“Oleum addere camino” – so in Latin the phrase sounds: “I decided to add oil to the fireplace or fire” and we will talk about Wood Treatment Oil. Today, this Latin aphorism denotes the heating of passions around the theme of folk methods of processing wooden products, and we will not speak at all about burning oil, but about using it to protect wood. Modern technologies for building materials have led to the fact that less and less wood is used in the construction of housing. Furniture, and that is made of extruded waste. But our case is completely different! We build a bath of natural wood. And to protect the wood from rotting can be natural oils.
Perhaps for some it will be a discovery, but we use natural oils for a long time, they just have more technological names: linseed oil, desiccant, etc. The basis of these coatings contains natural oils. So it was before. Today synthetic paints and impregnations are becoming increasingly popular. But in the bath – where everything is natural, I want unity with nature. Simply put: our bare ass is nicer to plant on the board treated with husks from seeds, not the product of the sublimation of oil and fuel oil. Fans of naturalism can read further, and supporters of the synthesis of molecular hydrogen-containing compounds and distillation columns can rest.
Choosing oil for wood processing
Immediately I will announce the main difference between wood oil and all kinds of paint impregnation: the oils are absorbed, and the paints create surface films. That is why lovers of hunting knives handles soak for days, and do not cover them with varnishes, which dry for 5 minutes. Any varnish in conditions of intensive use of a wooden surface will quickly peel. But the oil, deeply penetrated into the structure of wood fibers, polymerizes, becomes solid and reliably preserves the woodwork.
Methods of oil treatment: repeated application to the surface and a one-time long immersion for percolation.
I’ll make a reservation right away: don’t wait for any saturated color to be obtained from oil treatment of wood. Although a slight manifestation of the structure you get necessarily. The texture of the wood will be clearly visible and underlined. This is guaranteed by the different density of wooden parts in the area of knots that have different hydrophilicity – they interact with water in different ways (they are wetted). In any case, before applying the oil, it is necessary to double the blueness and bleach the wood. Repeated wetting and drying of the tree with water subsequently leads to cracking. Oil infiltration prevents water from entering the wood. Treated oil becomes hydrophobic – repels water from the surface.
The main disadvantage of natural wood preservative oils is their very slow polymerization (drying). Remaining in the open air, under the action of oxygen molecules and temperatures, the oil first thickens, and then polymerizes in the surface thin layer. All vegetable oils behave this way. Their composition is dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acids – linoleic and linolenic. They stretch the oil drying process. Flax and hemp are the champions in this regard. Sunflower seed oil – contains less polyunsaturated fatty acids – dries faster
It is best to use oil for the protection and processing of the wood of the arms of knives, kitchen chopping boards, wooden utensils and, of course, the regiments in the bath (with some reservations). Be prepared for the fact that the complete drying of oiled wood products will last a few weeks!
In industry, driers are added to the oil to accelerate polymerization (drying). Such a product has a different name – a polyester, which dries from 5 to 20 hours.
Vegetable oil in its natural form, even with a high content of linolenic acid, is oxidized extremely slowly. To reduce the drying time, the oil is subjected to heat treatment with the addition of metal compounds (siccativa) to its composition. When heated in oil, substances that slow down the hardening decompose, and metal salts provide a more rapid oxidation.
Folk methods of fixing (accelerating drying) of oil:
- Independently buy a desiccant in a store with paints for artists and mix with oil.
- Heat oil when rubbing into wood. In the steam room, the shelves are heated by the stove of a bathhouse stove.
- Dilution of oil with turpentine accelerates drying, but the procedure is not pleasant.
Some online publications write about dissolving wax in oil and getting super resistant coatings. Indeed, coatings are reliable and natural, but, alas, they are not durable. Requires update. The solubility of wax is a moot point. But to get a fine emulsion can be obtained. I already wrote about such methods of treatment in the article Wood protection with folk remedies
Literally today, I updated the cover with a regiment of the steam room sauna Neomid 100 oil baths. After operating from December 2013 to October 2014, the shelves of the first low level were contaminated. Washed with soapy water with a cloth, dried and again rubbed with oil for the sauna. Not to say that the board has become much brighter, but the dark spots have easily disappeared. The top shelves of the steam rooms are lighter because I covered them with a sheet. Therefore, I will not speak about the miraculous properties of the oil.