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Thread: What oil finish?

  1. #1

    Default What oil finish?

    I purchased a rough cut semi inletted stock blank from Richards Rifle Stocks in Kalifornee!

    This stock was purchased to replace the butt ugly synthetic stock on my Ruger 77/17 HMR! The finish inletting is done and now its time to make it purdy. I don't want a shinny finish but rather a dull oil finish. What would you guys recommend to use to accomplish this? Would Linseed oil accomplish what I'm after? Would it seal the wood and keep the elements out?

  2. #2

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    You know, I've been finishing stocks with boiled linseed oil and its variants such as Tru Oil for a little over 40 years and know the finish really well. I thought it was my favorite till I started messing around in the world of muzzleloaders. Over on that side of the game lots of folks use tung oil finish like you can get at your local hardware store in the paint section. It usually comes in glossy or matte varieties. After using it a few times I'm NEVER going to use anything else. It finished much harder than any linseed oil finish, and it's sure a bunch easier to get a dull finish with. I think you'll like it a lot.

    I'm not aware of any makers of conventional arms using it, but that is likely pure ignorance on my part. But anyone I know who has tried it comes away smiling.

  3. #3

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    I stripped a couple of stocks of their eurathane finishes and treated one with watco and a nother with a danish. I liked the way they turned out. bottom line the more oil and coats of oil you put on... the shineyr (is that a word) yer finish will be. Wood is beautiful, but the better care you take of it the less better it is for hunting

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    I recently finished re-finishing a couple of stocks with boiled linseed oil, although I personally prefer as shiny (glossy) of a finish as possible. To achieve this with an oil finish is not as easy as one would think, however a low gloss, or dull finish is quite easy to achieve and basically boils down to the final “smoothness” and porosity of the wood. I would suggest finishing up with 320 grit and three good coats of the boiled linseed oil. I let it soak in for about 30 minutes and then wipe dry with paper towels, let dry for a few days and then hit it again. Be sure not too leave any accumulation of liquid linseed oil on the wood lest it get “gummy”.

    Now that BrownBear has got my attention with the tung oil, I am wondering if it can be applied over an existing linseed oil finish to add gloss? How about it BrownBear?

    Anyhow elmerkeithclone, best of luck to you, and the beauty of oil finish is that it can be touched up quite easily and can be done at a minimum of expense. I think I have had the same can of boiled linseed oil for nearly 12 years now, and it also works great as a rust preventative on steel implements like shovels and spades also.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Default A safety tip about boiled linseed oil

    I've never experimented with it to see if it works but; they say that if you have a pile of rags soaked in boiled linseed oil they can spontaneously combust.

    It would be a bummer to be refinishing a stock and lose your house.

    Anybody "in the know" care to clarify this one?


    P.S. I've also used Boiled Linseed Oil to refinish a stock and it would always get to a point where the wood wouldn't want to absorb any more (it would gum up on the surface), but it never seemed to get really shiny.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathray7 View Post
    I've never experimented with it to see if it works but; they say that if you have a pile of rags soaked in boiled linseed oil they can spontaneously combust.

    It would be a bummer to be refinishing a stock and lose your house.

    Anybody "in the know" care to clarify this one?


    P.S. I've also used Boiled Linseed Oil to refinish a stock and it would always get to a point where the wood wouldn't want to absorb any more (it would gum up on the surface), but it never seemed to get really shiny.
    It's true! I had been working over a bunch of leather with Neatsfoot oil and when I was done tossed the rag back in the coffee can I was using. I set the open can in the cabinet on the top shelf and cleaned up my mess. Sat down to visit with my girl friend and it was less than twenty minutes when I smelled the smoke. When I got the can out, it was smoking and hot to the touch. 45 years ago and I never made that mistake again.

    There are many formulas on the net for the "do it yourself" oil finish. The first consideration is always, how does it protect the wood, how does it stand up to the weather, and how easy will it be to touch up when needed?

    I think I've messed with more than just a few as a gunsmith. I keep coming back to varnish. I do it as a French polish. Some of the stocks are on 1,000 dollar plus blanks. I no longer consider any thing else but the best of the long spar varnishes for gun stocks. Each his own, you want oil? Go for it.

    http://www.dalyspaint.com/store/index.php?

    I use Pro Fin, I have vary good luck with it. I wet sand the wood with it to fill. The finish is as far into the wood as it will allow it's self to go. I do this until all the grain is filled and then I start the finish. It's the fastest way I have ever been able to get a good finish on and have the best look and durability. It still takes six to eight weeks. I have not had one complaint using this finish on anybody's wood.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7

    Default tung oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I recently finished re-finishing a couple of stocks with boiled linseed oil, although I personally prefer as shiny (glossy) of a finish as possible. To achieve this with an oil finish is not as easy as one would think, however a low gloss, or dull finish is quite easy to achieve and basically boils down to the final “smoothness” and porosity of the wood. I would suggest finishing up with 320 grit and three good coats of the boiled linseed oil. I let it soak in for about 30 minutes and then wipe dry with paper towels, let dry for a few days and then hit it again. Be sure not too leave any accumulation of liquid linseed oil on the wood lest it get “gummy”.

    Now that BrownBear has got my attention with the tung oil, I am wondering if it can be applied over an existing linseed oil finish to add gloss? How about it BrownBear?

    Anyhow elmerkeithclone, best of luck to you, and the beauty of oil finish is that it can be touched up quite easily and can be done at a minimum of expense. I think I have had the same can of boiled linseed oil for nearly 12 years now, and it also works great as a rust preventative on steel implements like shovels and spades also.

    I haven't tried tung over the top of linseed oil, so I don't know. I've redone several stocks with it, but always stripped off the linseed first. It wouldn't hurt to try a small patch on your stock, provided you were planning to strip it anyway if it didn't work out.

    The trick with tung is to keep coats thin. Otherwise it takes forever to dry. For an initial fill coat, add it liberally, then wipe off the excess after a few minutes and allow to dry in a warm place till it's hard. If you don't wipe it well and there are thicker places, it can take a long time to dry. After it's dry, then put on thin coats- I usually put a drop or two on a finger then spread it as far as I can by hand. Just make sure it's dry before adding the next coat, or it will stay tacky for way too long.

    Keep adding coats till you get the fill and gloss or matte you want.

  8. #8

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    Tung oil is a great wood finish, but it gets shiney the more you apply it. Maybe you can get a satin variety. Watco oil is also an excellent wood finish and you can get it different colors or tones from clear to dark walnut.

    I have a S&W M1500 with a very high grade walnut stock. It was urethaned at one time but that was too shiney for hunting so i stripped it. Then I rubbed on about 2 coats of a *danish oil* (can't remember the product name) in a medium walnut color and it has a dull satin finish and really brings the wood grain out. I think it looks great and no shine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    Tung oil is a great wood finish, but it gets shiney the more you apply it. Maybe you can get a satin variety. Watco oil is also an excellent wood finish and you can get it different colors or tones from clear to dark walnut.

    I have a S&W M1500 with a very high grade walnut stock. It was urethaned at one time but that was too shiney for hunting so i stripped it. Then I rubbed on about 2 coats of a *danish oil* (can't remember the product name) in a medium walnut color and it has a dull satin finish and really brings the wood grain out. I think it looks great and no shine.
    The easy way to dull a finish is with cutting oil and rotten stone. Remember that any abrasive will dull a shinny finish.

    It just depends on how fast you want to dull the finish and to what degree.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default stripper for urethane?

    I got a rifle with a heavy coat of urethane that checked badly when someone who owned it before me apparently took it from a warm to cold place very quickly - it looks like the finish contracked before the wood under it did.

    Anyway- I need to get the old finish off so I can refinish it. What is the best stripper for urethane and similar finishes?


    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    I have a S&W M1500 with a very high grade walnut stock. It was urethaned at one time but that was too shiney for hunting so i stripped it. Then I rubbed on about 2 coats of a *danish oil* (can't remember the product name) in a medium walnut color and it has a dull satin finish and really brings the wood grain out. I think it looks great and no shine.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I got a rifle with a heavy coat of urethane that checked badly when someone who owned it before me apparently took it from a warm to cold place very quickly - it looks like the finish contracked before the wood under it did.

    Anyway- I need to get the old finish off so I can refinish it. What is the best stripper for urethane and similar finishes?
    It was about 25 yrs ago when I stripped that stock. there were a couple of products to choose from and fairly easy to use. I just brushed it on, let it sit, then wiped/scraped it off. I applied it again and used steel wool to finish the process. I dont remember the product name, but if you check with your local paint or hardware store, they should have some good options for you. The whole stripping process took less than an hour and I soon had the first coat of oil on.

  12. #12

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    Formbys tung oil finish has worked well for me. Have done several stocks and the finish has held up well use satin finish for a none glossy look . Be sure to fill grain before appling the tung oil.

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    Default Super Deck

    I have an old 12 gauge that is just kind of my beat around gun. When I got it it had a hideous dark stain w/flaking varnish stock finish. I stripped it all down and ended up putting a Danish oil finish on it; after about a year I decided it was not holding up the way I wanted.

    At this time I was in a remote location building a cabin and had just finished laying a deck and sealing it with Superdeck transparent stain and sealer. This stuff contains both linseed and tung oils so I thought "what the hell" and decided to refinish the stock with this stuff. I lightly sanded the stock back down with 240g and saturated the warmed wood. I waited ~15min and rubbed all of the oil off the wood I could, let the thing sit in a warm place overnight and then repeated the process. A year later the thing was still working well but looking dry so I saturated a rag and rubbed it all down again. The stock looks nice, is dead tough and will bead water but has nice grip and is not shiny.

    I have since used this deck finish on a number of other outdoor wood projects and have been very happy. The oil really penetrates and seals the wood while bringing out the grain. If you don't want it shiny just spend a little time rubbing down the finish and it develops a nice matte look. I will end up using this on any stock work I do in the future until I find something better.

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    Default

    EKC:
    I re-did a stock myself, not too long ago. I used a product called "LIN-SPEED".

    The lid says it's 'boiled linseed oil, & petroleum thinner.

    I liked the finished product, even if I did do it myself.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I got a rifle with a heavy coat of urethane that checked badly when someone who owned it before me apparently took it from a warm to cold place very quickly - it looks like the finish contracked before the wood under it did.

    Anyway- I need to get the old finish off so I can refinish it. What is the best stripper for urethane and similar finishes?
    I like Zip-Strip. It'll take most finishes off with little effort and it doesn't hurt the wood underneath. It's a gel that you brush on and let sit until it bubbles up and blisters and then you scrape it off with a putty knife, plastic card edge or a very coarse scotch-brite pad. It may take a couple of applications to get completely off, but it's much better than scratching for hours on end with sand paper. You can save your sand paper and time for touching up the wood where it needs it.

    I redone the stocks on a couple of our department shotguns that had been beaten all to hell. I refinished them with boiled linseed oil which didn't turn out bad at all for my first project. One turned out to be a satiny reddish walnut color when finished. The other being a birch laminate with a painted on walnut color turned out blonde like an AK-47 stock with nice detail in the woodgrain.

    The next time I'll try tung oil especially if it's a cheap hardwood like the birch laminate where I can choose the color.
    Now what ?

  16. #16

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    Hey Elmer, did you ever figure this out???

  17. #17

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    I was mostly concerned about a finish that would stand up to the elements. So I took a piece of walnut 2x2 and gave it 6 coats of boiled linseed oil. I let each coat dry before I applied another coat. I then dropped it in a bucket of water with a brick on it to keep it submerged over night. Then I cut the 2x2 in half to expose the wood under the linseed oil and it was bone dry. So I put 6 coats of boiled linseed oil on the stock. It doesn't look half bad either!

  18. #18

    Thumbs up

    Sounds like it should work great. Cool deal.

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