Oiling the Frame | What a Difference!
Since before the timber frame was complete and raised, I had been looking high and low for a natural finish that would make the Douglas fir look its very best. I didn’t care to have a glossy polyurethane - what I really wanted was not a sealing finish, but wasn’t exactly sure WHAT I was looking for!
I discovered Heritage Natural Finishes out of Escalante, Utah. They make a natural oil that is specific to timber frames. It brings the pumpkin color right out of the doug fir while keeping it moist so that the members don't crack and check. We treated the exposed members on the porch with the same oil, but an exterior edition that protects the wood from the elements and from bugs.
The oil was a bit pricey, but as soon as we began applying it, we realized how we would benefit from our choice. Instead of reeking of plastics and petroleum, a pleasant citrus smell emerged from the sealed cans when we popped them open! The color of the fir completely transformed.
Do you think this ladder staging would be OSHA approved? ^^
The closest retailer selling the oil was located on the coast of Maine, so I ended up ordering it straight from Utah to save time. It is made in the United States and contains all-natural, non-toxic, low VOC, and non-ozone depleting ingredients. It is made without any petroleum products or heavy metal drying agents. All of these facts help me believe I made the right choice for our timber frame!
The following description is taken directly from eugenegreenstore.com, promoting Heritage Natural Finishes:
“Heritage Natural Finishes (formerly Land Ark Northwest) makes small batch, high quality finishes that are used extensively by fine craftsmen and DIY home owners. Their simple, but effective, plant based formulations are created using only naturally purified Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, pine rosin, bleached beeswax, and a solvent extracted from orange peels…
…The Linseed Oil penetrates deeply into wood, while Tung Oil adds hardness and durability. Both of these ingredients are so pure they are listed as food safe by the FDA. The beeswax is filtered, but unbleached and free of chemical additives. Besides adding visual depth to the grain, beeswax slows evaporation so that the oils have more time to sink into the wood. Heritage Natural uses only top-grade, crystal-free and water-white pine rosin that combines with the beeswax on the wood surface and fortifies the mixture. Orange oil is distilled from the peel that’s a by-product of industrial-juicing and is, perhaps, the safest solvent available today.”