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Thickening Linseed Oil

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I've been having lots of issues thickening linseed oil. I just can't get the stuff to thicken!

 

I've left it in a glass jar, with full spectrum lights on it, bubbling with an aquarium bubbler for months and months, and it's just as thick as when I got it. I've tried tons of different brands of linseed oil. Now I'm using AllBack (the US product, which supposedly came from US flax plants).

 

I've also left a small coating in an aluminum tray which is supposed to expose more surface area to the air, but this hasn't thickened either.

 

Has anyone had any success thickening linseed oil? Is there a trick thickening it?

 

I read somewhere that some strange things have gone on with GMO linseed oil up in Canada. Maybe the problem is with this year's crop. Not sure.

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There are a bunch of topics on processing l/o here. Go to Roger Hargrove ( that's h a r g r a v e ) word isn't in tablet dictionary so it won`t let me type it. Go to Rogers bass building thread and he explains processing l/o. You want your oil washed and filtered,you do lose some volume so it may thicken a bit but thickening is not your main objective. Cleaning the oil speeds drying.

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I've been having lots of issues thickening linseed oil. I just can't get the stuff to thicken!

 

Why do you want to do that?

 

Some pretty reasonable varnishes can be made with 'regular' [washed] linseed oil.

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I've been having lots of issues thickening linseed oil. I just can't get the stuff to thicken!

 

I've left it in a glass jar, with full spectrum lights on it, bubbling with an aquarium bubbler for months and months, and it's just as thick as when I got it. I've tried tons of different brands of linseed oil. Now I'm using AllBack (the US product, which supposedly came from US flax plants).

 

I've also left a small coating in an aluminum tray which is supposed to expose more surface area to the air, but this hasn't thickened either.

 

Has anyone had any success thickening linseed oil? Is there a trick thickening it?

 

I read somewhere that some strange things have gone on with GMO linseed oil up in Canada. Maybe the problem is with this year's crop. Not sure.

 

Allbäck linseed oil is from Sweden

http://www.linoljeprodukter.se/

http://www.linoljeprodukter.se/international

 

Allbäck cold pressed linseed oil is great for making varnish.Linseed oil does not have to be thick but siccative. Varnish made with this oil dries even better if you pre-boil it in a double boiler for ~5 hours at 95 C. I'm using a Finnish brand but it is practically the same stuff.

 

post-37356-0-60093800-1455971480_thumb.jpg

 

What ever product you are using you need to find out the right ratio rosin/linseed oil for your ingredients. For what I'm using 50/50 (weight) is best.

 

http://www.thestradsound.com/varnish

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... 

I read somewhere that some strange things have gone on with GMO linseed oil up in Canada. Maybe the problem is with this year's crop. Not sure.

Hello?  :blink:  If you could supply me with that source I'd be really interested.

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May not have any input to the way most of us make varnish, but  text generally has it that "heat bodying" is first, "air bodying" follows when film forming.  Stand and thickened oil are mainly used in the printing industry or where they need to minimize bleeding of the print. Could be if you use UV, allow long time to film form, it might not make any difference.

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Hello?  :blink:  If you could supply me with that source I'd be really interested.

I can't give a source, but my understanding is that some flax is now bred to produce oil, for edible purposes, that does not go rancid and therefore does not dry. The market for drying linseed oil keeps shrinking, so the farmers follow the market. Another factor that has been mentioned, may or may not be true, is that rape (canola) is being grown alternately or in close proximity to flax and the two interpolinate and produce non-drying oil. I would think that growers who sell to paint companies would be careful, but the oil that appears in paint and hardware stores may not be carefully selected.

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I've read this and stand oil has been mentioned. Take it forms one who knows, stand oil is not what you want to use to make violin varnish. Unless you don't mind waiting a month and a half (not an exaggeration) for varnish to cure. That's if you add drivers. Stand oil varnish is pretty enough once dried, but who wants to wait a week for a coat of varnish to cure?

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Why do you want it to thicken?. ( it will happen naturally exposed to air and light).....Most authoritative painters books call  for best quality raw oil combined with  the required resins COLD ...these guys are VERY concerned with permanance

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I'd can't imagine rape and flax being able to cross. Maybe they're growing and milling them together, adulterating the linseed oil so that it can't dry, but even that makes no sense to me. 

 

Or could there unwanted herbicide resistant rape in the flax crop?

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Canola/rapeseed and flax do not cross.

There was one variety of GMO flax that has long been deregistered. The only reason it was deregistered was to appease the EU regarding imports. Nothing to do with safety.

Flax oil is healthy. Keep it refrigerated if you want to use it. I don't know of any new lines that are contentious...and I work at the University that does the flax research.

I can't see how herbicide resistant canola could possibly affect the drying time or thickening issues of linseed (flaxseed oil).

But yes...if there is an article you can direct me to...I would appreciate it.

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If a drying oil is contaminated with a non drying oil, it doesn't dry, or at least dries more slowly. Just a few drops in a pot of varnish can be enough to change the drying time dramatically. 

 

I imagine that rapeseed oil could be added to linseed oil to stop the bottle becoming gummy, which might be fine for food use, but disastrous for varnish making.

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I can't see how herbicide resistant canola could possibly affect the drying time or thickening issues of linseed (flaxseed oil).

 

Does this mean that when crops are rotated, vestiges of the previous crop are killed with herbicide? If so, is this a completely safe practice, or should consumers (and perhaps those who live near farms) beware?

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Herbicides (all pesticides, including fungicides, insecticides, etc.) break down.  How fast they break down depends on their chemical composition, the soil type, the temperature, the microorganisms in the soil, amount and type of water, etc.
 
If everyone used everything correctly, there would be very little cause for concern.  We tend to have issues due to misuse and mismanagement.  People are people.  So yes...there always are 'potential' issues.  Do we need to beware of potential residue issues?  Not in my opinion.  We are (in the big picture) farming more carefully, not less carefully.
 
Now...going back to agronomic practices, you wouldn't seed flax following canola.  It doesn't do well.  Canola uses a lot of nitrogen and water.  Flax is shallow rooted and needs nitrogen and water, so not a good rotation (despite fertilization).  In addition, canola negatively affects soil arbuscular mycorrhizae.  And flax does better when these organisms are present (helps the flax with nutrient uptake).

 

Finally, any flaxseed oil would be made from flax grown from different areas with potentially different (good or bad) cropping practices...and the resulting oil is a mix.  If one batch of seed had any kind of  issues, those issues would be diluted.  So you are taking a potentially miniscule issue...and making it even more miniscule.

 

We're a funny species...we are often more concerned with things such as a tiny possibility of a pesticide residue issue in our drying oil than we are with the huge issues of overeating in general, eating huge amounts of processed foods, consuming huge amounts of sugar, drinking alcohol, driving a car... ^_^

 

Now back to violin making...I don't understand why you would want to use a thick linseed oil to begin with.  And if you did, why not use stand oil like Don mentioned?  I know a little about it from my fine art classes...nothing about its use in varnishes...

 

In fact I think I still have a 30 year old gummed up bottle of the stuff in my studio...

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I've been having lots of issues thickening linseed oil. I just can't get the stuff to thicken!

 

I've left it in a glass jar, with full spectrum lights on it, bubbling with an aquarium bubbler for months and months, and it's just as thick as when I got it. I've tried tons of different brands of linseed oil. Now I'm using AllBack (the US product, which supposedly came from US flax plants).

 

I've also left a small coating in an aluminum tray which is supposed to expose more surface area to the air, but this hasn't thickened either.

 

Has anyone had any success thickening linseed oil? Is there a trick thickening it?

 

I read somewhere that some strange things have gone on with GMO linseed oil up in Canada. Maybe the problem is with this year's crop. Not sure.

 

What is missing in the very first post is any mention that a small drop of the oil Does/Does Not dry in the sun when left undisturbed to form a thin film on glass. 

 

Without this info it is impossible to say whether it is technique or material that is problematic.

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Why do you want to do that?

 

Some pretty reasonable varnishes can be made with 'regular' [washed] linseed oil.

Thickening the oil is one way of altering the basic viscosity of the varnish, without changing the formula or ingredients, should one desire to do so. It also will alter the flowing, or self-leveling properties of the varnish.

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Thickening the oil is one way of altering the basic viscosity of the varnish, without changing the formula or ingredients, should one desire to do so. It also will alter the flowing, or self-leveling properties of the varnish.

David,

I agree. Varnish is a complex material with only 3 components....so...every time you change one thing, everything else changes.

Joe

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There are lots of articles about this. Just google it and you'll find tons. It was a big problem up in Canada I guess:

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/renegade-genetically-modified-flax-seed-is-crippling-canadian-market.html

 

The CDC provided, I think, 3 types of flax seed that they want Canadians to use now that are non-GMO.

 

A couple people I've spoken to in the industry have said they can't get their linseed oil to thicken since this last flax seed harvest.

I've never had success getting linseed oil to thicken, this year or any year. Must be doing something wrong. Not sure what. Maybe when summer rolls around, I'll try putting it in trays in the sun.

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That article is from 2009.  And from a personal website.  I thought perhaps you had legitimate papers/references, which I remain very interested in.

 

My Googling didn't find any information regarding GMOs - or any flax varieties in connection with oil viscosity whatsoever. 

 

I suppose any number of factors could affect oil viscosity.  And probably none are nefarious. ^_^

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