Drying oils are a popular choice for woodworkers due to their ability to penetrate deep into the wood and protect it from the elements. These oils are called “drying” because they harden and cure over time, creating a protective finish on the wood. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of drying oils used in woodworking and their unique properties.
Linseed Oil: Linseed oil is derived from flax seeds and is one of the most commonly used oils in woodworking. It is known for its ability to enhance the natural color and grain of the wood, and is often used as a base coat for other finishes. Linseed oil takes longer to dry than other oils, and it can take several days for it to cure completely.
Tung Oil: Tung oil is derived from the nut of the tung tree and is known for its deep penetrating properties. It is also highly resistant to water, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture and decks. Tung oil is often used as a final coat, providing a clear, natural finish that brings out the beauty of the wood.
Boiled Linseed Oil: Boiled linseed oil is a modified version of regular linseed oil. It has been heated and mixed with chemicals to speed up the drying process. It is often used as a sealant, providing a glossy finish that enhances the natural color and grain of the wood.
Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil that is derived from petroleum. It is often used as a food-safe finish for cutting boards and kitchen utensils. It is also commonly used as a lubricant for tools and machinery.
Walnut Oil: Walnut oil is derived from walnuts and is known for its rich, dark color. It is often used as a final coat to enhance the natural color of the wood and provide a smooth, glossy finish. It is also food-safe, making it a popular choice for kitchen utensils and cutting boards.
In conclusion, the different types of drying oils have their own unique properties and characteristics, making them suitable for different types of woodworking projects. Linseed oil and tung oil are popular choices due to their ability to enhance the natural color and grain of the wood, while boiled linseed oil and mineral oil are often used as sealants. Walnut oil is mostly used for its rich color, and it is food-safe. Always test the oil on a small area first, before applying it to the entire surface, and consider the final appearance, durability and intended use of the wood piece.