View Full Version : Boiled linseed oil or tung oil for bare garand stock

January 31, 2011, 08:03 PM
Which one is best or how are they different in terms of finish?

January 31, 2011, 08:08 PM
blo ages better, at least to me.

January 31, 2011, 08:09 PM
OK, Tung Oil is better but you need REAL Tung Oil- which is surprisingly hard to come by. "Tung Oil Finish" is usually mostly varnish with a tad of Tung Oil. The problem with Tung Oil is that it takes forever to dry. I will use it on small things (like grips) but not on a full stock. I usually wait 2-3 days in between coats. Polymerized Tung Oil dries relatively quickly but I have not been able to find any that I would be willing to pay for. Boiled Linseed Oil dries much faster but has very little water resistance. It is mostly for looks, it makes would darker and "richer" but has only minimal water repellency. I usually use BLO, just because I like the way it smells.... ;)

Tung Oil will not change color over time, BLO will- hence the aging factor. I recently refinished an oak floor with BLO. Eventually I will get to putting a hard poly or acrylic over it.

January 31, 2011, 08:24 PM
I've used Minwax Tung Oil Finish on several guns. I put it one VERY light, let dry for 2 days, wipe nubs with scotchbrite pad, reapply, etc for about half a dozen coats. It might not look like a true professional job, but it has held up well and looks decent enough.

January 31, 2011, 09:08 PM
I just cleaned up a walnut k-31 stock with tung oil. Hope's is the brand, Bridgeton,mo. Claims 100% oil not thinned and no petroeum. Anyway I like the luster and look but Swamp is right it takes two days and forever to dry. Did 3 coats untill the wife figured out what the smell in the house was. It has its own aroma.

January 31, 2011, 09:40 PM
The trick to using BLO is to wax the stock after ... then you have no issues with water penetration. Pure Tung Oil is good stuff also but I stick with the traditional BLO for all my Milsurp stocks.


January 31, 2011, 09:44 PM
I just finished my M1 last night. 2 coats of BLO. I will probably put a coat of Howards Feed-N-Wax on it later.

January 31, 2011, 10:14 PM
That looks really good. How difficult was it to remove the hand guards?

February 1, 2011, 09:41 AM
Dispose the rags properly, boiled linseed oil rags will spontaneously combust.

February 1, 2011, 09:46 AM
I am a fan of pure tung oil. It is easy to put on, very tough, seals and is moisture resistant.
IMHO, BLO, and others are just wannabes to tung.

February 1, 2011, 02:43 PM
Try Birchwood Casey Tru Oil...enough driers mixed in that you can do a second cote in 4 hours.....and a tough finish. It's all I use.

February 1, 2011, 05:23 PM
Dont use Tru-oil as the first coat on your garand. The color wont come out right. First use BLO and then if you want a really smooth and shiny finish use the Tru-oil. I personally feel that BLO is enough for a garand stock because it will be more of a military feel.

February 1, 2011, 05:31 PM
Got Tru Oil on one of my stocks ( not by me ) and I'm not a fan ... BLO is correct for most Military stocks, the trick is to wax polish afterward to seal it in. The feel and look of BLO is correct for the period and plenty tough ... was good enough for the Military for 100 years - the devil is in the detail; ie how you apply it.

( You can get both a gloss or matt finish with BLO ... for matt knock every second coat back with #0000 steel wool then buff with soft cloth. For a gloss finish simply allow each coat to build up without burnishing. )


February 2, 2011, 01:15 PM
Garand refinish info


Are you concerned about having the "correct" finish, or well anything do?

If you want a correct finish this is a good read.


February 2, 2011, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. Very helpful. I am going with a BLO finish, but a bit beyond military standard. I want something just a little more polished, but not to the point where its tarted-up so to speak. I got a book on the history of the MI and there's a good photo of John Garand holding early production M1 with a beautiful polished stock. I'll end up trying for a polished linseed oil finish and see how it looks.

February 3, 2011, 08:52 AM
I'll end up trying for a polished linseed oil finish and see how it looks.

Good choice!

February 4, 2011, 01:23 AM
Went linseed on my two, then a coat of Tru Oil to act as a sealer, of sorts.

February 4, 2011, 02:30 PM
I put a heavy coat of BLO on and let it soak in for a day. Wipe that off, then apply a lighter coat and let that sit for a day. I then polish it with a rag, and apply a coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. Buff this on and it leaves a dry wax protective film. It looks very nice and protects the stock. It's a good idea to put a light coat of BLO on the inside of the stock too to keep moisture out.

February 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
I did a CZ full length stock with BLO. It took about 3 weeks and I ended up with 13 coats before I finished. It was beautiful with low sheen.

Old Time Hunter
February 5, 2011, 10:53 AM
Went linseed on my two, then a coat of Tru Oil to act as a sealer, of sorts.

Pretty much how I do it...three to four coats of BLO (always let it dry between coats and scotch pad the bumps out), a couple coats of Tru Oil (again, let dry thoroughly between coats), and then a heavy coat of carnuba and beeswax. Even a $39 Mosin-Nagant looks ok:


February 5, 2011, 11:17 AM
I stripped the shellac off my MN, ebony stained it multiple times, then put like 7 coats of wipe on poly on the stock. Its certainly not an original finish, but it made the gun look great.

http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/945980924_PfRJj-X3.jpg http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/945981006_D8iHr-X2.jpg



Jeff F
February 5, 2011, 01:06 PM
I believe tung oil, the real tung oil was the original finish used on Garands.