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Old 12-04-2009, 09:29 PM   #1
Grey Ghost
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Default [Gun]Antique stock finish BC Tru-Oil ?

I have an Italian repro 1842, Springfield, .69 smooth bore. It was finished with a poly top coat. I'm wanting it to be a bit more authentic in color and finish. I have recv. a method from an old gunsmith for a quick and cheap way to simulate the original linseed oil finish as on originals. He recommends Laurel Mtn. Stock Finisher as the "hard oil" process. Has anyone here used Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, along with their stock sheen conditioner ? Its just a matter of $. All the liquids = $50.00 for his method. The BC stuff is half the price. The originals were made from American Black Walnut. This one being a repro is made of Italian Walnut. I already have the leather dye. He recommends it for control of color on the Italian wood. I will post pics if anyone is interested.

His method in quotes.

Quote:
1. Disassemble the gun.
2. Using “Dad’s” brand stripper (in my experience, I have found this band superior to any other I have tried), or any other quality stripper, remove the poly-urethane “dip” coating, or “oil-finish“ from the stock.
It may take 4-5 applications. I use “Dad’s” which bubbles up and can be scraped carefully with a dull knife.
For the “oil,” I use an old towel to wick and raise the oil, as well as stock color/stain (which is often more like brown shoe polish to hide poor wood).
3. Lightly, carefully sand the wood with 120, and 220 sandpaper- being careful not to “round” crisp edges or mortising- to “open” the sealed surface of the wood. When “open,” final sand with 440 or so to remove any trace of scratches (they fill in with stain and appear like dark lines if not removed…)
4. Mix up a 50/50% mixture of Tandy Leather's Dark Brown leather dye, and lacquer thinner. Apply a test spot to the barrel channel or butt. This is to check how your particular piece of wood will react. Some wood will shift the dye to yellow ranges, others to red (a common problem if one uses “walnut” rifle stock stain, as I have a comrade with some nice red "cherry" looking stocks).
That usually means, for your particular piece of wood, you will need more dye in the dye/thinner solution.
5. Apply a medium “coat” or application of dye/thinner, being sure to be even with no concentrations or runs. Dry stock wood will drink this in, and appear dark. Allow to penetrate into the wood for 2-5 minutes. (Wear surgical gloves unless you want brown hands...)
6. Using a piece of towel slightly dampened with lacquer thinner, gently wipe down the wood. The thinner will “lift” surplus dye and the towel will “rub off” some. This is how one controls the color, as well as “grain coverage.”
7. Repeat Step 6, twice or three times (depending upon how the wood is behaving, and how dark you want the stock to appear. Surviving originals often appear blackish, but this is due to the hard oil finish taking dirt and grime over the years, as well as from the hard oil acting as varnish- which as on oil paintings darkens and blackens with age and exposure. (Note: The color will lighten slightly when oiled, and the color will fade over time due to sunlight.)
8. Color is a tricky thing on undarkened originals as the ACW or NIW varies tree to tree, and where the wood was cut from the tree. Some will appear light, other dark. I try to find sample references in originals, or sometimes colored pictures (never exact due to camera lighting and printing), and duplicate that.
But to hide “bad Italian wood,” I tend to go on the darker side of ABW ranges.
9. Mix up a mixture of 2 ounces of Laurel Mountain Stock Finish (not their sealer) for the “hard oil” properties, 2 ounces of Lacquer Thinner, and 1 ounce of Japan Dryer. (Half that will do for most stocks…).

Apply a heavy coat with a lint free rag. Allow to soak in and penetrate for 2-3 minutes. Wipe of the excess. Allow to dry. The Japan Dryer radically accelerates drying time, down to 1-2 hours an application.
Steel wool with 0000 Steel Wool to reduce grain that have popped up.

Apply a light film with a lint free rag. Allow to soak in and penetrate for 2-3 minutes. Wipe of the excess. Allow to dry. The Japan Dryer radically accelerates drying time, down to 1-2 hours an application.
Lightly steel wool with 0000 Steel Wool to reduce grain that have popped up.

Apply a very light film coat with a few drops in the palm of your hand.. Allow to soak in and penetrate for 2-3 minutes. Wipe of the excess. Allow to dry. The Japan Dryer radically accelerates drying time, down to 1-2 hours an application.
Lightly steel wool with 0000 Steel Wool to reduce grain that have popped up.

10. Most woods will now have a uniform, dull satin or “egg shell” look to them as found on originals. Do not apply further coats once this even “slight sheen” has appeared, as the 4th or 5th application may start sealing the wood under a semi-high gloss like a modern hunting rifle!

11. Using 0000 Steel Wool and oil (like 3-in-1 brand) gently work the stock to cut any excess shine or sheen. (I also rub the stock down with Birchwood Casey’s Stock Finish, which contains pumice and acts as “rottenstone” for a period slight “egg shell” sheen (look an excellent to mint original stocks for what this appears like).

12. Reassemble the gun.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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I refinished an old Mauser years ago using Birchwood casey true oil with very favorable results.

One thing I did before applying, was to steam out any "dings" wher the wood grain wasn't broken. This was done by applying a damp wash cloth to the ding, and then applying heat from an iron. Thise would raise the wood grain to a point where you could sand them off flush with some 220, then 400 sandpaper. I used a water based stain,several coats, then the tru-oil.

Good luck
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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Have done dozens with TruOil by hand and will never use anything else. I shoot for 6 to 8 hand rubbed coats with a OOO steel wool rub in between each to flatten any imperfections and reduce "sheen".
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #4
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Once you get the wood prepped with whatever stain (I prefer dyes to stain, and never water based) thin the TruOil 50% with mineral spirits for the first half dozen coats. Don't steel wool it until you build some finish and stay off any edges as they tend to lighten a bit. Let the oil dry well between coats, at least 24 hours with the thinned mix and after you go to heavier concentrations, at least a couple days. Some guys will spray the first half dozen coats as I prefer to do with customer's guns.

Brownells has all the right stuff and is a pleasure to deal with if you're looking for sources.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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What applicator do you guys like ? Foam brush or lint free rag ? Any suggestions on some type of fixture to hold the full stock ? Its a loooong gun.

Thanks !
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:49 PM   #6
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I stained these grips and finished with 4 coats of Tru-Oil. Steel wooled between coats and let dry overnight between each coat. The original color was much lighter.
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Vettman 1; 12-05-2009 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Ghost View Post
What applicator do you guys like ? Foam brush or lint free rag ? Any suggestions on some type of fixture to hold the full stock ? Its a loooong gun.

Thanks !
If it has a stock hole big enough for a dowel that will take care of one end. Or just bend up some wire stands to set it on and lay a piece of plastic bag on the contact points. Won't matter if you smudge the oil, as it's not like working with paint. Lint free rage is fine, but I use my hand and really rub the heck out of it. If you haven't worked with the material before, you'll find it very easy to use.

I don't think I would try the 3 in 1 deal. If you go thru the TruOil and it soaks into the stock you'll have problems.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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Apply couple of drops and rub with FINGERS untill tacky then move along to adjacent area untill entire piece is evenly covered...let dry then steel wool...then wipe/blow all residues and repeat...
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Ghost View Post
What applicator do you guys like ? Foam brush or lint free rag ? Any suggestions on some type of fixture to hold the full stock ? Its a loooong gun.

Thanks !
tampax,,,I think
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Ghost View Post
What applicator do you guys like ? Foam brush or lint free rag ? Any suggestions on some type of fixture to hold the full stock ? Its a loooong gun.

Thanks !
I used a lint free rag. After the oil dries overnight, knock it down with 0000 steel wool, and apply another coat. After the last coat you can determine how much sheen you want to leave on the wood. The Tru-Oil dries to a hard finish. After the last coat, steel wool will impart a satin finish. Or, you can polish it to a fairly high gloss with a rag and a little polishing compound.
Don't know if you can tell much from this photo. But it's Ruger stock with a dull sheen (3 coats of Tru-Oil)
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Vettman 1; 12-05-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:50 PM   #11
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Tung Oil... or if you have the paitence...
Remove the stock and just keep applying a coat of olive oil every day for a month.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afy View Post
Tung Oil... or if you have the paitence...
Remove the stock and just keep applying a coat of olive oil every day for a month.

Masochist
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:41 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great info and links. Vettman 1 does some nice work by looking at his pics. I'll order up some truoil and give it a try.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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