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Old August 4, 2014, 01:02 PM   #1
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Maintaining a oil finished rifle stock

I have a Browning BAR .30-06 Commerative, 100th year anniversary 2006 model. It is nickel plated with Gold inlays and has a oil finished Grade 3 or 4 Stock. Beautiful Rifle.

I have just purchased a Sako Hunter Stainless in a 6.5x55 Swede. It has a oil finished hand rubbed stock as well.

Beretta recommends Lemon Oil with Bees Wax to maintain the stock. Browning recommends: Watco Danish Oil Finish or Deft Danish Oil Finish or Formby's Tung Oil Finish.

I am leaning toward the Lemon Oil with Bees Wax as the others seem to be for final procedures for wood application finishes in the manufacturing process.

I welcome any ideas or suggestions. Thanks. Byron Nix
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Old August 4, 2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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I use Scherell's Schaftol on all my fine oil finished stocks. I have found nothing that works better.
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Old August 4, 2014, 03:32 PM   #3
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If it is already oil finished, just use paste wax on it.
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Old August 4, 2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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Since this seems to be for preservation (collectible), where durability is not a concern, I would just use oil, or paste wax as recommended.

Tung Oil, like Birchwood-Casey's popular Tru-Oil, is a hardening oil that provides a hard, plastic-like coating on the wood as it seals the grain and waterproofs. They provide more protection against minor dings than oil alone- but it would change the finish of the rifle- not what you're looking for...
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Old August 4, 2014, 11:59 PM   #5
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I prefer teakwood oil.
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Old August 5, 2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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I built my first rifle stock while in high school under the careful eye of an older gunsmith mentor. He mixed his own blend of oil using primarily linseed oil, a touch of varnish and china drier, as I recall, and he recommended one coat of oil a day for a week, one coat a week for a month, one coat a month for a year and one coat a year for life.

The exact formula was lost when my friend and mentor passed many years ago forcing me to search for a substitute. I didn't like one commercial "Linseed" oil because it obviously had way too much varnish in it (dried too quickly and didn't rub in worth a flip). I finally just diluted it down with pure boiled linseed oil until it was closer to the original oil.

Seems to have worked out OK; here's the stock 60 years later:

Beauty of a true oil finish is that small scratches are easily fixed by application of another coat of oil.

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