Boiled linseed oil?


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Lance Vangraham

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 16, 2016
300
367
38
Bellingham WA
#1
How many folks have uses boiled linseed oil on thier projects? Pros and cons? Thinking of trying it on my b6 when it's done. Thanks!
 

2jakes

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 1, 2010
6,920
5,118
Elysium Fields
#4
How many folks have uses boiled linseed oil on thier projects? Pros and cons? Thinking of trying it on my b6 when it's done. Thanks!
At an antique auto show,(‘20s Fords) a guy
had repainted his “tin-Lizzie” using combination of kerosene, with enamel
using a sable brush. I’ve read that
before spray paint~guns, this was common
practice with some auto factories. But I
cannot say for sure if this is true.

The paint job on the tin-Lizzie was very well
done. But it was a slow procress. He applied
one coat enamel and with rags & kerosene,
he sanded as needed before applying another
coat of enamel.
Bear in mind that these methods were done
in a time when abestos was also used on walls and ceilings at home. Obviously, not too safe!

In the past, I have used linseed oil,
wood stain, vinegar & brass to create rust
and also a faux patina.
Mostly on project frames and so far, no
problem. Mostly in a ventilated area away from people and pets with safety gear when handling toxic material.

My original bikes I simply dust off and lubricate as needed.
 
Last edited:

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
16,012
16,603
Evans, GA
#5
I'm with Boris on this one. If its fairly crusty I go with Johnson's Paste Wax but if still a lot of paint a good automotive wax. V/r Shawn
 

Lance Vangraham

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 16, 2016
300
367
38
Bellingham WA
#6
Normally I do use wax, but had read about the linseed oil. The paint is in good shape on the bike, just wanna add some shine to it.
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,677
621
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#7
If the paint is in good shape, try some automotive rubbing compound to bring back the shine. Just be careful around pinstripes and decals.
 
Likes: StoneWoods

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
16,012
16,603
Evans, GA
#8
You need to be careful with rubbing compound on secondary colors which were generally shot pretty thin. May want to try a polishing compound first to see if you get the desired results and finish with a good wax. Linseed oil just makes it look greasy in my opinion and could stain clothing as well. V/r Shawn
 

Handyman

I live for the CABE
Oct 23, 2009
1,194
1,263
Fitchburg, MA
#9
Thinking of trying this boiled linseed oil. How long, with one application, will boiled linseed oil keep its shine (as greasy as it might look) on a bicycle?? Does it have to be re-applied often?
Thanks, Pete in Fitchburg
 

then8j

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 6, 2010
658
250
Walnut Creek CA
#10
Linseed oil is the main base to oil based paints. It's a slow dry oil, kerosine is a thinner similar to mineral spirits but slower drying. I use all of this in my work of decorative painting.

What I was taught by an old timer to control the sheen of oil base paints is to add.....corn starch. You can control from high gloss (none added) to matte (a lot added)
I would suggest to add some Japan dryer to help it set (dry) because it might take a couple days to dry and collect dust.
Basically your making clear cheap thin oil based paint that yellows in the sunlight.
 

SKIDKINGSVBC

I live for the CABE
Sep 2, 2008
1,282
1,629
Puyallup, United States
#11
My uncle Jim was a vintage body and fender guy from the 40's .Said the best way to paint a car and get the best finish was a combination of gasoline and lacquer paint ... Would leave a perfect shine ...Dangerous practice ...But seems like the gas from the past not only smelled good but didn't leave a bad taste like the gas of today...
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
695
823
52
Cincinnati, OH
#12
Looks too wet. Is too wet. Used rags are extremely flammable. Why not just use an automotive paste wax?
Very good point Boris - Yes it is extremely flammable and can spontaneously combust on it's own !!!!!

I used it on one of my bikes a couple months back and put the rag I'd used in a plastic measuring cup on the garage floor on some cardboard and walked out back to do some other stuff.
I came back up front about a half hour later and smelled something - something burning smell - couldn't figure out what it was.
I looked on the floor and the measuring cup had tilted over so I went and picked it up.........BAD CHOICE........burnt my hand !!!
That damn rag had gotten so hot it melted the cup and was smoldering - just a matter of time before it ignited.

I work in an industry that uses solvents and rags all the time and we put the rags in rag cans all the time and I have seen a rag fire flash.
In my 30+ years I have never seen anything combust that fast - not even close.
I'm sure glad I didn't throw the rag in a garbage can - that could have been a huge issue.

**** As far as using the boiled linseed I still use it - I think it works great.
I wipe it on sorta heavy, let it sit and then come back and wipe it back off.
After sitting for a while the bike soaks some in - enough that I think it's the perfect look on top of any patina the bike has.
 

NoControl

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 11, 2017
65
77
60
Bennington, NH, United States
#13
Very good point Boris - Yes it is extremely flammable and can spontaneously combust on it's own !!!!!

I used it on one of my bikes a couple months back and put the rag I'd used in a plastic measuring cup on the garage floor on some cardboard and walked out back to do some other stuff.
I came back up front about a half hour later and smelled something - something burning smell - couldn't figure out what it was.
I looked on the floor and the measuring cup had tilted over so I went and picked it up.........BAD CHOICE........burnt my hand !!!
That damn rag had gotten so hot it melted the cup and was smoldering - just a matter of time before it ignited.

I work in an industry that uses solvents and rags all the time and we put the rags in rag cans all the time and I have seen a rag fire flash.
In my 30+ years I have never seen anything combust that fast - not even close.
I'm sure glad I didn't throw the rag in a garbage can - that could have been a huge issue.
I'm knocking on wood right now, but I'm also quite careful about any rags with acetone, mineral spirits, BLO, or anything else thats flammable. If I use a rag with any of this stuff, I always take it outside and drape it over my rock wall to dry out. If it oily, I throw it in the fire pit. I NEVER keep a greasy or oily rag inside the shop. NEVER.

As far as using boiled linseed oil on bikes, well each to his own. I use it occasionally when the paint is poor enough to not respond to my car wax. I've also used Butchers paste wax with good results.
 
Likes: Kato

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,677
621
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#14
It takes a LONG time to cure without adding Japan drier. Kato has the right approach. A long time ago (pre internet) I had an M1951 parka that was an ideal field coat, but not waterproof. So one winter when I had a lot more time than money I reseached how waterproof clothing was made before plastics. And one way was boiled linseed oil. So I soaked it in boiled linseed oil, stashed it in the furnace room and waited for it to dry. That was about 3 months later, but it was a great field coat. Waterproof, wind proof, huge comfy pockets and in cold weather it could stand up by itself- got a little stiff as the temperature dropped. Co-workers called it the "Monk of Doom Coat"
 
Likes: dnc1

David Larson

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 16, 2017
94
132
22
North Dakota, United States
#15
I think one common misconception about boiled linseed oil is that it stays "oily". In a dry climate [here in North Dakota in the winter time], a thin coa t of BLO applied with a rag will dry to the touch in about 2 days.

If you don't like the "wet" finish, then you can lightly buff the surface with a rag and/or your hands when the BLO is about half dry.

I like BLO over was on patina'd bikes because BLO tends to hides pits and paint chips, whereas was tends to show off the same features [when dry].

Lastly, I think BLO and paste was should be considered equally, but for different purposes. BLO is a gentle sealer - wax is a rubbing compound.
 
Likes: Boris

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
Sep 13, 2010
1,897
177
Newton, WI, United States
#16
Interesting thread. I've only ever used it on M1 Garand stocks. Didn't even know you could apply it over metal.
 

Boris

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Feb 16, 2008
11,288
5,521
Portland, OR 97206
#17
I think one common misconception about boiled linseed oil is that it stays "oily". In a dry climate [here in North Dakota in the winter time], a thin coa t of BLO applied with a rag will dry to the touch in about 2 days.

If you don't like the "wet" finish, then you can lightly buff the surface with a rag and/or your hands when the BLO is about half dry.

I like BLO over was on patina'd bikes because BLO tends to hides pits and paint chips, whereas was tends to show off the same features [when dry].

Lastly, I think BLO and paste was should be considered equally, but for different purposes. BLO is a gentle sealer - wax is a rubbing compound.
Perhaps I'll give BLO another try, and knock off the wet look as you suggest. Although I'm still nervous about used BLO rag disposal. I do like paste wax, but don't like the white specks that show up in the tiny pits when dry.
 
Likes: David Larson

David Larson

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 16, 2017
94
132
22
North Dakota, United States
#18
Perhaps I'll give BLO another try, and knock off the wet look as you suggest. Although I'm still nervous about used BLO rag disposal. I do like paste wax, but don't like the white specks that show up in the tiny pits when dry.
I went for a "satin" finish on the BLO with this bike. Not matte, but also not dripping wet. A little finesse and timing does wonders. I'll be posting a thread in the near future about the before and after process that this bike underwent... lots and lots of resurrection work here...

BLO was just the cherry on top at the end of the journey - it really made things pop though. I included one picture of the bike "before" I did work to it. I bought it here on the CABE a month or so ago

20171227_214504.jpg


20171227_214531.jpg


20171227_214444.jpg


20171227_214335.jpg


Screenshot_20171119-193614.png
 

NoControl

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 11, 2017
65
77
60
Bennington, NH, United States
#19
Interesting thread. I've only ever used it on M1 Garand stocks. Didn't even know you could apply it over metal.
I have a friend who is very passionate about old vises (not vices) and old anvils. When he rebuilds an old vise, he'll coat it with BLO and bake it at 200F for HOURS in his smoker outside. This relieves all of the stresses of the vise and after that he'll paint and polish it. They are truly fabulous when he is done.
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,615
6,233
Central Arizona
#20
If you know what you are doing the results IMO are worth the effort for a crusty original paint bike. There are truck loads of how to videos and information on the net from people that don't know what the f they are doing, to the experts and everyone in between. Nice job Mr. Larson
 

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