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  1. Default Refinish MH Tung Oil, Linsead Oil, Linspeed?

    Time ro refinsh my MH Francotte,

    Which finish is more authentic? Boiled Linsead oil? (never seems to dryfor me) would Tung oil give a linsead look but dry easier. How about tru oil or linspeed.

    I need some help here.

    Thanks
    Pathfinder

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I used to like Tung Oil, looked exactly like Linseed Oil but gave a deep beautiful finish a lot faster. Then I ran out of the brand I'd been using, tried a couple of others, and they sucked. Apparently both tung and linseed (AKA BLO) oil finishes vary a lot among vendors. I'm not real happy with the one I'm using now, Watco Danish Oil which I suspect is just linseed oil plus mineral spirits and various stains, but its OK for milsurp restorations. I am going to try something else next time I finish a nice sporter stock.

    On oil finishes, first sand smooth, for military stocks maybe 220 grit is OK. Then use a sealer. When dry sand again, then wipe with mineral spirits on a rag to pick up the dust. Apply oil finish, wait about 15 - 20 minutes, wipe dry. let dry a day or 2, repeat . In a couple weeks, assuming the wood isn't too porous and you've sealed it correctly you will have a nice finish, a military rifle after years of TLC. If you just want an as-issued finish, all they did with the stocks at US arsenals is dip them in a barrel of Linseed Oil and hang them to dry.

    If its a sporter, I sand down to a lot finer grit, and use 600 grit paper when the oil is still wet, before wiping. This fills in the pores and surface and gives a very smooth surface. When its perfectly flat and smooth then I just use the oil, wait 20 min, wipe, repeat in a day. Eventually you get a deep, glowing finish, thats bright but not glossy.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  4. Default

    Hey Norm

    I suspect this makes the finish harder and dries quicker. Does it leave a military typenatural finish?

    Jim
    Pathfinder

  5. Default

    Thanks JJK. Let us know what finish you decide on. FYI I used to go camping at Phillipe park safety harbor as a kid

    Jim
    Pathfinder

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    Boiled Linseed oil is the closest to correct. There is a right way and a wrong way to use it.

    First use the BLO to clean the wood by applying to let the stock soak up as much of it as it can. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes, the wipe the stock dry with an old t shirt or the cheap paper napkins like you get a fast food resturants. You may have to add some BLO to soften the semi harden finish. dop this for several days. You will see the old finish float off and stock started to lighten up in color. After you get the old finish cleaned then apply BLO and rub it in to wood with the heel of you hand rub hard so you feel heat. When you have completely rubbed the stock out let sit for a 15-20 minute and then rub the excess BLO of with an old cotton T-shirt. Rub hard and rub with the grain to polish the wood. Repeat this for a couple of days.

    After that every time you clean the rifle rub the stock down again. The trick is rub until you feel the heat and wipe all excess off the wood.

    I still have a Kramers Restorer left over and I am using that instead of BLO. It looks the same as BLO. I have only used it on the Gahendra that I recently acquired. When I went to the range last week, I noted that the Gahnendra stock did not weep sitting out in the hot sun, the other Maretini with BLO trearted stock did.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  7. Default

    Thanks Douglas for the tips. I have a 1878 Trap door that has the original finish that I touch up With BLO after shooting and It will oose oil if left in the Florida sun.

    I will post Picts when done.

    Jim
    Pathfinder

  8. #8
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    Default

    Pathfinder, I would not use anything other than linseed for a MH, though I would use tung for a WW2-era stock. Yes, some linseed oil never dries, and that my be because it has additives, is bought from hardware stores, etc. I have had the same problem and have solved it: I suggest go to a good artists supply store and get a little bottle of the linseed oil that artists mix with oil colours - it will definitely dry hard, and it will be pure. However, it will be far too thick, so you can thin it with turpentine. Thus the little bottle will make up 2-3 times its volume eventually. You need very little for a coating - a few drops rubbed in with the hand; then a few days later when it is completely dry apply another coat. If you apply too much, wipe it off again - at the end of the application there should be no wetness to the wood. The finish is in the wood rather than on top of it, nothing at all like a varnish - the pores in the wood are sealed, the wood is waterproofed and the wood has a nice lustre..
    "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past". (William Faulkner)

  9. Default

    Thanks,

    I have a qt of BLO from Home Depot should I use it?

    Jim
    Pathfinder

  10. #10
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    Rob's idea for BLO is a good one. Make sure the Linseed oil from Home Depot is boiled linseed oil. Also follow the advice Rob and I gave about wiping the excess off.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  11. #11
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    Default

    I have found that if BLO is not clear it dose not work properly last lot I bought was a light tan colour and is worless

  12. Default BLO

    Thanks guys for keeping me from maling mistakes

    JIm
    Pathfinder

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    What must be remembered is that the majority of the "tung oils" and "tung oil finishes" out there on the market, are not tung oils at all, in fact they have little tung oil in them. Instead they are along the lines of wipe on varnishes.

    When you hear ME say i'm using TUNG OIL, i'm using the real deal.
    www.realmilkpaint.com Real Tung Oil is just that, a non toxic oil extracted from the nut of the tung tree. It's similar to BLO in that it produces a low luster shine, it goes on virtually the same way as well. What makes Tung oil different from BLO though, is that when it dries, it dries harder. So compared with BLO, tung oil has superior water repelling abilities. In fact the U.S Military switched to tung oil later in the war, they found that it repelled water much better than regular BLO did.

    I am not a fan of those fancy "danish oils" and "teak oils". I would even go as far to call danish oil just BLO with some stains and other additives added to it. Not bashing the stuff, just be sure of what your buying.

    When applying oil finishes, you need to let each coat dry properly before applying the next. Otherwise you may end up with a gummy ol mess. I apply both BLO and PTO in thin coats (thicker coats for dry stocks) and let each coat dry anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours depending on the weather and humidity. Both oils must soak into the wood to properly dry, oil left standing on the woods surface needs to be wiped off after it's been on the wood 30 minutes.

    Now when I want to stain a stock, I go with alcohol based stains. Water based is good too, but tends to bead up on an oily stock, or even birch stocks which have very tight grain and don't accept color well. Alcohol based stains have a VERY fine pigment to them, and absorb amazingly well into birch or oily stocks. Depending on the stock, sometimes i'll let the stain "cure" overnight before buffing the wood fibers down the next day, because alcohol does tend to raise wood fibers. A quick and light superfine steel wooling takes care of it. Oil based stains do work well too, but require many applications (depending on the stock and how clean it is) to get the desired color. With oil based stains you HAVE To be sure to get any trace amounts of excess stain off of the stock after 15 minutes, or you'll have a gummy mess on your hands. Oil based stains also take alot longer to dry. Alcohol based stains are easy to find, and in many different colors. Any good quality boot store in your area will carry a product called "Fiebings leather boot dye" and i've found it to work superbly for staining stocks. It's called a dye but it has no difference in what you'd call a "stain".

    If I want a nice hard shine on a stock, I rub on a coat of Johnsons paste wax after the stock has had a few days to cure. Let that dry a few hours, then buff it off very well. For a softer shine, I use Toms 1/3 Mix.
    www.thegunstockdoctor.com
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson

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    For future reference, Linspeed and Tru-Oil have many additives to give the appearance of a well oiled finish. However, that finish dries hard and sits on the surface. It also glosses up very easily. Fine for a Remington 700 BDL but totally wrong for any military arm.

    Also be aware of "Tung Oil Finish" products. Those behave the same way. Real tung oil will penetrate deeply while the E-Z type finishes do not.

    Boiled linseed oil is fine as it contains metallic driers to speed cure time. Raw linseed oil is more correct. However since most of us lack heated dunk tanks and humidity controlled drying rooms then BLO is the next best thing.

    For oozing in the sunlight, just wipe it down with a dry cloth. The wood is spitting out what it doesn't need. Many times that ooze is old grease and cosmoline that's deeply penetrated. Wipe it off and get rid of it as it leeches.


    *I see 4077 posted as I was typing. Sorry about the repetetive info...but at least we agree on the oil and oil finish homeowner products.

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    And I second that!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson

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    Thanks for the info. I now know why decent tung oil vanished.

    BTW the initial wait time before wiping isn't hard and fast. It depends on humidity, temperature and the oil. Wipe it just before it gets gummy.

    Here's the Wikipedia entry on "Linseed Oil" and "Boiled Linseed Oil" , and the reasons why I've had so many problems finding a decent oil finish - there is no consistent definition of BLO, and no consistent performance, some drying faster and some much slower. And raw linseed may or may not be better than BLO for your purposes:

    Wood finish
    When used as a wood finish, linseed oil dries slowly and shrinks little upon hardening. Linseed oil does not cover the surface as varnish does, but soaks into the (visible and microscopic) pores, leaving a shiny but not glossy surface that shows off the grain of the wood. Wood treated with linseed oil is resistant to denting and scratches and is easily repaired, but the surface is not as hard as a modern varnish, and the wood will slowly absorb moisture if allowed to stay wet. Soft wood is protected from denting, but requires numerous applications and even more drying time than harder wood. Garden furniture treated with linseed oil may develop mildew. Oiled wood can be yellowish and can darken with age.

    Linseed oil is a traditional finish for gun stocks, and a very fine finish may require months to obtain. Several coats of linseed oil is the traditional protective coating for the raw willow wood of cricket bats. Linseed oil is also often used by billiards or pool cue-makers cue shafts, as a lubricant/protectant for wooden recorders, and used in place of epoxy to seal modern wooden surfboards.


    Boiled linseed oil
    Boiled linseed oil is used as a paint binder or as a wood finish on its own. Heating the oil causes it to polymerize and oxidize, effectively making it thicker and shortening its drying time. Today most products labeled as "boiled linseed oil" are a combination of raw linseed oil, petroleum-based solvent and metallic dryers. The use of metallic dryers makes boiled linseed oil inedible. There are some products available that contain only heat-treated linseed oil, without exposure to oxygen. Heat treated linseed oil is thicker and dries very slowly. This grade of linseed oil is usually labeled as "polymerized" or "stand" oil, though some types may still be labeled as "boiled."
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  17. #17

    Default

    FINN MIX that weapon ! 100% Finnish Pine Tar ,100% Natural Beeswax and pure Turpentine 1/3 each ;Melt the Beeswax mix in the Pine Tar and add the turpentine ,mix and let cool

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deutsche Vortrekker View Post
    FINN MIX that weapon ! 100% Finnish Pine Tar ,100% Natural Beeswax and pure Turpentine 1/3 each ;Melt the Beeswax mix in the Pine Tar and add the turpentine ,mix and let cool
    On a Britrish rifle? :eek:
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  19. #19
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    BLO just takes more time and effort. The trick, is working it into the wood and wiping off excess oil when you're done and waiting at least a full 24hrs between applications. I like to work about 3 or 4 coats at 24hr intervals, then wait a good 48hrs between coats after that. At some point along the way the oil will start to shine instead of drying flat. Its not a 2 or 3 day job.

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORMSUTTON View Post
    MCQueenie

    it is if you have an air conditioning duck blowing on it 24 hours a day

    NORM
    Norm, we have a lot different kind ducks up here in Montana, but I never seen one of those kind of quackers.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4077th View Post
    What must be remembered is that the majority of the "tung oils" and "tung oil finishes" out there on the market, are not tung oils at all, in fact they have little tung oil in them. Instead they are along the lines of wipe on varnishes.

    When you hear ME say i'm using TUNG OIL, i'm using the real deal.
    www.realmilkpaint.com Real Tung Oil is just that, a non toxic oil extracted from the nut of the tung tree. It's similar to BLO in that it produces a low luster shine, it goes on virtually the same way as well. What makes Tung oil different from BLO though, is that when it dries, it dries harder. So compared with BLO, tung oil has superior water repelling abilities. In fact the U.S Military switched to tung oil later in the war, they found that it repelled water much better than regular BLO did.

    I am not a fan of those fancy "danish oils" and "teak oils". I would even go as far to call danish oil just BLO with some stains and other additives added to it. Not bashing the stuff, just be sure of what your buying.

    When applying oil finishes, you need to let each coat dry properly before applying the next. Otherwise you may end up with a gummy ol mess. I apply both BLO and PTO in thin coats (thicker coats for dry stocks) and let each coat dry anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours depending on the weather and humidity. Both oils must soak into the wood to properly dry, oil left standing on the woods surface needs to be wiped off after it's been on the wood 30 minutes.

    Now when I want to stain a stock, I go with alcohol based stains. Water based is good too, but tends to bead up on an oily stock, or even birch stocks which have very tight grain and don't accept color well. Alcohol based stains have a VERY fine pigment to them, and absorb amazingly well into birch or oily stocks. Depending on the stock, sometimes i'll let the stain "cure" overnight before buffing the wood fibers down the next day, because alcohol does tend to raise wood fibers. A quick and light superfine steel wooling takes care of it. Oil based stains do work well too, but require many applications (depending on the stock and how clean it is) to get the desired color. With oil based stains you HAVE To be sure to get any trace amounts of excess stain off of the stock after 15 minutes, or you'll have a gummy mess on your hands. Oil based stains also take alot longer to dry. Alcohol based stains are easy to find, and in many different colors. Any good quality boot store in your area will carry a product called "Fiebings leather boot dye" and i've found it to work superbly for staining stocks. It's called a dye but it has no difference in what you'd call a "stain".

    If I want a nice hard shine on a stock, I rub on a coat of Johnsons paste wax after the stock has had a few days to cure. Let that dry a few hours, then buff it off very well. For a softer shine, I use Toms 1/3 Mix.
    www.thegunstockdoctor.com
    Great input for a fine finish. I am in the middle of finishing up a project. I have a small wooden stock that is ash. I have applied one coat of Old Masters American Walnut to it. I will most likely apply one more. I see you referenced the tung oil from the realmilkpaint website. It looks like great stuff. Do you use the natural or the dark oil? Have you seen the the oil on the collectorssource.com ? Just wondered what you thought of it. Fairtrimmers looks good too but I've already stained my stock & just don't have the heart to re-sand it again. It's an MP44 Airsoft stock I acquired from Poland. I just want to make it look the best I can. Do most all tung oil finishes dry flat? I understand too that with an oil based stain it will need to dry an extra day or two. Thanks for the sage advice!

  24. #24
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    jmw-1955

    I use the dark raw tung oil , raw tung oil is very thick, so I mix it with BLO to thin it drown , and you can get a shine on all oil's , it depends on how much vanish is the oil's and how many coats you put on ,there is a natural vanish in all oil's , hick there is vanish in gasoline,

    NORM

  25. #25

    Default

    I don't like sanding stocks to prepare them for refinishing unless I absolutly have to. Most oil finishes can be scrubbed off if they don't have hardeners in them. I have used several types of cleaners but I try to stay away from bleaches also. I have been using pure tung oil for years and I am using real BLO on my current project. I start by applying it with 350 wet sandpaper with the grain then move up to 600 with 24 hours between coats. I let it stand 15 minutes and wipe off and buff with a soft cloth. A fter several coats I shift to supe fine bronze or steel wool for the application. A true (as in real) oil finish is the wa to go as it can be refreshed easily and these guns were not made to look like Remington BDLs, infact no gun should even BDLs.

  26. #26
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    Let me repeat myself with some of the typos corrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleD View Post
    Boiled Linseed oil is the closest to correct. There is a right way and a wrong way to use it.

    First use the BLO to clean the wood by applying and letting the stock soak up as much of it as it can. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes, the wipe the stock dry with an old t shirt or the cheap paper napkins like you get a fast food restaurants. You may have to add some BLO to soften the semi harden finish. Repeat this over several days. You will see the old finish float off and stock started to lighten up in color. After you get the old finish cleaned then apply BLO and rub it in to wood with the heel of you hand rub hard so you feel heat. When you have completely rubbed the stock out let sit for a 15-20 minute and then rub the excess BLO of with an old cotton T-shirt. Rub hard and rub with the grain to polish the wood. Repeat this for a couple of days.

    After that every time you clean the rifle rub the stock down again. The trick is rub until you feel the heat and wipe all excess oil off the wood.

    I still have some Kramers Restorer left over and I am using that instead of BLO. It looks the same as BLO. I have only used it on the Gahendra that I recently acquired. When I went to the range last week, I noted that the Gahendra stock did not weep sitting out in the hot sun, the other Martini's with BLO treated stocks did.
    Again the key to using BLO is to rub until you feel heat, let the stock sit for a15-20 minutes and then wipe it off.

    With these old rifle keep the sand paper away from the wood. Most of the stocks sit flush with the metal, so any sanding will make the metal stand proud. It will also remove the stock marking and cartouches.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  27. #27
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    When you get your MH rifle do you use the BLO to clean off the grime and old finish or use a stripper of some sort first.

  28. #28
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    If you buy oil to put on your wood, always ensure that what you buy says, "100% Tung Oil" or "100% Boiled Linseed Oil". If the product doesn't say that then it's varnish and wax, not oil at all. You will regret using this stuff.

    If you're removing the old finish before refinishing (as in a restoration requiring wood repairs) I recommend removing the old finish with lacquer thinner (unless the old finish is shellac like on Russian weapons in which case use denatured alcohol or vodka). The finish will come off easily in an hour or so of rubbing with rags. What you will have left is an oil-soaked stock generally.

    If you're going to do repairs, as Norm pointed out the wood must be completely free of oil, and to do this I tried hot sunlight in a car in the New Orleans summer - ~100 outside. Very little oil came out over a three-month period. I tried paint stripper, and more came off, but not deep in the wood. What absolutely works is using a $40 iron bluing tank from Brownells filled with lacquer thinner or turpentine. I weight down the wood, so it stays immersed, then I cover the tank and leave it for a week. After that I remove the wood and let it dry for a week to return to its original shape and size.

    Then I do my repairs if necessary.

    My experience with re-applying oils is that the first five or so coats you never get to wipe off. The wood soaks it in so fast it doesn't get a chance to harden - specially with the Martini-Henrys that are dry to start with. After that coats need at least a week to dry - each one of them. Apply five to twenty more coats for a nice glassy hard shell on your wood. If you want a military finish, stop at five soaker coats and five hardened coats.

    Rifles I have done this way do not leech oil when firing. I mean none. The wood is water-proof, and the hardened shell of oil on the exterior really does protect the wood from dents. You won't get this in a military finish, but you will get a good water-proofing.

    The only time I use sandpaper is when doing stock repairs.
    This is *My Rifle*

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