Boiled linseed oil has metallic dryers in it to make it cure to a hard finish. Raw linseed oil (aka flax seed oil) doesn't. The old way was to boil it to get it to cure. These days they use metallic dryers instead.
I prefer pure Tung oil to the boiled linseed oil. BLO will yellow more with time. Tung oil is more work . The cure time can be two or three times longer than BLO. Many use linseed oil rather than take the extra time. But Tung oil is more water resistant than BLO and is longer lasting between refinishing.
As I've said before, I use equal parts of BLO, spar varnish and turp./min. spirits. This avoids the issues with either oil. It speeds drying time, makes it much more moisture resistant and adds UV protection.
Edit: It is still applied in the same manner as an oil.
Boiled linseed oil in answer to your question. Raw linseed oil would take forever to dry. In fact I have never seen any raw linseed oil around here, in NW Indiana.
I use BLO plain or mixed with different oil based stains to achieve different hues. As a rule I don't normally leave the BLO as the finish. Most of my work gets 2-3 coats of satin spar polyurethane as the final finish. I like the light sheen and protection afforded by the spar poly.
Several on here swear by Tung or Danish oils and they are excellent products, though when choosing one I would caution you to thoroughly read the label as some are misleading. Products that are labeled "Tung Oil Finish" and do not have the words pure tung oil on the can, eg: Formby's Tung Oil Finish, are pretty much the mix that LilysDad uses with BLO as the base. Danish Oil can be made either with tung oil or BLO and it too is mixed with varnish. The WATCO brand that is prevalent here in the States has BLO as it's base. So be sure to read the label when purchasing to get what U are paying for. Any of the products will make for a fine finish. All the stickmakers on here I'm sure have tried several till they hit on their favorite. There is no wrong way to finish, have fun with it.
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