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Old June 30, 2022, 10:49 AM   #1
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Old Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil

I have not done any gun stock finishing for many years. However, yesterday when finishing the scales on my new-made Bowie Knife, I found that I still had a partial bottle of Tru-Oil... would not have to buy another bottle for just those scales. I found that beneith the crust on top, there was some liquid Tru-Oil, so I used it. Long story short, the next day it still had not dried (usually takes four hours or so).

If it had not dried over-night, I figured it was not likely to dry at all... or at least in a convenient length of time.

A word to the wise, Tru-Oll does not maintain its properties forever and you may be well off to just get a new bottle.
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Old June 30, 2022, 11:04 PM   #2
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Will have lost some of the drier solvents. It will probably still dry eventually.
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Old July 2, 2022, 10:40 AM   #3
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Oil products of all kinds break down over time and lose their viscosity and lubricity properties. We had a jug of Vactra-2 lube oil at the shop where I work, and it was 10 years old, still looked and smelled like Vactra-2, but felt thinner than water. Not great.

Chemicals get rotated out even if they haven't been opened or used in the chem lab. Same reasons. Good advice you had, about just getting a new bottle.
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Old July 2, 2022, 12:52 PM   #4
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Yes Sir

Will have lost some of the drier solvents. It will probably still dry eventually.
This is true and you can restore it by mixing in new solvents but why bother when a fresh jar won't break the bank. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 2, 2022, 04:38 PM   #5
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True Oil is a Linseed based finish with a added dryer and hardener to help linseed oil dry .
When you have half a bottle , pluse over time the driers evaporate and it reverts back to just slow drying linseed oil . I've had so many 1/2 bottles of True-Oil do that over the years it really got aggravating .
But ... MinWax makes a Tung Oil Finish ... it is like True Oil but is based on Tung Oil with driers and hardeners . I refinished a antique golden oak dining rommtable and chairs that came out so beautiful ... I started refinishing rifle stocks , pistol grips and knife handles with the Tung Oil Finish ... here's the kicker ... it doesn't go bad in the can !!!
I did the table and chairs 12 years ago and the Quart can is about 3/4 empty but the Tung oil finish hasn't congealed or crusted over , I just looked in the can ... it's still useable ... Now True Oil will not last 12 years ... No Way ... And I'll be honest ... I like the Tung Oil Finish ( MinWax brand ) better than the finish True Oil gives .
It is not Pure Tung Oil ... but True Oil isn't pure linseed oil ... and you want some driers and hardners add or oil finishes will not completely dry and form a hard finish .
Check out the Min Wax Tung Oil Finish ... follow directions for a beautiful oil finish .
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Old July 3, 2022, 05:29 PM   #6
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As gwpercle said, Minwax Tung Oil is a good finish, not much real tung oil in it, but it works good on most wood. I've used gallons. Finished a fair amount of gun wood with Minwax Tung and had no problems with the finish. A bonus is that it can be 'repaired' without a total strip. You probably don't need to worry about using 'real tung oil' if you're only finishing a few scales. However, you probably want to go to a local paint, hardware, or big box home store to purchase as this stuff seems to be very pricey online.
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Old July 6, 2022, 07:27 PM   #7
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dahermit, I did a little shopping today after being so surprised by the online prices. I just bought a pint of Minwax Tung Oil Finish at Lowes in Houston for about $16, that's about twice what I paid a year or so ago.
Another Minwax product to look at is their 'wiping poly finish', available in satin or gloss. I have been using this as a top coat over tung oil on several pieces of gun wood and, so far, the results have been good. It is a 'wipe on' polyurethane, rather easy to use and quite durable.
I've pretty much moved to oil / tung oil finishes for most of what I do. I usually use 'real tung oil' cut with citrus solvent for the first few coats and the top coat(s) depends on the ultimate use. Unfortunately, the best tung oil comes from China. However, it is non toxic.
Good luck.
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Old July 7, 2022, 01:36 PM   #8
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It has been decades since I last used Lin-Speed.
Great finish but....s l o www.... dry. Even back then.

I had problems with urethane blistering as time went on.
Removing urethane to use oil finish is a real bitch.
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Old July 7, 2022, 04:56 PM   #9
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Lavan, you're right about removing urethane to go to an oil finish. Pure tung oil will actually dry, unlike linseed oil which just quits being tacky after a while. Boiled linseed will sort of dry. Cut pure tung with some citrus solvent and the first coats will cure out in a few of days each and after that it gets quicker. This isn't a spray lacquer speed finish. Patience, Grasshopper.
This thread has prompted me into doing some research, Watco Danish Oil is based on linseed oil, blended with soybean oil and has driers and solvents added; sort of like Tru-Oil. It's available at all the usual wood finish sources at a 'reasonable price'. Never used it for gun wood, but I've used it for furniture and cabinet work. Very satisfied with the workability and results. I'm planning a Ruger Charger stock and may try Watco on it.
None of these finishes are very UV resistant and shouldn't be left outdoors for prolonged periods. They are somewhat water resistant, but are not marine finishes.
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