Rethink Your Life!
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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art
[Cob] Linseed and sunflower oilAmanda Peck ap615 at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 28 17:27:15 PST 2005
there is a Chinese tree (Aleurites fordii, known as tung oil tree, tung tree, China oil tree, etc.) whose seeds yield a yellowish oil that is good for furniture finishing. The ads claim that it is non-yellowing. Here's a bit on tung oil from one company--woodworker's supply, scroll down a bit http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/search.exe?search=tung%20oil&go=388 A tung oil mixture was widely used with "Danish Modern" furniture, although one item in a search on "Danish oil" told me that it had been used by Danish craftspeople for centuries.. By the time tung oil gets called "Danish Oil" it may have driers, probably something to dilute it, maybe linseed oil, I've even heard of UV inhibitors added--but it may have been called "teak oil" by then. The process of successive dilutions of tung or linseed oil with mineral spirits or turpentine apparently began with furniture, at least from what my quick searches indicated. ............. Jane wrote (she knows what she's talking about, it's wonderful): According to my teachers in wood carving and the like linseed oil has special properties. It hardens as it dries which creates a (more or less) watertight surface. Boiled linseed oil hardens faster, but raw linseed oil also hardens after some time - how fast and how well depends on the quality of the oil. (One problem with buying boiled linseed oil is that it normally contains rather toxic chemicals to ease the drying. It might be possible to buy non-toxic boiled linseed oil, though.) It is possible that cooking other kinds of oil will make them harden too, but I have never heard of it. And for a floor you definitely need a hardened surface. From what I have heard getting a good surface on a clay floor is pretty tricky, and even if sunflower oil works for paint, it doesn't follow that it works for floors. It would be an interesting experiment, though. It wonder what this "danish" tung oil you write about is (I'm danish). We have something called "tonkin-laque" which is based on linseed oil, and which is supposed to make a very resistant surface. If tung oil is the same as tonkin-laque i would suppose that you could make a cob bathtub with it, though you would probably have to re-laquer it at regular intervals, and leave it to dry and hardenfor some time before using it again. And a warning: From what I have learned you risk spontaneous combustion with ALL linseed oil, not only boiled. So never leave linseed oil soaked paper or cloth around. The simplest thing is to burn it right away, or at least leave it on the stove or fireplace, but if we are talking large quantities this might not be so environmantal friendly. You can also put it in water, but then you have to do something with it afterwards. Jane
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