View Full Version : Soya oil: forms and uses?

James Carmichael
06-07-2005, 6:48 PM
Per Jim Becker's suggestion awhile back, I used a soya-based long oil spar varnish (McCloskey Man O' War) to finish an english longbow and was quite pleased with the result. I doubt if the bow will see much outdoor action, but it's sure ready.

Now I'm curious about soya oil. Is it available and usable in a raw or slightly refined form, like raw linseed oil or BLO? If so, would it be a feasible substitute for linseed oil, say, for finishing a workbench top without all of the darkening that occurs with linseed oil?

I've searched and can't find out much about Soya oil, other than as a nutritional supplement or a varnish base.

Joe Mioux
06-07-2005, 8:30 PM
I used to work for the American Soybean Association and the Land of Lincoln Soybean assn back in the '80's and I never heard of unrefined soybean oil being used in the way you are intending.

The soybean is truly a remarkable oilseed and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of uses for it. You might want to check out Archer Daniels Midland website. It probably has a lot of info on soybean uses and products.


Jim Becker
06-07-2005, 9:49 PM
As far as I know, it's not something you'll find on the shelf as a finish by itself. Remember, it's only a raw ingredient in the finish. The heating and other things they do to make the product changes the oil into something entirely different...even BLO in a varnish is no longer "BLO". It just happens that it is both available and has the ability to cure, either naturally, with metalic dryers or by polymerization processes before it goes in the can.

Bill Arnold
06-09-2005, 8:58 AM

Varathane uses soya oil in their stains to reproduce colors more accurately. I can find no evidence that they have a topcoat with simular formulation.

M.L. Campbell has a variety of finish products formulated to reduce or eliminate yellowing. I'm planning to use MagnaMax (pre-cat) on a current project due to its durability and quick build. If you prefer a water-borne product, UltraStar sounds like a good choice.