's usually not so affected by age either. I think the can I have is around 10 years old and wouldn't be apprehensive in using it. I mainly use blo to replace what is skimmed over in oil based finishes so it lasts a while just doing that.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right. I was preparing to strip off the wax and give it a new coat of BLO just to "activate" the old one and, hopefully, make it penetrate the wood better... but my lazy side, and the side that's already on to a new project, was telling me: just change the paper towels every day or couple of days... it doesn't look too bad with paper towels as a miniature tablecloth! 馃榿
 

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Linseed oil doesn't work like that. The oil kind of just hardens like tree sap. All you would be doing is adding more oil to harden. If you get desperate you can wipe the table down with naphtha. I will remove any oil that is on the surface still wet. It would remove the wax as well though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Linseed oil doesn't work like that. The oil kind of just hardens like tree sap. All you would be doing is adding more oil to harden. If you get desperate you can wipe the table down with naphtha. I will remove any oil that is on the surface still wet. It would remove the wax as well though.
Oh, I read somewhere about using fresh BLO to help with older BLO that isn't quite being incorporated into the piece. Don't remember where, though, so it may not be a good source.

I don't mind removing the wax but the BLO doesn't seem to be on the surface... it just seems to seep out through osmosis. For instance, at first (it doesn't seem to be doing this now), if I placed my palm on the surface and took it off, that small amount of suction created would leave a palm print of oil beads. So it's like the oil has gone into the wood but is doesn't want to stay there and dry. In fact, because butcher's block is made up of different pieces of wood, obviously some parts become saturated faster than others. Once the first parts became saturated, I thought that should be enough for the piece and stopped there but other parts were still "thirsty", and even the latter don't seem to be dry.

Anyway, what I think I'm going to do is just wait and see what happens. I'll give it, say, another week. If it's still not completely dry then, I'll strip off the wax, use a heat gun, and leave it to dry like that for a bit longer before applying the wax again. (Or maybe I won't even bother with the wax, and I'll just sand it with real fine grit.)
 

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Maybe if you wipe it with naphtha followed by a coat of Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C applied with a synthetic abrasive pad and wiped it dry, the part B isocyanate accelerator might expedite the crosslinking & curing of the BLO. I use the Oil Plus 2C when bleed-back is a concern due to faster cure than a straight up drying oil..
 

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Maybe if you wipe it with naphtha followed by a coat of Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C applied with a synthetic abrasive pad and wiped it dry, the part B isocyanate accelerator might expedite the crosslinking & curing of the BLO. I use the Oil Plus 2C when bleed-back is a concern due to faster cure than a straight up drying oil..
Thanks for the pointer! I'll be sure to keep that in mind for the next time I use BLO. I'll try and search for an equivalent, though, because a 20ml bottle of Rubio Monocoat Oil is 23,99鈧 with 10,22鈧 S&H... No doubt because it comes from the US. I feel like you guys have such a wealth of different awesome products for everything. I remember the first time I learned about Gorrilla Glue I immediately ordered a tiny bottle of the stuff, just enough to make one project, and I blew on it the entire budget of the product! 馃槄

I've never used naphtha and am having some trouble finding it here (or its equivalent). But it's the 2nd-3rd time you guys have recommended it, so I think I'll go to a hardware store and ask for "naphte" (and maybe explain a little what I need it for) and see if they say: Oh, you're referring to X! I'm sure that's not some specific product I have to order from the US.
 
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