[Strawbale] earthen floor sealer in Haiti ( GSBN Digest, Vol 35, Issue 15)

Juliane Derry julianederry at hotmail...
Mon Mar 21 11:16:21 CET 2011

Just wanted to make sure you are aware of the difference between linseed oil, and flaxseed oil. 
Flaxseed oil is edible, while oil marked linseed oil is usually not food grade. Also, there is a difference between
raw linseed oil and boiled linseed oil. "Boiled linseed oil" is no longer actually boiled, but has added
chemicals/dryers which make it dry quicker, and if reapplied and buffed, form somewhat of a film finish.  
 you don't want to use thinners which emit VOCs, then don't thin your 
oil. If you apply thin layers it will soak up and dry....eventually. 
 about the oil being food for critters; it polymerizes and at that time 
it is no longer wanted as food...especially not when 
its bound to an earthen floor :)
When it comes to the linseed oil staying tacky without exposure to warmth or sunshine: it is true that the 
temp matters, it needs to be room temp. But, you also have to make sure that you wipe off excess oil, 
or pooling. If you soak a surface, come back after an hour and rub the excess off. Then, the next day, if you rub
with a more abrasive cloth, it should not have that problem. I'm guessing you could do this with a buffer pad/floor shiner
on the large floor surface. 
We use linseed oil for many things here in Norway, and unlike my Canadian "weather-brother", I would recommend
using linseed oil, as I have seen beautiful results!

Juliane Derry
Furniture Restorer and Conservator
Oslo, Norway

> To: gsbn at greenbuilder...
> Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 12:58:34 -0400
> From: ArchiLogic at yahoo...
> CC: sb-r-us at yahoogroups...; strawbale at amper....muni.cz
> Subject: Re: [Strawbale] earthen floor sealer in Haiti ( GSBN Digest, Vol 35,	Issue 15)
> On Fri, 18 Mar 2011 13:00:03 -0400, <gsbn-request at greenbuilder...> wrote:
> > From: Bruce King
> [snipped]
> > If you're going to use multiple coats of (linseed) oil on the floor,  
> > don't you
> > want the FIRST coat to be thinned, and therefore penetrate better, and
> > then progressively thin subsequent coats less and less?
> >
> > Also:  am I the only one who is uncomfortable about the idea of using
> > edible oils (i.e., food) in construction?  My discomfort is partly
> > because that oil is food to all sorts of critters, but also because
> > one way or another you are, by using it, sort of removing it from a
> > hungry person's mouth.
> >
> > Bruce "Big Mouth" King
> (For full text of this message and its thread, see:
>       http://greenbuilder.com/pipermail/gsbn/2011q1/001360.html )
> Well Mouthy, I too am uncomfortable, but that discomfort is more about  
> using linseed oil for an interior application and an even greater  
> discomfort about using VOC-emitting solvent thinners (up to 75%/unit  
> volume)to partially saturate a large volume of material inside of the  
> house interior ... than I am about you and the EBN Haiti-gang competing  
> for the tablespoon of ground flax seed I put into my oatmeal most mornings.
> My experience with linseed oil as a "sealer" is limited to its use with  
> wood but since we're talking about the polymerisation of linseed oil, that  
> polymerisation process shouldn't be any different when the oil is applied  
> to earthen mixes, timbers or swine.
> That being said, I would be very hesitant to use linseed oil (if the  
> intent is for the oil to change from liquid state to a dry, semi-solid  
> state) if the material to which it is applied cannot be exposed to full  
> summer sun (ie good long stretches of heat ) and abundant breezes (ie good  
> air circulation ) until the polymerisation process has been fully carried  
> out (ie typically a summer day here in MooseLand, where it is only in  
> summer where there are a good 6-8 hrs of hot-enough sun in a day).
> I've found that without those conditions at the time of application, the  
> linseed does not dry/harden properly and never does -- remaining tacky  
> forever (ie a crud magnet, that crud eventually becoming fodder for black  
> mould)  and bleeding into/onto anything that comes into contact with the  
> oil-treated material.
> OTOH, when the oil is subjected to sufficient heat/air circulation, the  
> oil dries and hardens to yield something that is not unlike a polyurethane  
> finish. I like to use linseed oil for pre-treating timbers (after all the  
> joinery/surfacing is done) outdoors before they are installed and for  
> wooden garden tool
> handles.
> My guess is that with enough Googling, one could dig up a scholarly  
> document that talks about the precise temperatures, exposure times and  
> amounts of oxygen required for desired oxidation/polymerisation  
> rates/levels of linseed oil but "one" is not going to be me.
> I don't know nuttin' about nuttin' about making earthen floors (I rely  
> upon Beel Steen for expertise in that) but I couldn't help but wonder if  
> agar-agar would be a viable alternative to linseed oil and animal blood as  
> an earthen floor stabiliser/sealer in Haiti where I'm guessing that  
> seaweed might be an abundant natural resource that is easily harvested ?
> -- 
> === * ===
> Rob Tom
> Kanata, Ontario, Canada
> < A r c h i L o g i c  at  Y a h o o  dot  c a >
> manually winnow the chaff from my edress if you hit "reply"
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