Why we chose Hemp Seed Oil.
The team at Caledonian Axe Co. is concerned with the environmental and social impact that we have on the planet, so we decided to get serious about our research and look for the most environmentally friendly and socially responsible wood oil finish that we could find in today's modern world. We really wanted to give our fellow axe users a quality finishing product that was easy to use, non-toxic, environmentally safe (minimal effect on our rivers, lakes and oceans as well as safe for children), and offered worldwide sustainability, yet was affordable too. We asked around to find out about a few new products and were excited to try the recommended and novel (for us) oils like Hemp. But after researching and using various products and oils from Danish Oil, to Tung, to Teak, to Hemp to Orange Oil to Linseed; the decision was easy. Hemp Seed Oil was the clear winner, for a number of reasons. All of them good.
Environmentally speaking, when we looked at the available natural oils, we were blown away by the qualities of Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed Oil is completely non-toxic, can be grown in almost any part of the world (without the need for large amounts of pesticides or any herbicides), is one of the fastest growing plants known to man, is food-safe, cleans up with soap and water, provides a smooth hard finish, no harsh fumes, darkens the wood while enhancing the grain patterns nicely, and there is no issue with getting it on your hands or skin, nor are there any known respiratory effects associated with this product. Hemp can be grown for food, clothing or for oil, including fuel. It's antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties even help to prevent mould.
Tung and Teak oils are wonderful too, but we don't grow Tung Trees (to harvest the nut for processing the oil) here in the EU, nor do we grow the hardwood known as Teak, therefore these oils (while excellent products) must be imported (from Asia/China) which greatly impacts the carbon footprint of these oils. We needed something closer to home. Also, these oils, when all natural, are considered non-toxic but you have to check your product packaging wisely as solvents and other chemicals are usually mixed with the Tung or Teak Oils to help then cure and dry faster.
Raw Linseed Oil (from Flax), left as just natural, has the same qualities that raw Hemp Seed Oil has: it takes forever to dry properly. But unlike Boiled Linseed Oil - which is not really just boiled but has added toxic chemical solvents to help the oil dry and cure properly when applied to wood - Hemp Seed Oil only has to be put through an oxidization process to be able to harden when cured. Again, Hemp was the winner where the environment is concerned.
Wanting to share this ecologically responsible and very environmentally friendly and safe maintenance oil with other axe users, we have made this 100% all Natural Hemp Seed Oil wood finish available to the general public in handy 50ml bottles. And because it is not considered a dangerous good - our Wood Oil can be shipped anywhere in the world without special packaging or specific arrangements.
Just remember - it's not a fresh & flavourful hemp seed oil like that meant for cooking or salad dressings - but it is food safe.
Plus don't forget, we still offer a standard finish too with a traditional mix of oil, various solvents and even some varnish properties (not unlike Danish Oil). So no matter your preference, whether a traditional oiled finish or an all natural oil, you know that the Caledonian Axe Co. has your axe maintenance covered.