2019 Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 7: Allback Linseed Oil Wax Finish

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When we need a simple and non-toxic finish, we reach for Allback, a combination of organic linseed oil and beeswax that is great for many woodworking projects. It’s great for chairs, small cabinets and turned objects. It’s not so great for stuff that sees heavy abuse (kitchen tables, for example).

The finish has the consistency of peanut butter. Apply it to raw wood with a grey 3M pad and rub it into the wood until only a thin film remains. After about 30 minutes, wipe off the excess with a clean cotton rag. It will have a low sheen but a nice, soft feel.

I usually wait a few days (if I can) and then apply a second coat. It will take a little longer to dry, but it will provide a little more sheen and protection.

Yes, you can apply it over film finishes, but it’s not as nice. A finish that has sealed up the wood (such as varnish, shellac or lacquer) will stop the oil in the Allback from curing quickly. In these cases, a soft wax is better as a topcoat because it doesn’t have any linseed oil.

One of the things I really like about it is how easy it is to renew or repair. If the finish gets scuffed or aged, you can wipe a quick coat of Allback on the piece and it is back to new.

Get a small amount of it to try – that will answer all of your questions about it. Then you can decide if it’s a good finish for your shop. (Also, ignore the odd photo on the ordering page. Really – Allback is great stuff.)

— Christopher Schwarz

Disclaimer: We buy all of our tools. We don’t accept advertising or sponsorships. We are not part of any affiliate program. We don’t make any money if you buy these items. We just like these tools.

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8 Responses to 2019 Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 7: Allback Linseed Oil Wax Finish

  1. Mattias Hallin says:

    I shall have to make a visit Allbäck next time I’m back home in Sweden – they’re in Ystad, which is only some 40 miles or so from where I’m from … I’ve seen their products mentioned before, and always in very positive terms.

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  2. eahiggins121 says:

    Yikes! Thanks for the warning about the ordering page to which your article links. The photo triggered a horrified guffaw. Upon reflection, however, I must confess that some projects in my distant past may have resembled that humble sample too closely for comfort.

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  3. tom rathbun says:

    I thought $19.00 for a liter was a good deal. They don’t add shipping until after you click buy. In my case it was $40.00 shipping. I think I’ll find another product

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  4. Neil Greene says:

    Does it carry a warning about spontaneous combustion like linseed oil in other forms does??

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  5. Lex says:

    I haven’t used the Allback, but it sounds somewhat similar to Tried & True’s original formula which I love (also use their varnish linseed oil). That has a consistency more of honey than peanut butter so i’m guessing the proportions of wax to linseed oil are a bit different. I’ve heard complaints about T&T but have never had anything but really good results. Like the Allback, it either needs to be put on with an incredibly thin coat or rubbed in. I like to put it on and rub it in, let it sit 30 minutes, rub it in again to get the excess off and leave it to cure overnight.

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  6. Sam says:

    In the past I’ve purchased Allback materials from a place in New York, just in case people are looking for another importer: https://www.solventfreepaint.com/

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