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Have you ever boiled your own raw flax oil?

 
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Location: San Sebastián Río Hondo Oaxaca Mexico
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hey guys so im building an earthen floor soon and im located in the mountains of Mexico. the ground where the house is located is beautiful rich red clay. The mix that was used for the walls and the comal (firestove) is the red clay, and dry pine needles. The house is incredibly strong. It helded up a 8.7 earthquake which happened really close by. It did so incredibly well that there is no cracking. Theres even a 300 year old rectangular adobe house which has no cracks. Anyways back to the original post, the we are currently living in the house and its just dirt floors with is incrdibly dusty and obviously not that comfortable.

My plan is to move our stuff upstairs once i finish the second floor and then start the bottom earthen floor. Im planning to dig down 1 foot or two and then add about 8 inches of gravel, vapor barrier, more gravel maybe sand and then adobe, plaster, finish, wax. I heard about buffing and i have no idea what is it. Please someone explain.

Im struggling on what brand on linseed oil to buy for sealong my walls and floor. I need something that will dry fast. I do not want the stuff with additives and metals. I need a company that will ship to Mexico. The house is a circle 6m diameter. how much linseed approximately do i need for a bunch of coats of the floor and outside walls? the walls are about 2.5m tall.

im planning on diluting with gum turps but im open to better more accessible options.

i read about people just mopping the floor with cow dung and eventually it becomes water resistant, shiny, and sanitary.

i read about using skim milk as a subsitute to cow dung also.
 
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That's a good question and a nice first post! My experiences with linseed oil tell me that it does not belong in the same sentence with the phrase, "fast drying." Though, I have yet to try using it on a floor. The chemicals they add to it to make it "boiled linseed oil" are added to make it faster drying, unfortunately. I'm sure someone with experience in this particular field will chime in.
 
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Old-fashioned boiled linseed oil was, as you'd expect, boiled. Rather, it was heated to a certain point and held there for a period of time to catalyse the polymerization ("hardening" or "drying") of the oil. What temp and how long are unknowns that you'll have to research.

Nowadays, as Jordan says, BLO is full of chemical hardeners that act as catalysts. Unfortunately there is some dispute as to how healthy those things are.

You can use raw linseed oil which will polymerize just fine but it'll take much longer. You can also use tung oil if that is more readily available - I find it dries faster, on wood at least.

If you do make your own BLO, please post details as I might follow you one day!
 
Cooper Watling
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Luke Mitchell wrote:Old-fashioned boiled linseed oil was, as you'd expect, boiled. Rather, it was heated to a certain point and held there for a period of time to catalyse the polymerization ("hardening" or "drying") of the oil. What temp and how long are unknowns that you'll have to research.

Nowadays, as Jordan says, BLO is full of chemical hardeners that act as catalysts. Unfortunately there is some dispute as to how healthy those things are.

You can use raw linseed oil which will polymerize just fine but it'll take much longer. You can also use tung oil if that is more readily available - I find it dries faster, on wood at least.

If you do make your own BLO, please post details as I might follow you one day!



Well I also heard it’s drangerous to boil the linseed-oil.

I only have access to real fires and not electric stoves.
Have you personally used tung oil on Adobe? Or has anyone else here?
 
Luke Mitchell
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I've not used tung oil on anything other than wood so I'm afraid I cannot contribute to that conversation directly. It is often cited as being "the other" polymerising oil that is commonly used in woodwork though and I am under the impression that the properties are similar. You could try obtaining a small quantity and trying it yourself. It would be an interesting contribution to the community.

As for making your own BLO, all I can find on the matter is a snippet from Wikipedia. It suggests that the oil was boiled with lead, an alkaline, to promote a reaction with atmospheric oxygen. I wouldn't want to replicate that though as lead is unpleasant stuff. It does add, perhaps more helpfully, that "heating shortens the drying time". Another trial to run, and perhaps one that I will attempt in the coming years, is to heat raw linseed oil under different conditions and see how this speeds up the polymerisation. How I'll measure that aspect I'm not sure.
 
Cooper Watling
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Hry guys so im really excited about finishing my walls and esrthen floor with BLO.

Update: I found a video on youtube of a guy demonstrating how to polymerize your own raw flax oil. So i bought the probe thermometer and am ready for the experiment. I need to heat the oil up to 460 degrees F.

Once i finish the experiment i will updste the results. Im surprised that there is not more info regarding this topic. Do you guys just buy the polymerized stuff ?
 
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I have had reasonably good results using the "salt and sand" method described at Refining Linseed Oil without boiling. I started with food-grade flaxseed oil to be sure there were no toxic heavy metal additives. After filtering, I let it stand in an airtight container for a couple weeks. When applied as a thin layer (with excess wiped off), it was dry to the touch within 24 hours. However, I was using it on unfinished wood, not on an earthen floor.
 
Jordan Holland
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A quick search revealed the flash point of linseed oil is 230F. The auto-ignition point is 649F. It also releases a toxic gas that is a powerful eye irritant. Be very careful, especially with an open flame. I would fully plan for it to catch fire, and have a solid plan in place to deal with it if it does.
 
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