Stupidly, I decided to polish this chest in a manner commonly employed in the mid-eighteenth-century, using linseed oil (and other natural substances widely available at the time). I say “stupidly” because at this time of the year – with high humidity and record-breaking low temperatures – only a complete buffoon would attempt such a schedule. Yours truly takes one step forward.
Spirit varnishes dry by evaporation which occurs with little drama in virtually any weather, however, linseed oil doesn’t actually dry, rather it ‘sets’ through chemical reaction which is largely dependent on appropriate temperature and humidity levels – neither of which were remotely ideal when I embarked on this process.
All the same, armed with a brush and a hot air gun (admittedly, an infrequently used tool in the mid-eighteenth-century), I applied the first coat of doctored oil to the chest.
Building the finish is a glacial process under these circumstances, but it is nonetheless improving by the day. Part Seven may be some days off though.