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Old April 1, 2013, 09:27 PM   #1
ffs1942
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M1 stocks and linseed oil?

My M1, made in 1/43, looks like the stock was barely finished. I understand the rush back then, but I'm waiting to get splinters.

I'd like to pretty up the wood a bit, but don't wish to do a full refinish, which would hide the rifle's history as well as maybe not be period correct. The stock is the color of medium toasted white bread.

My dad, PFC Robert H Wheater, a 95th ID vet(BS, PH) once said they had to rub linseed oil into the stocks.

Is this true and what would it make the wood look like?

Currently, I just rub the WD40 I clean and lube the rifle with into the wood.

Brian

BTW-FUN shooter! My GF's grandsons had a ball with it as well as my GI spec AO M1911.
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Old April 1, 2013, 09:46 PM   #2
tahunua001
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WD40 is actually really bad for stocks, water displacement 40, removes what little moisture there is from the surface of the wood and can cause it to shrink and the wood grains to separate and start to splinter.

I use linseed oil on all my milsurps and it does seal in what little moisture you want, causes the wood to swell as it absorbs the oil and keeps any outside moisture out, preserving your stock. it gets rid of the color contrasts of the scratches but does not get rid of them...

my brother calls it 'sealing in the ugly' whenever I linseed my stocks
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:39 PM   #3
Fishbed77
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Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) and Pure Tung Oil (PTO) are the historically correct finishes for M1 Garand stocks.

Personally, I prefer PTO, since it has a little better resistance to moisture.
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:59 PM   #4
musher
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A really nice finish can be had using

1/3 boiled linseed oil
1/3 turpentine
1/3 beeswax

(Known as culver's magic paste)

melt/mix it all together in a double boiler (do it outside if you want to keep your wife). It cools to a paste.

Gently warm the stock-place it in a warm room or near a heater. Don't roast the thing. As it cools, rub the paste sparingly into the stock with your fingers. Rub HARD, if your fingers aren't getting hot, rub harder. I use nitrile gloves for this step. Repeat 4 or so times, buffing off the excess between coats with a soft rag and you'll build up a nice period looking finish with pretty good water resistance. I usually wait a day between coats.
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Old April 1, 2013, 11:07 PM   #5
tahunua001
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one would think the turpentine would be counterproductive
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Old April 1, 2013, 11:32 PM   #6
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Start with some pledge or similar furniture polish. Oil based not silicon.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:14 AM   #7
jason41987
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i used tru-oil (forget who makes it) but its boiled linseed oil with an added hardener so it doesnt take you days for it to dry before being able to apply the next coat, and the oil soaks into the grains and brings out the grains of the wood making a stock far more gorgeous to look at, but of course, wouldnt be historically accurate if thats what youre going for
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Old April 2, 2013, 12:16 PM   #8
blfuller
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Quote:
i used tru-oil (forget who makes it)
Birchwood-Casey makes Tru-Oil in aerosol and liquid.
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Old April 2, 2013, 12:41 PM   #9
treeprof
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I've used both BLO and PTO on my Garands. Prefer the BLO finish but as mentioned earlier, PTO for water resistance.

WD-40 isn't a good cleaner, lube or a wood preservative. There are much better (and recommended) options for both wood and metal, especially on the Garand's moving parts.

http://www.garandgear.com/cleaning-y...grease-your-m1
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Old April 2, 2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
its boiled linseed oil with an added hardener so it doesnt take you days for it to dry before being able to apply the next coat
???

I put BLO on my CMP Special Grade Garand. New stock, so it needed something.

That "something" turned out to be 25 coats of BLO. Not one was left to dry for "days." The 24th coat was intended to be the last, but I was silly and left it to dry overnight without buffing. That's dumb. Don't do that. I had to take a rough piece of cloth to it and then apply another coat to get it to look right.

I would apply a coat of BLO, then let it sit for about 30-40 minutes. Then I would come back and buff it with a lint free rag and reapply, setting the countdown timer for another 30-40 minutes. I did that for about two days.

The result looks awesome. I did put 3 very very light coats of Johnson's paste wax over it for weather protection. Had I not managed to gouge the stock while doing some other stuff to it (just call me Mr. Butterfingers) it would look even better.
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Old April 2, 2013, 02:09 PM   #11
jason41987
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technosavant, i put about 4 or 5 coats of tru oil on my mosin nagant, each coat dried in a few hours with the same end appearance as BLO but in my opinion it came out better and i really like how it came out.. ill use tru oil on all future stock refinishes
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Old April 3, 2013, 07:06 AM   #12
buckhorn_cortez
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Quote:
one would think the turpentine would be counterproductive
No - turpentine helps the boiled linseed oil dry. I'm personally not a big fan of boiled linseed oil finishes as they are soft and really not very water resistant. I only use it on things like tool handles (axes, rakes, shovels, etc.) as a wipe down after use to keep the wood from drying and splitting. For a fine finish, there are far better oil finishes.

A tung oil finish is a better finish and applies the same way as boiled linseed oil. Tung oil needs to be the polymerized type and not raw. With the tung oil, you apply the oil + thinner and then let it sit for 24 hours. The oil will penetrate the wood and then harden. You can easily build up the finish from that point as the oil will not penetrate past the first layer. A commercially prepared tung oil finish is easily found in products like Waterlox.
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Old April 3, 2013, 09:29 AM   #13
StewNTexas
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Do a search for Lin-Speed Oil.

This is what you are looking for in a matt finish product. Easy to apply, dries quicker than linseed oil.

Not for trying to produce a glossy finish, but does a great job on older military woodwork.
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Old April 3, 2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:02 AM   #15
jason41987
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the tru oil finished (BLO based) came out rather hard, seems quite water resistant too.. im quite happy with the results and feel this rifle can handle any number of conditions
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:32 AM   #16
Salmoneye
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The 'rules' of BLO as I was taught by a master cabinet/furniture maker:

One coat a day for a week.
One coat a week for a month.
One coat a month for a year.
One coat a year for a lifetime.

Lightly 4/0 Steel Wool between coats, and rub with lint free cloth before applying the next coat, to remove any steel fibers...

Pretty sure that the military contractors did not do this, but simply dunked the entire stock in a barrel of BLO, and then hung them to dry...
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Old April 4, 2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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The only material to use to "rub in" LSO or True Oil is not steel wool, its not a soft lint free cloth.

The proper tool is the palm of your hand, Hand rub the oil in. Rub fast enough that the friction causes a bit of heat.

You'll end up with a great finish, and you rub the oil in, not off.
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Old April 4, 2013, 09:38 AM   #18
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I would want to remove any trace of WD40 from the wood. Use a 50/50 mix of BLO and turpentine and 0000 steel wool to clean the wood. After a 24hr drying period and heavy coat of BLO, allow it to stand for 20-30 minutes then wipe it as dry as you can with a clean rag. It well be dry and ready for another coat in 24hrs. The key to getting BLO to dry in one day is to wipe any excess off the wood after a short period.

Google "Gunstock Doctor" and get some Tom's military gunstock wax.
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Old April 4, 2013, 11:07 AM   #19
Salmoneye
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Quote:
The only material to use to "rub in" LSO or True Oil is not steel wool, its not a soft lint free cloth. The proper tool is the palm of your hand
I thought that was self explanatory for any 'Hand-Rubbed Oil Finish', so I omitted mentioning it...

The steel wool is to prepare for a subsequent coat, and the cloth is to remove any dust or steel before applying the next coat...They are not to 'rub in' the oil...

I am fairly confident that the military contractors did not 'rub in' any finish during wartime...
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:10 PM   #20
tahunua001
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I don't think that Kraigwy was refering to your post specifically but a number of other posts...

I personally use a rough polyester blend handkerchief to apply pure BLO to my stocks... they don't look pretty but they are also old war horses and I don't want them to be display pieces, I want them to be range toys and conversation starters.
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Old April 5, 2013, 07:31 AM   #21
madcratebuilder
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I
Quote:
am fairly confident that the military contractors did not 'rub in' any finish during wartime..
Stocks were dipped in drums of heated linseed oil, I don't the amount of time but it wasn't long.

You can duplicate this somewhat with a 6" diameter plastic pipe and aquarium heater.
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