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Gerald Boggs

linseed oil

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Nothing special here. Just confirmed that my finish choices work, not that they're better, just that they work for me. What I did was take three pieces of simple jewelry and dip them in a linseed oil finish.

First one was heated and dipped in the 1-4 ratio and hung up to dry.

Second was room temperature, treated the same.

Third was dipped in unthinned linseed oil.

After a few minutes I wiped all the excess oil off and let them finish drying. The first one dried quickly, the second not so fast, but still within an hour. The third took about two-three hours. The difference in use comes down to a matter of tidiness, the hot dipped one, had no drips forming on the ends and had very little excess oil to wipe off. The second had some drips forming, but not much. The third had bigger drips and was quite a bit more tacky. Which is better?, it just a matter of how much wiping you find convenient. Now this was with simple shapes, easily wiped down. When I did it with a more complex shape, not so easy. Especially as I went back to work and the piece sat for over an hour. I ended up having to reheat it and wiping it down a second time.

The later is why I like to use clear paste wax on iron. I heat the iron up to the point where the wax is lightly smoking when applied and as it cools off, the finish is cured. I sometimes melt the wax, as this makes the finishing easier. There is one shortcoming on this, if the piece cools off too quickly, then the wax can turn white. Which is inconvenient, as then I have to reheat the iron. I find this happens most often on jewelry and on the ends of hooks and other bits with thin ends. There is some sort of “time under heat” for the finish to cure properly, but I don't know the parameters. For this reason, I'm thinking of switching to the thinned linseed oil for small simple pieces. Or I might say heck with it and start using a clear polyurethane finish.

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This is awesome info right here. @Gerald Boggs Thanks for taking your time to post this.

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You're welcome. remember this is just what I do, lots of other folks have good results with different approaches.

I think if you take anything from this, it's become familiar with what it is you using and how to use it. I'm a big fan of being able to say, even if only to yourself, why you do something or why you use something. 

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On 3/30/2019 at 2:52 PM, Daniel W said:

It is pretty sad that all iron work eventually falls to rust without care or some form of prevention unless we are talking about making things form 400 series stainless

I have a whole bunch of rusty 400 series stainless in the shop. So, don't count on that saving you either.

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@Gerald Boggscan you post some photos maybe?  Of each one it would be interesting to see the differences.

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I can, but since they've all been wiped and have dried, there isn't any difference. 

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On 4/9/2019 at 10:03 PM, Joshua States said:

I have a whole bunch of rusty 400 series stainless in the shop. So, don't count on that saving you either.

I have heard of this happening.  The guy who taught my flower making class was a pipe welder once upon a time, he swore to me that he had seen 400 series stainless rust.  I took his word for it but never seen it. 

However I have seen someone attempt to forge a 400 series stainless at my local club last year.  That was nothing but a mess.  Even at a very high heat, a bright yellow, the steel continued to crumble. 

Industrially, I have seen it forged from start to finish (or rolled).  Once upon a time the largest manufacture of Stainless steel was in the area and I got a plant tour.  Wow . . .

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