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Rollin wins the battle

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Gary Willoughby, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Gary Willoughby

    Gary Willoughby Boat Builder

    Just got my Wooden Boat Magazine and in the Wood Technology article about linseed oil looks likes Rollin was right. For the last forty years I have been using Deks Olje #1 but at $76 for 2.5 liters that's over $100 a gallon. Think I will try the linseed oil to treat the next canoe.
  2. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

    I would not classify it as winning or a battle; just trying to find out what works and why. Products are always changing and its hard to know if the traditional ways are still valid. Wooden Boat Mag. has always been a great resource!
  3. Woodpile

    Woodpile Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Yes, the ongoing search for GOOD information is never ending and IMHO the article provided that.
  4. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I don't subscribe to that magazine. Can someone summarize what battle Rollin won? The battle of boiled oil?
  5. Woodpile

    Woodpile Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    The article was titled "A linseed Oil Debate". The arguments against it we're: unpredictable drying time, black yuk forms on wood surfaces, oiling old dried out wood before varnishing has no merits and being a derivative of flax seed it provides a food source for decay fungi. The response from Dr. Richard Jagels, professor of forest biology at the university of Maine and the primary contributor to Wood Technology in WoodenBoat states, "As a linseed oil is applied to dry wood, it fills the voids in the wood fibers , acting as a surrogate for water, thus improving the toughness of the outer layers of wood fibers, especially for woods such as northern white cedar. " "The procedure that Thurlow uses have stood the test of time and are consistent with good practices based on scientific information. I don't see any reason to abandon the use of linseed oil in canoe restoration."
  6. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Thank for the summary.
    It is interesting to hear that the linseed oiling does serve a purpose.
    I've been using the heated oil for about 45 years and I've experienced some of the noted concerns (blackening, stickiness) but in general I have always thought that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.
    To overcome the slow drying I've blended the oil with turpentine.
    In recent years what I am doing is blending 70% linseed oil, 15% turpentine and 15% mineral spirits. I heat it up (very carefully) and apply it to the outside of my hulls before canvasing. I apply one coat, let it dry and then apply a second coat before I canvas. Be sure that you are done fairing before you apply this as it hardens up and loads paper if you try to sand it. The heated oil soaks in really well on the first coat and tends to sit on the top of the wood on the second coat. Knowing that, I apply the second coat very lightly except in areas where is is noiceably being well absorbed. I wipe off any excess on the second coat.
    This blend tacks up and hardens more quickly than straight oil.
    I do not varnish my hulls except on the inside.

    An alternative blend that is used replaces the 15% mineral spirits with spar varnish.
  7. Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I had a older wooden motorboat that I bought second hand and it was constructed out of mahogany plywood. I had to have the exterior stripped and the galvanized wood screws replaced and dryrot repaired. The boat repairman told me never to varnish the interior because water gets under the varnish and can't dry out and causes dryrot. It sounded logical to me so I'm wondering whether or not the same would apply to a canoe? Maybe because canoes are constructed out of cedar that it's not a concern.??.
  8. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    That is partly true but not great advice. You can look around at various wooden boats and see a lot of varnished interiors. They come varnished from the factory. There is no permanent, maintenance free, clear finish for interior wood. So at some point, the varnish will fail and water will get under it. More rot is likely at those spots, but that's because the varnish no longer protects them. It's not a good reason to skip varnish entirely, it's a good reason to apply the varnish correctly and maintain it so it doesn't fail.
    Paddler likes this.
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I'm not a fan of heating, so I use for the 1st application:

    Inside - 50% tung oil, 50% low oder mineral spirits
    Outside - 50% linseed oil, 50% low oder mineral spirits



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