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How do I figure out if an oil is good for treating wood or clay floors?

 
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I have several types of local (central African) tree nuts available with high oil content. How do I figure out if they would work well for treating wood or a clay floor? I can also source beeswax locally to mix in if necessary.
 
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I really don't know much about this, but linseed oil is special and different from other oils for this purpose because it oxydises and polymerises, as I understand it, and creates a non-sticky coating, unlike other oils.
 
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Search for "Drying oils" which Rebecca briefly explained and how they differ from lets say cooking oils. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil.
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Gerry Parent wrote:Search for "Drying oils" which Rebecca briefly explained and how they differ from lets say cooking oils. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil.



Right, but walnut oil is also a good cooking oil, so that's not really a test... What's a simply experiment I could do to see if a given oil "dries" or polymerizes. Or perhaps, more precisely: what are tell-tale signs that a given oil is NOT going to work?

I know all the oils that people commonly used, like linseed, but I'm trying to figure out if any of my local oils could also work, like balanites aegyptiaca or Shea. Because none of the others are available here

Thanks!
 
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If you have the time, a small experiment like you mentioned could give you some results to work with.

Take several pieces of the wood you plan to use for flooring, and make a small batch of the clay you plan to use as well. Set them out in a clean dry place, imagining they are your installed flooring, and label them as to what oil they will be treated with.

Process your chosen nuts to get the oil and keep them separate and labeled as well to avoid confusion.

From there just treat the materials as planned and give things time to cure between coats and afterwards. I would think that you could then test each piece by touching/scraping/getting wet, etc. to see what works and what does not.

Might take some time but then you can rest assured that you gave your best effort in an attempt to find the best choice. During that time you can always continue online research as well.

Hope that helps, I have zero experience in this topic but taking a scientific approach to things can help weed out some questions if you give it a whirl.
 
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